Do I Drop My Case at Work? Argh! Vent Post.

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by MamaDoodle, Sep 25, 2013.

  1. MamaDoodle

    MamaDoodle Chirping

    Sep 12, 2013
    My Coop
    I am a CNA and work for a company that does in home care, and while I have not been around the business for years as several of my co-workers have, I have seen many different clients both at my current job and beforehand, so I am surprised that this is my first time working with someone who upsets me so much! And unfortunately, I know it will not be my last.

    I had been working just on call, filling in for employees who were sick or had something come up, and jumped at the chance to get a case of my own. I would get 20 hours a work a week, plus any on call shifts I wanted! Great, right? Well, I thought so at first. The client I visited during the week seemed pretty average - needed house work done, occasional help with a shower, running errands...

    Then the job became more complicated and I found myself driving in to the office more often than not to fill out reports, and then it progressed to my client slowly but surely bringing me down. I could clean her whole house top to bottom and cook her meals, etc., and her only comment towards me for the day would be the one little thing she was not satisfied with, for example, the way I made scrambled eggs. Or telling me any time I mentioned my dog being less than perfect that she needed to be put down or given away. I am newly married so she also insists I should prepare myself for him to cheat on me. Dropping hints now and then that she thinks I am overweight just because I outweigh her. Pointing out when I get a pimple. Putting down my house cleaning. Putting down the times I have helped her with personal care; comparing me to her past caregivers. [​IMG]

    But I have put up with the put downs, I could deal with someone who didn't like me from time to time because I had a steady income for the first time in my life and was able to afford a good car, bills, and occasionally go out.

    I began to notice, however, that the client was showing alarming signs that I reported to the office, which was immediately followed up on. [​IMG]

    So, now I know that tomorrow the client will know I spoke up to management, and I dread what I will be walking in to tomorrow. I imagine she will rip me a new one to the point I just want to walk out, but I have a shift to complete and can't. I came home today and have been thinking it over...and over. And over again. I would hate to drop steady income and return to on call jobs rather than regular hours, but I feel that my reporting the situations I was coming across may have sealed that fate, simply because if I thought the client was tough before, she will certainly be more so now, and I am already feeling pretty low when I go there.

    Decidedly, I am going to go in tomorrow and hope she only has one day of anger in her, but if it continues beyond that, I will go into the office and tell them to replace me with someone else for this client, preferably with someone older than me who may be able to communicate better with the client than I have been able to.

    Am I an idiot? A wimp? I feel so awful for not being able to work with a patient, giving up steady income in this economy, and doing what the client will view as a betrayal. But I don't want to go to a home where I feel like I am not good enough for the job and not good enough in my own personal life. I'm sitting here ready to cry because of the frustration. What would you do? [​IMG]
  2. ve

    ve Songster

    Jan 27, 2009
    Palmetto GA
    My mom had a job similar to yours and I know some people are this way, you can not change them. Do your job the best you can and do not pay attention what this old, sick lady talks or thinks.
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey

    X 2 Being old or incapacitated is no fun, and some people are just miserable to start with. You can only control yourself - ignore others.
  4. Cluky

    Cluky Songster

    Apr 13, 2012
    I would suggest just ignoring the comments and doing what you need to do. we had this lady come and work with my grandma same way you are with this lady. and all I can tell you my grandma was same as this client of yours. it is just how some people are and you cannot change it. I felt bad for the lady but I did admire her way of bein able to just nod smile to my grandma and move on with her stuff.
  5. Cluky

    Cluky Songster

    Apr 13, 2012
    and oh are right if the job helps you outside with being happier, that is a huge plus
  6. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

    Nov 27, 2009
    Wilmington, NC
    Well, I reckon you know why there are "past caregivers," don't you?

    She's an old lady. As I'm sure you know, some old people become really venomous; I believe it can even be a sign of dementia.

    As hard as it is to ignore her negative comments, tell yourself they reflect on her, not you. We have an expression around here, "don't feed the troll." Stick to your job, and tune her out as much as you can. For example, don't volunteer information about the dog; if she asks about it, shrug and say, "it's a dog." If she tells you you have a pimple, say something about the weather.[​IMG]

    You think that reporting her will make her angry, well, let her be. You need to be calm. It's her behavior that made the reporting necessary, reporting it is just doing your job. Tell her that, and get on with the rest of your job.

