Saturday, September 1, 2012

It's Just A Part Of Life

Yesterday was a sucky day, and I couldn't think of anything to write about with the exception of what happend.  It might be kind of personal, but then I thought "we're gurrlfriends" right?   " I can share this with my internet besties" can't I?  Besides, it's a real part of life and it is definitely part of  "Life & Times of a Gay Guy":  Older parents and Home Health Care Aids. 
Odds are you'll have to deal with this at some point in your own life too.  
My mom is 81 and her health is really declining.   In may, Dawn was brought into the house to help her bathe, dress, light household chores etc for about 3 hours per day.  
As the story usually goes, at first she was just a godsend.....then....she got comfortable.   I didn't mind her lack of boundaries at the beginning , or her casual attention to showing up on time or leaving early...but then it got out of hand, and I did...mind. 
For instance, when I heard she was talking to my mom about 'getting poked' by this guy she liked, and her menstrul cycle etc....I politely tried to put a stop to that.
As for being late? Five minutes turned to 15, then to 30 and a couple times it was 45 minutes late, and she always, ALWAYS had a story.  Once it was her kid missed the school bus.  Okay, plausible.  Next it was her basement flooded.  Okay.  Then it was an eye problem, the doors on her van locked and she couldn't get out, she forgot to replug her freezer in last time and everything was like an episode of Murphy's Law and Dumber and Dumber.  
THEN, I could have sworn in court she came to work 'on something'...seriously, it was that obvious.  So I talked to my mom about it explaining if I saw that again, she was gone.  Then the attitude, then the slacking....  In short (yeah right) her behavior became worse and worse. 
Did I mention my mom loves Dawn?   In my mom's eyes Dawn became a defacto member of the family which P-I-S-S-E-D off my younger sister to no end.   Mom would defend, make excuses for or explain away Dawns behavior.  
So how do you fix a situation like that?   You're entrusting your parent to another person in your absence to help them with intimate situations and daily safekeeping.
A couple times I did talk to Dawn  about her lateness, sloppy dishwashing (did I mention I have to REDO all the dishes because she doesn't get them clean?) and she became incredibly defensive.   The one time I asked her to dust my mom's room (she has COPD) she argued with me that she'd already done it.  She hadn't.
So YESTERDAY, when she showed up 35 minutes late, I said "I wasn't sure you were showing up today" and it was "blah blah, I had to do this and that and I THOUGHT about calling but decided WHY BOTHER"......and you can guess how that sat with me.
I freely admit I can be a patient person, but it's not without limits.  We had a couple exchanges and then I had errands to run.  When I returned, I asked about Dawn.  Mom said she had called her boss to quit, but that her boss had talked her out of it and she would be back tuesday after the holiday.  My first reaction was guilt.  My second reaction was anger.   I didn't know what I was going to do...but then I stopped feeling guilty and I made a decision. 
On tuesday I'm going to talk to Dawn and just lay it out nicely.  
"Dawn, I appreciate you and the work you do, but if you are unable to be on time and stay for your full shift then we have a problem.  Also, I am not going to walk on egg shells with you.  I rarely ask you to do something, and if you have a problem when I do, you are going to have to go your own way".  
Really then, the ball is in her court and it's her decision.  I my mind she's already gone.  You just don't act that way and expect to get away with it.
I feel for my mom...because it can't be easy to trust someone or to have her Son making some life choices for her.   But this bullshit is not going to happen again.  
It's just a part of life.


KDNA said...

I think you're being far too generous.

This woman isn't coming by to water some plants...she's taking care of your mother.

Fire her.

Maya Angelou said, "When someone shows you who they are the first time, believe them."

Mama might adore her, but she can learn to adore someone who would treat your mama the way that you would.

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