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Blogity-blah-blah-blog: WWWE: Six Years of Hope - Part V

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

WWWE: Six Years of Hope - Part V

So once again I was transferred to a different house. This house had four residents crammed into one little tiny house which was probably only big enough for two people to live in. This was also the first house in which only one staff member was there during a shift so it was different being the only one looking after four people rather than two or three staff. Of course there would be additional staff to do outings, but for the most part it was just one staff per shift. I guess they never heard of the buddy system. Seriously, what would happen if that one staff that's working gets hurt and is rendered unconscious? They probably would have more staff on, but they are only given so much money by the state so I guess they have to do what they have to do.

The residents at this house were pretty calm. None of them really had any behavioral issues. I think the worst thing was one of them liked to try to raid the fridge or cupboards to try and sneak some food. I talk a little bit about each of the residents.

The one that liked to sneak food, we'll call him Rob. Rob is a pretty friendly guy. He enjoys watching the news and he would occasionally go to the mall where the local news station had a news room. His favorite news anchor reported from that room. He also likes listening to his Johnny Cash CDs. He would usually visit his mother on the weekends.

The next guy who we'll call Mark was the oldest living resident at Hope at the time. He was a good guy, but he could be a little grumpy sometimes. I had never seen him do this, but one of my co-workers there told me he was known to flip the bird at traffic lights when they turned red. He spent most of his time watching TV and looking at books and magazines.

The third guy we'll call Rick. He didn't actually have mental retardation or mental health issues so I'm not quite sure how he ended up at Hope. He was the nicest person though. He liked to tell jokes and have conversations with staff. It was kind of hard to understand him, he talked very low most of the time and he stuttered a lot. He had just had a stroke before I worked there and before that I was told that he spoke very clearly. He also enjoyed watching TV, reading the paper, and doing puzzles.

The last one we'll call Don. He was very short and wore big glasses. He kind of reminded me of that turtle from the old Bugs Bunny cartoons. He likes to tell stories and joke around. Don actually wasn't at the house much. His dad took him home on the weekends and on Wednesday nights. He needed insulin shots every day. I had never given shots before so I was nervous about giving them. I took a training and practiced on a ball with the syringe and needle. The day came for me to give my first shot to Don. He gave me a little pep talk and said "C'mon Dan, you can do it!" I was nervous, but he wasn't, he had gotten these shots twice a day for a long, long time so he was used to it.

All the residents in this house were great. I was in my busiest semester at college, so things were pretty rough and stressful, and on top of that, the manager of the house I was working in was the absolute worst boss I have ever had in my life. Believe me, putting the words "absolute worst" in italics doesn't do it any justice. Now, I don't like to say bad things about people, so I won't. But if you happen to be a manager, or a boss of any kind, here are some tips to follow:

1) When one of your employees messes up and you're giving them a lecture about it don't ever use the phrase "That's a no-no." It's very condescending and will most likely piss off the employee.

2) If you need to call off and need one of your staff to fill in for you, don't whine and complain when they can't make it in especially if you have denied them time off when they were sick and treated them like crap.

3) If one of your staff calls because they just got backed into by a semi-truck while they were sitting in their car, one of the first things you should say are "Are you okay?" or "I'm sorry to hear that, do you need someone to take your shift?" You're first question should never be "Well, when can you come in?" in a very stern and uncaring voice.

4) The most important thing you need to remember is that if one of your employees has to be taken to the hospital because he/she passed out and a relative calls in to tell you they won't be in that day do not, I repeat DO NOT CALL THE HOSPITAL LATER AFTER YOUR EMPLOYEE HAS REGAINED CONSCIOUSNESS AND YELL AT THEM FOR MISSING WORK WHILE THEY ARE LYING IN A HOSPITAL BED!!!

Follow these simple tips and you can avoid becoming the worst boss in the universe.

So yea, it was not a happy time there. After working there for a few months I was asked to substitute at another group home. They were trying to gather up all the male staff they could to work at this group home because they had just gotten a new resident that was very physically aggressive especially toward female staff. I had worked with him before when I subbed at another house a few times. So I jumped at the chance to work at that other house for awhile. Because I would rather work at a house with a resident who might try to rip my face off than work with the manager at the house I was currently at. Says a lot about a person doesn't it?

Yes, I know I'm supposed to show grace and forgiveness to everyone, but there are just some people that get under my skin and she happened to be one of them. Sorry, I'm not Jesus, I'm not perfect.

But anyway, that's the worst of my time there at Hope. I'll have one more for you next time, and then I have two more jobs to tell you about after that and we'll be done with the Work, Work, Work Edition (WWWE) here at Blogity-blah-blah-blog.

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