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They phone every day!

(23 Posts)
littlemiss06 Thu 03-Jan-13 16:22:58

I work 24 hours a week ok I know its not a lot and im starting to feel guilty for it but I have four children and its what works for us. I started a job as a care worker and asked specifically for 2 night shifts, they agreed then started giving me days of 6 hour shifts which was hardwork with the kids as it meant i was in more days than i had originally wanted. I was then put on two nights as i asked and have been since but on the days im not in they ring pretty much every single day for me to cover shifts and I feel so guilty keep saying no but I dont want extra shifts, i want to stick at what i asked for, I know theyre short staffed but why dont they just take on more staff! I went in last week and they were about to ask me to cover a shift and one of the younger girls (with no kids and no ties) said dont ask her she wont do it. It just made me feel so crap but im doing what hours ive asked for and to fit in with my kids. Its got to the point I dont want to answer my phone when it rings, are they within their rights to keep ringing me? I have told them I dont want extra hours

pippop1 Thu 03-Jan-13 16:28:01

Could you send a nicely worded letter by recorded delivery expressing what you say above?

Then if they still ring you can start moaning at them and say that you have made it clear what your wishes are.

higgle Thu 03-Jan-13 18:56:06

I run a care service and I'm afraid this is fairly typical. Quite a few staff who work for my organisation joined us because they were sick and tired of having to work extra shifts in other places. Because of high sickness levels, absenteeism ( in some places) and the fluctuations in work load it is very hard to get the right level of staff. I have a few lovely carers who want to work every hour they can and some who do not. If you do not want extra hours you should just draw this to their attention in a friendly letter and then just don't answer the phone when they call and you are not at work.

Mynewmoniker Thu 03-Jan-13 19:02:04

I think the op is telling us she doesn't want them to ring her on her time off. The guilt this encourages is awful. She shouldn't have to ignore the phone...they shouldn't ring.

littlemiss06 Thu 03-Jan-13 20:19:14

I have told them several times but I cant see that its them whos ringing (they ring the house phone it doesnt show the caller) so im ending up ignoring all my calls because i dont want to feel guilty.

Mynewmoniker Fri 04-Jan-13 13:58:19

can your phone take messages? If so ask your friends/family to leave a message and you'll get back to them.
They shouldn't phone though if you've asked them to stop.

ImKateandsoismywife Fri 04-Jan-13 20:33:38

My old company were terrible for this, afaik most care agencies do this. You need to really put your foot down and tell them you will not be taking on any extra work. If you give in even once they will have you down as a soft touch and continue to harass you.

higgle Sat 05-Jan-13 20:45:36

As a charity my organisation can be a bit more flexible with recruitment and have extra standby cover to stop this situation arising often. We do sometimes have nightmare scenarios where we have taken on new cases for vulnerable older people and then have 3 care staff off sick on one day, so I would never recruit anyone who point blank refused to work an extra shift in times of difficulty for us, it is just part of the job. This week I have been looking for volunteers to sit with two people who were dying - a hard request to refuse.

littlemiss06 Sun 06-Jan-13 15:49:45

You would point blank refuse to employ someone who wouldn't work an extra shift, that's a little unfair, what about the people like me who need to work but have four children one of which has special needs, I do my best with work and always give my all when im there but I struggle with more than the hours ive asked for, I have a family as well higgle its not all just work.

littlemiss06 Sun 06-Jan-13 15:52:35

And to add to this if they treated people better ie paid them right, allowed breaks, listened to them when they asked for help or advise and didnt treat them like shit then chances are people wouldnt be off as much as they are!

ImKateandsoismywife Sun 06-Jan-13 16:39:57

Higgle it does sound like your company is better organised than the one I used to work for! There was no provision for staff sickness other than to constantly call the staff who were already working more hours than they wanted! Ime if you do an extra shift once then it will be on your rota the following week and if you refuse to do it they will bitch about you and make out that you're being unaccomodating for wanting any time to yourself.

Littlemiss I'm really wondering if you work for the same company I used to! I have a friend who still works for them and they are just as bad as they always were, she hasn't had a day off in months because they always guilt trip her into going in, promising its just this once but it never is angry

Mynewmoniker Sun 06-Jan-13 19:45:33

Without wanting to take sides here, ImKate... what provision could there be for staff sickness?

No experience in this area...just wondered hmm

ImKateandsoismywife Sun 06-Jan-13 21:32:11

Mynewmoniker standby staff who are just on call to cover sickness.

Mynewmoniker Sun 06-Jan-13 21:41:50

But I suspect those have already been called in and there would still be gaps, ImKate.

ImKateandsoismywife Sun 06-Jan-13 21:57:24

At the company I worked for there weren't any standby staff and it sounds like this is the case with op's work too as her phone is ringing constantly. I think most people would be happy to cover the occasional extra shift now and then but this clearly isn't the case here nor was it with me. I used to take the emergency overnight calls on occasion so I do know for a fact that we had no standby staff.

myBOYSareBONKERS Sun 06-Jan-13 22:26:40

My parents let all calls go to the answer phone. They then listen to who it is (and we know to talk randamly to give them chance to get to the phone) and either pick up or ignore it

Rockchick1984 Sun 06-Jan-13 23:48:10

When I worked in retail it was a similar set-up WRT staff shortages - you would just ring staff until you found someone who could cover. In all honesty, the staff who were flexible and would help out always got treated better eg if they needed time off for something management would be willing to bend over backwards to sort it but if it was someone go constantly refused to put themselves out the manager would do the bare minimum to help them out. Unfair maybe, but it's very much an attitude of why should I try to accommodate you when you won't do it for me? I'd treat friends that way if someone was all take and no give, so wouldn't expect my manager to treat me any differently!

higgle Mon 07-Jan-13 07:53:46

littlemiss06 - I've worked in two main sectors - law, where every thing is money driven and care, where the best carers see it as a vocation more than a job. For care providers the number one priority is ensuring that the service users get the care they need. Sometimes they become very frail or unwell in a short space of time and need extra support so it is good to have some staff who are prepared to work extra hours when needed. I'm surprised that some of the agencies referred to above have no contingency plans because when we are inspected by CQC they always ask how we cover sickness and absenteeism.

Panzee Mon 07-Jan-13 08:14:18

Some people seem to have the attitude that if you're not at work you are sat around watching Jeremy Kyle. People do have commitments outside the job you know.

ilikefestivitea Mon 07-Jan-13 08:21:33

The hospital ward I worked on were terrible for this. I just got and answer phone, told family and friends why I was screening calls. Just delete the messages from the company you work for and ignore them when they call.

ImKateandsoismywife Mon 07-Jan-13 09:42:08

I really resent this implication that if you turn down work you're not a good carer. I loved my job and the people I cared for but after years of being guilt tripped into taking on extra work to the point of working at least 70 hours every week, never having a day off and still being called constantly and asked to do more it was making me ill and I had to leave.

dischordant Mon 07-Jan-13 11:46:05

Change your number to your mobile, then you can ignore it when you see it's them calling.

littlemiss06 Mon 07-Jan-13 13:47:54

ImKate totally agree! I have done extra shifts but I don't want to anymore because its just too hard with family, it doesn't mean I don't care because I care so much about the people I look after, ive always cared but I also have four children who need my care as well so I give the time I can but me not doing extra doesn't mean its because I don't care or because its just a job! Ive seen young girls come in all bubbly and jolly end up doing all these extra shifts like imKate says sometimes its meaning working 70 hours up and then they're ill and depressed and not enjoying work, how is that helping the residents, more staff less hours and better care, mistakes happen when people are working the hours they are at my place!

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