Being treated unfairly by accomodation staff.(71 Posts)
I wasn't sure where to put this, but I would really like some advise on my current situation. I'm very tempted to put in a letter of complaint to the organisation that runs my supported accommodation about the staff. To explain my situation further, here we go. Last year I suffered a nervous breakdown, due to family problems and poor mental health. My breakdown resulted in a house fire, and I was housed suitably in supported accommodation. Gradually with time, I started to get a lot better and more confident and have come on milestones in terms of recovery.
Staff at first needed to encourage me to just get out of bed and leave the property, but now I feel like they are being pedantic and petty. It is a shared house, however I don't feel like I'm being treated fairly by my 'carers' (said in inverted commas for sarcasm).
Fast forward to now, I still live in the property, but have moved on considerably. Although I am not working, I am in full-time education studying for a foundation degree, and volunteering on a weekly basis at a local woman's refuge. As well as this, I am very happily in a stable relationship, have gained many new friends in the last year, and 10 weeks pregnant. I still suffer sometimes with anxiety but I deal much better now.
Staff have recognised this, and I doubt very much I would be where I am now without their initial support, but they are getting ridiculous.
They know how horribly busy I am, (you know having a life) and are picking at me for the pettiest of things.
Most recent example, my support worker this morning drove me to tears
"I could of throttled you on Saturday because I had to deal with your laundry"
Saturday, she instructed me to sort out my washing (I am 23 not a child), did so, knowing that I was leaving to visit my boyfriend on the weekend. Because I left the laundry in the tumble dryer or washing machine, apparently she had to sort it out. I've lived communally before, and usually the next person just takes it out. I thought it was just common sense.
Guaranteed, completely unprofessional and am very confused about how that comes under supporting me. I usually like this worker, so I was very upset about what she said to me this morning. I understand I share this accommodation, but they pick on me for the littlest of things, and can be very intrusive. I've been late for my lectures because they've asked me to wash dishes, when they know I have to leave in five minutes.
I do understand how to do chores, and how to not live like a pig, but they expect unreasonable standards constantly.
I generally keep quite well on top of my room, and it's gotten to the point now where I just stay in my room in the week and avoid going home. I have no privacy.
Other clear examples were just blatantly treating me like a child. I was cooking a meal for me and friend, staff were leaving. As I was dishing out the food for me and my friend, very very partronisingly said to me a member of staff piped up:
"And you're going to wash all the dishes up like a GOOD GIRL now, aren't you H?" My friend struggled not to say something to this woman.
I can think of a hundred of other examples.
Before I got pregnant, when they found out I was in a relationship, they immediately started asking if we were using contraception. They even wrote down in their house diary of when my period was due and invited themselves to my doctors appointments. I found this really uncomfortable and inappropriate.
I know I'm fairly early in my pregnancy, and my hormones are not helping. It's stressing me out where I'm living, and despite the staff tell me I'm ready to move on, are doing next to nothing to speed up the process. The worst bit is when they comment on how hard it's going to be to have a baby. Like no shit, Sherlock. As if I wasn't aware of how hard it was going to be. It's a learning curve for anyone.
Apparently I'm eligible for a council house, but they only get serious after I'm about 20 weeks, and usually it takes longer than that. My partner and I are looking at houses privately, but they're so much more expensive, especially when we're both in work.
AIBU to write a complaint letter about the staff? And if I'm not, am unsure how to go about it.
Thanks for reading,
Council houses are much more expensive because you're both in work? Sorry, I don't understand that statement.
No Privately renting a property is more expensive than getting a council property.
Yes, it is. I may be disagreed with, but the only thing I find worrying is them inviting themselves to your doctor's appointments. Everything else is just reminding you to be responsible in shared living circumstances. You might find it patronising but it's not abusive.
YWBU to complain. They are only asking you to clear up your own mess and sort out your own washing. Very rude of you to leave it to others.
And as for the work, I mean that housing benefit covers so much because I've been on sick at the minute, but when my partner in particular finds work, housing benefit obviously will be cut and council tax, etc etc.
Leaving laundry in the machine or dirty dishes lying around when you are living in shared accommodation is really not on.
How old are you?
i think you are being unreasonable. You are leaving the shared house without clearing up after yourself, you are being inconsiderate of your housemates and yet somehow its the staff's fault?
If you cannot wash a dish before you leave - how long does that take, 3 minutes? - then you are being inconsiderate. You are expecting your support staff to be your mum. They are not - they are there to get you back on your feet and living independently, not mollycoddle you and do everything you dont fancy doing - like cleaning up after yourself.
I haven't left things for others to clean up though, that's the point I am making.
