On Wednesday I made an important decision regarding my job, namely, that it is time to move on. Truth be told, I have been deliberating on this for a while, ignoring the feelings of discontent, stuffing them down, until the anger and despondency finally spilled over, with the realisation that while our current Director remains, nothing will change.
What you may ask has brought this realisation about? The announcement that yet again our Manager has herself decided to move on, this time after eight short months. Bear in mind that the Manager before her, who left in abrupt circumstances, rumour has it not of her choice, lasted just six months and the Manager before that not much more. The Manager before that resigned due to the stress of the job, which was making her ill. Three Managers in eighteen months does not bode well, and I am sure the CQC will be very interested to know why. I shall not though with any luck be around to help them find out, although if I am, rest assured that I will pull no punches and tell them exactly how it is, and has been.
It is then for me the combination of this latest resignation and the continued lack of response to my request for a pay rise (it has now been six weeks) that has led to this realisation. Truth be told, the attitude of certain more senior carers has also played a part. Twice last week one of them had a go at me for "getting in her way" while I attempted to do my own job. More than anything though, it is the feeling, which stems from the top and seeps downwards, that the housekeepers come very firmly at the bottom of the pile. When the chips are down, we are not important enough to help and support, but we are important enough to moan at when a few specks of dust are found.
If you want proof of that then consider what happened today. I was one of three of housekeepers rostered for duty, one of whom (myself) was supposed to be housekeeping downstairs, while the second one housekeeped upstairs. The third housekeeper was rostered for kitchen duty. Both of these other housekeepers phoned in sick leaving me all on my own. What you may ask did they do when other staff were unable to help? Phone an agency, request that one of the carers helped out (bear in mind that there were seven of these on duty for 24 residents, at least 2 more than than they normally have). Like hell they did, no I was told that I had to manage on my own. I then was expected to clean the whole house, do all the laundry, and the washing up, including the morning tea trolley.
I would have hoped that one of the carers would at least have been rostered to do this, but no, I was asked to stop what I was doing and go out into the kitchen and do this as well. It is true that the Manager did her best to make sure I was alright and she asked as well if there was anything she could do to help, but to be honest, it is sometimes easier to do it yourself than to try and delegate to those who are not experienced, and so I chose to struggle on. I realise that this my choice to make, but by doing this and refusing to paper over the cracks, they were there for all to see, so that they will hopefully realise the importance (and more to the point, the magnitude) of all that we do. There is nothing like not having the work done to make others realise what work is normally done and to make then understand and appreciate your role. This has been all too lacking of late.
So this morning, when the Manager asked if I was okay, for the second time following my appraisal I told the truth. I told her that I was totally hacked off and all that today had done was reinforce the fact that I had made the right choice in choosing to go! That day cannot now come a moment too soon.