About Me

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My passion is helping others defend themselves and their families. I am an NRA Certified pistol instructor, a NRA Chief Range Safety Officer, leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - North Cincinnati, and the state leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - Ohio. I also have a heart for the Lakota people and lead mission teams to the Pine Ridge Reservation each year, am founder and director of Backpacks For Pine Ridge,, and do various volunteer work in my own community. My greatest joy is being a grandma and hanging out with my husband of 30+ years.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Just a Personal Rant

I am just furious tonight. In fact I have a huge headache on one side of my head - probably due to high blood pressure brought on by stress. I am just way beyond the point of frustration with my work situation and today may well be the last straw.

I work as a Personal Support Professional (caregiver) to a lady with mental and physical disabillities. I am employeed by the nation's largest provider of home care for the mentally handicapped. Perhaps one day I will name the company. Actually I probably should because I would never suggest that anyone put a loved one in their care.

The problem has been ongoing but has gotten much, much worse in the last 6 months or so. I typically work third shift on Thurs, Fri, and Sat. nights with the Sat. night shift being a 12 hour shift. I was hired as full time but then found out that they were going to take hours away from another lady in our house in order to give me full time status. She had been there for 5 years and understandably was not happy about that so I was given long shifts to make up the hours.

The problem has been that they have failed to have adequate coverage for the weekend shifts. On a regular basis I am "stuck" at work on Saturday or Sunday. Often times I have missed Sunday School because of being "stuck" at work - not a good thing since I am the teacher.

I was willing to deal with this for a time ... I understand that it is not possible to hire and train someone instantly. But in recent months I have become more and more frustrated with being stuck at work and have started to complain. I've told them that I would not put up with this forever and that they needed to hire someone.

Six weeks ago I put my foot down. I faxed in (twice) a notice that my availabilty had changed and that I could no longer work Sat. evenings. I volunteered to work until 2:00 PM on Saturdays in order to help out with the scheduling problems. The changed the schedule but there were still 3 shifts that were not covered each week the whole month of October.

Today I got a call on my answering machine asking if I could work Saturday night. I didn't return the call - we've already had that conversation. Later this afternooon I received another call telling me that "when your availability changes there are forms you need to fill out and then those need to go to "L" or "B" for approval ... until those forms are submitted and approved you will be required to work Saturday nights."

SO, if they have their way my schedule will look like this:

Work Thurs. 11:00 PM - Friday 8:00 AM
Work Fri. 11:00 PM - Saturday 2:00 PM
Get a 6 hour break
Work Sat. 8:00 PM - Sunday 8:00 AM.

Since there is no one scheduled to come in to relieve me on Sunday morning at 8 AM, I will likely be "stuck" there again unitl 2:00 PM Sunday. That would make for 42 hours in 3 days, 33 of them with only a 6 hour break.

I should mention that this is an "awake" house. We are not allowed to sleep because the client needs round the clock superivision. Can they really expect us to take good care of a handicapped person with no sleep? Is this legal? I've contacted the Ohio Department of Labor and the national Department of Labor to inquire about it. I am certian that this is not in our client's best interest.

I wonder .... why did they wait until 2 days before I am scheduled to work to let me know about the "forms" that needed to be approved? I sent in my notice A MONTH ago. If they are just now realizing this, then I rest my case about how poorly managed this company is. Actually though I think it's just their way of forcing me to work so they have coverage.

This is NOT my problem. They have known for months that they need to hire someone and have made NO ATTEMPT to do so. Not one person has shown up for training. I tolerated it for a while but then it occured to me that as long as I'm willing to tolerate it, they will be willing to let me. Now that I've put my foot down they are resorting to force.

I don't think so.

Tomorrow I willl attempt to work this out with them - so long as I do not work on Sat. nights. That is not an option for me. If they won't work with me, I'll quit and if the DOL tells me this kind of thing is not legal, I'll report them.

I can't afford to quit. I have a Jeep payment each month and other expenses. This will have a really bad impact on our family if I quit but I cannot deal with this kind of abuse any longer. Please pray for me about this situation.

*side note*

I stayed home from church tonight to get on the phone and deal with this situation. While I was at home a youth group from a local church came to the door. They wanted to tell me about Serve City, a ministry to the homeless in our town. I told them I knew of Serve City and had been involved there on a very small level. They told me that the shelter was out of food and they were going door-to-door to collect food for them. When I gave them a bag of food they offered to pray for me. I let them, and then I prayed for them. They were shocked that I would pray for them. =) It was such a blessing to have that group come by. It was just what I needed. Funny how God chooses to show up.

7 comments:

Brian Buriff said...

"Lord, give special courage to Amber to make the right calls and to do the right thing. As she stands up for herself, she is also making a stand for other employees and the abuse they've been taking, as well as for the clients who's ultimate care and welfare is compromised by unrested caregivers. In Jesus' name ... Amen!"

Anonymous said...

Grrrrr.

I can feel your frustration. They are in the business of caring for people, and they should care for their workers as well.

I hope things pan out for you.

Amber said...

Thanks. Unfortunately there is no law against this. So there is no one to report them to. Either they keep me as an employee and work things out with me tomorrow or I am no longer employeed.

Bruce said...

I don't think they are in the business of caring for people, I think they are in the business of making money. And making you work 42 hours in 3 three days is their may of doing that. If they don't hire someone to fill in that's just one less person they have to pay benefits to, or social security, or anything else.

Praying for you Amber as you try to work this out.

B~

hallchick said...

I'll will be praying for you and your work, i don't see how you can work like that i know i could not do it.

Anonymous said...

A prayer for you:

Dear Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
This just feels so very wrong. I know that You use trials and tribulations for Your purposes, but Amber doesn't deserve to be abused like this. Please guide her. Please provide for their family's financial needs if it You lead her to quit. Lord, You obviously know my personal opinion on this matter. I am angry. Some that I care about is being disrespected and taken advantage of. I am angry, and I want to tell You what to do about this. But I commit this to Your wise and loving care. AMEN

Brian Buriff said...

Without going into details, let me add that yesterday (Thursday) Amber took some courageous and positive action steps on this matter that would have made you all proud. I'm not saying the matter is resolved. But you would have been proud of her...just as I was very proud of her. You go girl!