I work at a nursing home that refuses to admit that its an actual nursing home. They’re delicate to calling the people that reside there: “Old people”, “patients” or “the elderly”. Instead they refer to them as “residents”. They even have a catholic church in the home so the residents don’t have to leave and they can go anytime they want. I really enjoyed the fact that they seemingly take good care of their residents and respect them.
I’m a college student and I am currently majoring in Human Services to become a Social Worker…I want a master’s degree in the field. As of now I am taking a human services course that requires me to get a certain amount of hours (115 hours) actually working somewhere so I decided to use the place I work.
For a while now I have been losing my passion and motivation to actually work at this place. But a conversation between my supervisor and I topped the cake. Never am I disrespectful to anyone nor do I bother anyone. I try my best and do what I can.
Days prior to this situation I had been talking to some residents…as seemingly nice and nurturing the home is, none of the residents are truly happy. I’ve heard things like,”We do the same damn thing every day” or “I have no more family, no home…what now, I’m not happy here” and even from the people I work with “These people don’t give a damn about us, I’ve been working here over 20 years and I still have no say in what goes on, no one listens to you or cares”. You know what? Its true.
I remember volunteering for FREE to help this woman with an event because my supervisor suggested it and I was looking to do something new. The woman had an event coming where the residents had to perform a song with bells and children singing in the background, in front of the higher up staff (Ceo, vice president, etc). I went to help her and it turned out that she didn’t need help. I was literally standing there doing nothing. She wanted me to help the residents every time something was wrong with their bell. When something was wrong with their bell, either she would tell them and if she told me to go help them, they would look at me like…”Do you think I’m dumb or is it you?” So I brought this to my supervisor’s attention and she told me well she does need help which was true. BUT she didn’t need MY help, she needed a different type of help. The woman was just stressed and flustered about the event so the next day I was suppose to help her I just called in sick.
Another thing that I noticed which made me never want to work here again is that all of the people of different ethnicity work where you can not see them. You know who see’s them all the time? The residents. They don’t work where they’re in the front of the building where people come to visit or where the people who are not employed there come the most, unless its a janitor cleaning up around the building. You know where I see most of the black people? In the basement on the ground floor, either cleaning or cooking. I’ve yet to see a black man/woman, Asian, Latino in a business suit in this building or wearing a white doctors coat. Everyone who works higher up or where the visitors come are WHITE.
Aside from this and my perspective: My supervisor and I have to meet up every so often to sign papers and discuss how I am doing and what I am doing for my courses hour logs. In the past I really enjoyed the strictly “work” relationship I have had with my supervisor. She seems to keep it on that level and I really did respect and enjoy her for that. She is a very busy woman and sometimes seems uptight. So throughout the time I have been there I hardly ever meet up with her and when I do its always a rush.
This past Monday I met with her to sign some papers and overview my goals working there. So I showed her my papers and discussed my goals. Now I had set my goals to things I felt I needed to work on and things that I actually do and KNOW. She looked at my goals and said,”These goals are too simplistic, your focusing too much on the work and not enough on what this building is about.” Now I was not offended by what she said at first but the comments after that offended me to high heavens. I’m not the neatest or the fastest writer mind you, so I had to write it out in front of her the suggestions she gave me. When giving me the suggestions she said I need to look at the bigger picture and know the departments, what everyone does and how things are processed. Then as she told me these things she would stop and say,”Do you know what that means” or “Do you know how to spell that?” (I misspelled ONE word once last year, now she thinks I’m a dumb ass). Then when she finished telling me all these things and assigning me to learn them…as she was signing my paper she said,”I doubt your professor will accept this but I’ll sign it”. Even though this may sound like its a simple situation, it was really her tone and her expressions that gave off that “I’m intentionally being rude because I am your supervisor and you need me for your grades” feel. Then she rushed me off.
After meeting with her, I felt like crap, horrible and embarrassed I’ve never done or said anything disrespectful to her. I’ve been nothing but polite or at least tried.
I have come to her and told her that one of the staff employees were rude and lazy (which I think after her running her mouth got back around to him because he rolled his eyes at me once when he saw me). I’m not sure if this has anything to do with that but from now on I have decided that I will NO LONGER go out of my way to help out at my job. I will no longer do what I don’t have to do. If it is someone else’s job to do it then I’m not doing it, simple as that. I’m tired of being nice and helpful then getting slapped in the face. I don’t care if it effects my grade in class, if anything I will go to my school and tell them about my situation with my supervisor to protect other students who may choose to use their fieldwork toward that place. I don’t appreciate being under-appreciated and I won’t be. After May has come and gone for this semester. I am quitting and never coming back. In the future (when I’m not working there and gone from thought) I WILL be mentioning this companies name so that people are aware what type of place this truly is.
It’s not easy making a career change in this day and age, but it can be done. I wish you the best of luck. Keep your eye on the prize and focused on your ultimate goal(s).
Thank you for your advice. I’m not looking to change my career at all, I just know what I will and wont take from people and this is just one of those things lol