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struggling at work - aibu

(82 Posts)
bluepoppyrose Sat 11-Nov-17 17:00:29

The short version of this is, ive been working as a support worker/care assistant. I have a 2:1 degree from a RG university but this job seemed to suit in terms of hours, little responsibility and work around the children.

Yet i seem to be crap at it and it has really affected my confidence. Although i am kind and caring many of the service users seem to dislike me. They don't like my accent and they make derogatory comments about not wantig inexperienced carers. So sometimes they will shout at me for being early/late but not the other carer.

I find one man gets very angry when i am near and i dont know why.

So aibu to conclude this line of work just does not suit me and bow out now?

LIZS Sat 11-Nov-17 17:03:44

Clients of such services are often vulnerable and unpredictable. It can take a while to build up their trust and confidence in a new carer. Try not to take it personally.

DJBaggySmalls Sat 11-Nov-17 17:04:09

That sounds horrendous. Do you have a supervisor or mentor? Has anyone observed you with your clients and given you any feedback?
How easily can find something else?

bluepoppyrose Sat 11-Nov-17 17:07:27

I do try lizs but it makes me feel resentful to them and so angry and frustrated. Don't really have anyone i can speak to. A lot of care workers like it when the service users take against somebody as i think it makes them feel special.

Polarbearflavour Sat 11-Nov-17 18:30:03

I found the same when nursing on hospital wards, slightly different I know.

Some patients were lovely. Others did not seem to gel with me. I don’t think I’m naturally a person that people warm to. I realise that many have learning disibilities / dementia but personally I did not enjoy being sworn at / left with bruises after every shift.

So I quit.

VladmirsPoutine Sat 11-Nov-17 18:34:28

I have a 2:1 degree from a RG university

Can I ask why you felt the need to include this?

wizzywig Sat 11-Nov-17 18:35:35

Thought the same vladimir

1Mother20152015 Sat 11-Nov-17 18:36:48

Sounds like you have taken the wrong job for you. Perhaps find a job with people who speak like you do and which is higher status.

VladmirsPoutine Sat 11-Nov-17 18:42:17

this job seemed to suit in terms of hours, little responsibility and work around the children.

I'd also be curious to know, why supporting the most vulnerable in society is "little responsibility"?
I can totally understand taking a job based on working around children and flexible hours. But it just seems incredibly odd to me that supporting a vulnerable individual carries "little responsibilities".

I can't for the life of me work out why the service users seem to dislike you. It really is a mystery.

CaptainHammer Sat 11-Nov-17 18:44:15

Some people need more time and sometimes you just won’t gel together. Though if it’s the majority of service users then you may be unintentionally coming across wrong.
Could you ask to do a few extra shadowing shifts to see how the other carers are?

CaptainHammer Sat 11-Nov-17 18:45:12

I have to agree with Vladimir about the responsibility part. Especially if you are going to people in their own home.

bluepoppyrose Sat 11-Nov-17 18:45:41

I included that information because otherwise people assume you do a minimum wage type of role because of lack of qualifications and start suggesting routes to further education that aren't relevant to me as I have a degree. I didn't want to waste anyone's time.

Vlad the point is that I'm not managing staff, taking work home with me or ultimately responsible for anything.

bluepoppyrose Sat 11-Nov-17 18:46:43

No, I don't think shadowing would serve any useful purpose. I suppose I am just not very good.

HanutaQueen Sat 11-Nov-17 18:48:41

A couple of things.

You start by saying that you want a job with suitable hours and little responsibility. Caring for someone is an immense responsibility. For a moment put yourself into their shoes. You are coming into their home (whether that's a house or a care home is unclear) and providing care, they are in a vulnerable position. They will be potentially defensive. They don't know you are nice. They don't know if you are going to hurt them or drop them or be mean. If they lash out, respond with kindness. It used to break my heart when I saw carers being horrid to the elderly. I've been a carer.

You sound on the one hand like you think you're above the job, overqualified?? But on the other hand you also sound like you'd like to be better at it.

I have a neutral verging on RP accent. Nobody has ever told me they don't like it. I do have a terror of being known as a misery or grumpy though so I go in smiley and chirpy at all times no matter how shit I feel.