    Good luck. If it helps, remember that it's only 20 hours a week. Some people have to live with people exhibiting this sort of behavior. [​IMG]
    1 person likes this.
  7. TerriLaChicks

    TerriLaChicks Crowing

    Apr 23, 2008
    Central Louisiana
    We just had a motivational training last Sat & 1 thing the speaker said that I really liked was, "He who angers you, he who upsets you, conquers you". I work for the city power company. When do you think about your utility co? (1) when your power goes out or (2) when you get your monthly bill.

    Neither of these occasions is cause for rejoicing. Can I say we catch some really bad tempered people?

    You have my sympathy! You've gotten some really good advice here.
  8. Spookwriter

    Spookwriter Crowing

    Feb 23, 2010
    I know it's the job and she's just a "client".

    But can I ask one question? Do you LIKE her? you
    treat her like a job? And does that show?

    If you're in it for the money, could be you're in the wrong job.

    I promise you one thing : that your client isn't having fun at this
    point in life. And I'm not saying that to be mean or disrespectful
    towards her or anyone else that may need assistance.

    You're doing things for her that she use to do for herself. And oh
    how well she knows that. And then add in the fact that you aren't
    even family...but someone PAID to take of her.

    Now put yourself in her shoes. Let me know how you like it. I know
    you may SAY you like it. But reality is a bit different.

    My advice? Involve her in what you're doing. Talk to her, ask her
    advice. Make it a major point to talk WITH her, not TO her. Talk
    about things that interest her.

    Take her advice about how to clean her house. She's cleaned it
    more times than you'll ever dream of. Ask her how she likes her
    eggs scrambled. (My sister liked just a touch of milk in her eggs.)

    My biggest piece of advice?

    Don't ever treat her like a client. Let her be a dear, dear friend.
    And above all things...make sure that she knows she matters to

    Yes, I took care of my father in law. My father. And at times years
    ago, my sister. I promise you, it was my honor and my privilege.

    The hospice people that came to help take care of Dad in the end,
    I can't praise them enough. Top of their game. But there were a few
    women I ran off, told them just don't come back.

    One last line before I jump off my soap box...

    Long before she was a client, she was a person.

    Now take all of your CNA book learning and lay it to the side. You've
    done that.

    Take care of the person...

    A client you'll someday forget...but the person, you will remember forever.

    4 people like this.
  9. punk-a-doodle

    punk-a-doodle Songster

    Apr 15, 2011
    I could be reading too much into this. If so, the below will not be helpful at all.

    This is likely not a case of age, but rather, has been the way this person has lived life for much longer than you were around. Some things I would implement immediately are:

    -Do not share any personal information of any kind. Don't mention your dog, your husband, or even what foods you like. Do not share what brings you joy. Do not share what makes you feel down. The weather will be a fine topic to discuss, and not much else.
    -Stop expecting any words of kindness, understanding, appreciation, or other typical words and signs of normal human interaction. It ain't happening, and if it does...there is likely an ulterior motive in this particular case and in this particular person. Attach another reason for doing the work, whether it is to bring some measure of order into the home, because it is a paycheck, because it is a job duty, etc.
    -Know, truly know, that it is not your job to change this person's demeanor/life/mood. Let me repeat that. It is not your responsibility to change this person. If you keep your words and duties to the standards set by your employer, you are doing your job and you are doing what you can to set a positive environment. That is all you can do.
    -This sounds like it isn't a case about someone not liking *you* (or the way you dust the china), and if I am reading into this situation correctly, you are not even a clearly defined person to this woman. Try to keep that in mind at all times. This is not personal. Knowing that can really help in dealing with these situations.
    -Either start calling out comments or show complete indifference to them.
    Her: "You have a great, big zit!"
    You: "That is a rude/unkind thing to point out."


    Her: "You have a great, big zit!"
    You: Smile happily with a bright, "yes I do!"

    In this case, I would not recommend using sarcasm such as:
    Her: "You have a great, big zit!"
    You: "Oh gee, I hadn't noticed. How kind of you to point that out."

    What Cluky said about the woman who just nodded, smiled, and continued with their work around Cluky's grandmother. If you can do that, that is a great way to handle this situation.

    There is no shame in asking to be taken off this client, and a good boss will not want their worker stuck in a volatile situation that makes them feel miserable. That isn't good for the client or the worker.

    What are some of the alarming signs you mentioned?
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2013
  10. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

    Nov 27, 2009
    Wilmington, NC
    It looked like that to you too, eh, punk?

    There are some people who just like to suck the joy out of anything that means something to those around them. My grandfather was like that, as was my father-in-law. You can't charm them or placate them into being nice; often, the best you can do is protect yourself by not handing them ammunition.

    You can care for them, and care about them, but you have to take care of yourself around them, too.[​IMG]

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