You did leave the laundry in the example you gave, and why did they ask you to wash up a plate if it wasn't yours? Anyway, I think you need to pick your battles. If you don't eat them mothering you, get your own place (which I know you are trying to do).
Sorry, just spotted you're 23. You sound very young. I think the staff are probably doing their best to support you in living to a reasonable standard that most people live to.
Going from living alone to living in supported accomodation is very difficult.
I lived in a refuge and I couldn't do half the things I could do in my own house.
It's just the nature of it though, and you have to take the rough with the smooth, you need to make compromises in that situation.
It is also the job of the staff to make sure you are ready to live alone again.
The writing your period down in their log makes sense, we'd have to for a female service user, to ensure that we could support them appropriately at the time.
And leaving things around, by your own admission stuff in the dryer etc, isn't on. No doubt there are other people in the house who aren't as far on in their recovery as you are, and this could be triggering their behaviours.
I haven't left things for others to clean up though
You may be happy for things to be left for you to sort out later but it can't work that way in shared facilities. You need to clean up after yourself straight away.
It does sound as though you expect to leave cleaning tasks until it's convenient for you to do rather than to do them immediately out of consideration for housemates.
And to be honest, if I were them who had supported you through a breakdown what is a very short time ago, and given your age and still precarious position vis a vis your mental health, education, ability to earn living, etc. I would be very concerned that you have chosen to become pregnant. How are you going to support your child? Sounds as though your partner is not employed either. Is your health - mental, emotional, physical - strong enough to withstand the trials of a needy infant/toddler? Are you planning to be married? I wouldn't blame the carers for feeling a bit fed up on a number of levels.
Yes you would be unreasonable to complain. Because they ask you not to leave your washing for another service user to sort out? Why the hell should someone else have to move your washing because you can't be bothered. And why should someone else have to wash your dishes because you have to leave for a lecture. Better time management is the key, and I guess that is what the staff are trying to encourage - as well as a sense of responsibility for your own actions.
I'm sorry you've had mental health issues to deal with and you rightly feel proud of how far you've come.
However, I do think you are being unreasonable here. In my experience, you have been extremely lucky to receive the support you have. Many don't. I understand that you feel patronised, but I also think it's a small price to pay for the support they have provided. I'm not minimising the gargantuan effort you have made, but having a safe house and one to one support is invaluable.
I wish you the best towards your ongoing recovery and for the future.
I agree with LeaLeander; you sound quite immature actually, and from what you have said the staff there seem to me to be trying their best to support you. When you live communally, you do not leave your laundry in the machine for other people to sort out - you do it yourself. What do you want to complain about? sounds to me like they have done a lot for you.
I don't think you should complain. It sounds to me, like now that you are well, you don't need their support, so are finding it intrusive. They are probably just doing what they always have, its just that you've outgrown the need for it. I think you just need to bite your tongue, be polite, and do everything you can to speed up getting somewhere of your own.
If my own son leaves laundry in the machine or the dryer before going away for the weekend (and leaving it for me to deal with, without asking), I'd get seriously mad at him!
It sounds like you are acting a little bit like a child, 23 is not THAT young that you can't realise that in share accommodation you have to be respectful of your environment and the carers.
YABU to think about writing a letter of complaint, it sound like people are trying to do their job.
Instead, concentrate on seriously considering what life with your baby will be.
I'm impressed by your incredible progress (and rather envious!) Congrats
However ... it does sound as though you're not quite ready for the stabilisers to come off yet. Balance, compromise, compassion & empathy, forward planning, personal & shared responsibility ... are the main issues emerging from your posts. This is not a criticism; it's an invitation. Maybe you're ready to undertake some more self-communication and to consider the current state of your schemas.
Being in protected accommodation, you probably have access to some great therapeutic resources and you'd be a fool not to use them. I'd kill for that!
It's irritating to be treated like a kid with "Good girl!" Be fair, though, this worker's dealing with a number of clients in different cognitive states. She's pretty likely to still be in one mode while addressing another person
Good luck with your continued progress.
I think you need to grow up a bit. They wouldn't complain for no reason
You sound a bit whiney.
Sorry for the tough year you had last year, and it sounds like you are making progress.
But yes, YABU to complain, based on the examples you've given. I'm afraid that supported living does mean you will be having people keeping a close eye on you, and reminders about normal living standards are part and parcel of that. You said yourself it has been a learning curve, so it sounds like they are doing a good job.
What do you mean by 'inviting themselves to doctors appointments'?
Do you mean they accompanied you to the surgery to make sure you attended, or that they insisted on actually coming into the consultation with you?
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