Some of this doesnt' sound right; why would different people independently yell at you for being early or late when you turn up at the exact same time as a colleague who they then do not yell at?

CaptainHammer Sat 11-Nov-17 18:49:11

If you don’t think shadowing would serve any useful purpose then yes you are in the wrong job and I suggest you leave before upsetting service users further.

bluepoppyrose Sat 11-Nov-17 18:52:42

Obviously caring for someone is a responsibility.

But i do not make overall decisions. I do not take work home with me.

This is what i meant.

I feel i have explained this.

I don't really upset service users captain, I am mostly just used as an emotional punch bag.

Tipsytopsyturvy Sat 11-Nov-17 18:57:14

Blue, do you like the job sometimes?
Are there any positives to it?
Apart from the hours and less responsibility was there anything else that attracted you to the job?
I tried working as a care assistant in a hospital years ago. Loved some aspects of the role but despised being spoke down to by patients/relatives at times, when it seemed unnecessary (like they weren’t highly distressed) for low pay, so left.
I guess some of these people you care for will have had the same carers for a long time and get used to this. They may have bad experiences of carers who have been new, haven’t wanted to learn, and haven’t stuck around for long and so they tar you with the same brush. It could be a defence mechanism on their part.
Sorry you feel so awful about it.

pinkdonkey Sat 11-Nov-17 19:00:11

You are never going to gel with everyone I once worked with a consultant who told me that he always made an extra effort with the people he didn't gel with as he knew he would automatically do everything he could for those he did gel with. As PP said though if its a majority of the clients you are struggling with then maybe it's not the job for you. Maybe ask yourself, do you like elderly people in general, are you interested in their lives and making those lives more pleasant or is it just a job. Personally I think the caring professions are vocations rather than jobs.

CaptainHammer Sat 11-Nov-17 19:00:53

I don’t mean upset as in leaving them in tears but from what you’ve said they obviously aren’t getting on with you and that would make an already ill/vulnerable person feel worse. They are showing their frustration at you for a reason and the fact that you won’t find shadowing helpful suggests to me that you may give off an air of “I don’t care”. People will pick up on that.

In this job you will be used as an emotional punch bag to an extent as you may be the only person they will see. Obviously nobody should be getting angry at you and there is a limit you should take on that side of things. This is why I suggested extra shadowing shifts as you can see how other carers are towards the service users that you find difficult.
It can sometimes be something really simple that will completely change how a service user is with you.

bluepoppyrose Sat 11-Nov-17 19:01:15

A handful of service users are lovely but there is always at least one unpleasant one on a run and so ai find myself getting very anxious.

It just feels I can't stand up for myself - after all they are in their home.

bluepoppyrose Sat 11-Nov-17 19:01:58

Not at all captain, shadowing will not make me white British I am afraid.

VladmirsPoutine Sat 11-Nov-17 19:02:30

You are certainly in the wrong job. In fact with your attitude I wonder where you'd fit in.
You should also be aware that managing people or taking work home are not the sole reserve of those with (RG) degrees. It might also help you to know that retraining in other fields isn't the sole reserve of those whom don't already have pre-existing degrees.

StefMay Sat 11-Nov-17 19:07:33

It is tough to be a carer. People usually need a carer because they are not 100% well. That in itself makes people grumpy.

Don't take it to heart. But equally, if someone is being mean it is ok to tell them. I remember looking after a 101yr old lady and I would wash out her commode and then as soon as I left the room she would use it so I had to wash it again. This went on for weeks and then I muttered something under my breath which she caught. Not rude just, something along the lines of, " I can't believe this".

Turns out she just wanted someone to talk to her and be more than just part of a job. I used to then spend ages with her at work hearing about her stories. Terrific lady who I needed to take the time to get to know and vice versa.

Caring is a vocation. If the nice patients don't make up for the difficult ones then maybe it is not a vocation for you.

bluepoppyrose Sat 11-Nov-17 19:07:50

I really don't have a bad attitude but i agree it is the wrong job for me.

It is so hard to explain.

But if i had said I am doing a minimum wage job and it is 0 hours and people said go back to college and I said I have a degree I'd be accused of dripfeeding.

bluepoppyrose Sat 11-Nov-17 19:08:47

I don't think the people I work with see it as a vocation either. But anyway no matter.

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