Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The 7:24 a.m. Bumble

Marz and I watched Rudolph last night--didn't remember it at all from childhood. What a freaky story--I loved it! especially the line, "Bumbles bounce!" 
(Even though what happens to the Bumble, having all his teeth extracted by a hermaphrodite elf dentist, is really gruesome and surreal.)

I woke up feeling bumbly, having dreamed I was being paid $1.44/hour. 

I'm just starting my 3rd month at work. I'd thought I'd be OK with my low pay: 
with the 15-cents raise I negotiated for my starting salary--all they could pay, they said, "to someone with no experience in activities"-- I make $1 less per hour than the City paid me to check coats & bags.

I see my job as a paid internship, to learn and get experience with people with dementia. But I guess I'm building up some resentment.
Trouble is, I'm getting experience, but I'm not learning much except what I teach myself (which is a lot), and what the residents I work with can show me (which is also a lot, but not, of course, analytical).

 Most of my coworkers don't seem to know more about dementia than I do––some, less––and those who do know more are busy and I rarely see them.

My boss tells me I'm wonderful, which is nice, but I don't want praise, I want some on-the-job training, which they implied I'd get (since I had "no experience"). Instead, she seems to think I'm already doing everything right––researching, planning,  shopping for and leading activities, from stretch class to sewing group––and has nothing to teach me. 
(Could this be true? Is this a pitfall of being a middle-age worker with a young boss?)

I'm not sure what to do about this low pay, no training. 
If nothing else, I'll just keep reading and watching videos about dementia, learn by interacting with the residents, and look for a better-paid job in 10 months. And bounce like a Bumble.


The Crow said...

Start looking now, Fresca, if for no other reason than to see what the market looks like and to get your name and face out there.

You are too good to be earning so little.

bink said...

The truth is you ARE doing everything right. It isn't the pitfall of being a middle age worker with a younger boss. It is the inevitable result of being a intelligent, motivated, middle-aged woman with a world of related--though not direct--experience. All you've had to do to succeed is put 2 + 2 together--something you excel at doing. If you had a more experienced boss--under the age of 80--you would have picked her brain clean by now anyway.

ArtSparker said...

I can see I have some catching up to do with your life.

Another field to consider, if you have a program for this, is mainstreaming autistic children- I have a friend who does this where I live. Behavioral teaching works for some young children, which means they don't have to go through 12 years of public school with an adult to calm them down.

But, no idea if there is anything like that there - in general,maybe there are other special needs populations which could be presented with your new experience which would pay you a bit more.

Fresca said...

BINK: Ha! Yes, I guess there's that possibility--not that I don't make mistakes, but I'm generally on the right track.
I'll continue to let curiosity be my boss and teacher---that serves me well.

ART SPARKER: Hey, I'm so glad you are catching up!
THanks for the idea of working with kids with autism--sounds interesting. I wonder if some of their techniques would be useful for people with dementia.
I've also just heard of people who are tailoring Montessori to dementia work...

The thing is, I'm where I want to be, working with grown-ups, I just am frustrated with the institution I work for.
But that's not unusual!

I'm searching around for ways to be the most helpful and engaged with the least resentment on my part---money can sometimes help maintain a good balance, and they provide little of that--my dream showed me I resent that, and I want to attend to that so it doesn't grow into a monster.
But the work comes with a lot of great things---independence and respect. Those are fantastic!