If you’ve been reading my blog, you know that I quit my job at a grocery store fuel center in August. The job itself wasn’t terrible, although a lot of customers were angry and/or clueless. The worst part of the job was waking up at 4am to drive in the dark to get to work by 5:45, just as the sun was coming up.
Since I quit the gas station job, I’d been working on my blog and selling at the Bridge one or two days a week, depending on the weather. Early in December money got a little tight, so I started actually looking for regular work. I joined a few Facebook job groups focused on the area where I live. One day I saw a listing for a job with a home health care company. I’d never done that type of work before, but the ad said no experience was necessary, and the company was looking to hire people to work out in the boonies near where I live.
I applied for the job on Friday, December 6th and started on Monday the 9th. I’m now a personal care worker for two folks who need a little help getting around and dealing with daily household chores. The woman I work for gets 16 hours of service a week, while the fellow gets 24 hours of service each week. That’s a 40 hour work week! I told the ladies at the home care service that hired me I only wanted to work part time (as in 16 hours a week, not 24), but they really needed someone to cover both people. I agreed, while making it clear it was more than I wanted to work.
The fellow gets services on every day except Sunday, which means I only get one full day off each week. I only see the woman four days a week, so at least on two of my six workdays I have my afternoons free. Still, that isn’t enough time off.
The fellow lives down the worst dirt road I’ve ever seen, and I’ve been down some bad New Mexico roads. If I didn’t have a 4 wheel drive vehicle, I don’t think I could get to his house. In fact, I think I got the job because of my truck, not because of any skills I possess. For real. I wasn’t interviewed for the job. I did have to fill out an application, but as soon as I mentioned my truck, I was looking at a hiring packet.
Because we only have one vehicle, my having it 40 hours a week (plus the drive time to and from work) means The Man hasn’t been able to work much. He is employed on an as-needed basis by several elderly ladies in town. He does maintenance, painting, landscaping, and yard cleanup, so luckily his schedule is flexible. However, he’s been working to get a guest house ready for a new resident, and my use of the truck has limited when he’s been able to go in. Some mornings I drive him to town and drop him off before 8am, then backtrack out to the boonies to get myself to work by 9am When The Man is finished with his work, he hitchhikes home. The situation is not ideal for either of us.
I’m hoping things change for the better at the first of the year. A friend of the man I assist has applied to be a personal care worker with the company I work for. According to the man I assist, his friend said he is available to start work after December 27th. I’m hoping he’ll start working with the fellow I’m currently assisting to the tune of at least five days a week. I’d be happy to work with the lady 16 hours each week and fill in with the guy for 4 hours a week. Of course, I haven’t heard anything from the company that pays me about how we’re going to organize my schedule. I’ve made it clear to the management on several occasions that 40 hours is more than I want to work in a week, but I’m pretty sure my happiness is not their #1 concern. I’ve decided if my hours aren’t reduced by the first week in January, I’ll give my two weeks’ notice. I hope it doesn’t come to that because looking for a job is often worse than having a job.
I hope by the time you read this post, my hours have been reduced, and I am satisfied with my new position.
Unlike with my past jobs, I won’t be sharing stories from my work days. I’m under strict expectations of confidentiality, so anything funny or annoying or interesting that happens to me, well, I’ll be keeping it to myself. But don’t worry. I have plenty of stories to tell you about the places I’ve been and the lives that I’ve lived.
I took the photos in this post.