So I am technically working illegally.
Well as a an hourly private care assistant I will drive to peoples houses and help them carry on being as independent as possible. It’s something so rewarding but one thing I cant stand is getting 6 hours of sleep because you get back home at 11pm and you’re up the next day for 5:45am.
THIS IS IGNORING ONE OF THE BIGGEST LAWS AND THAT IS:
In a multi centre job you must have 11 hours consecutive break in a 24 hour period between your shifts from the time you get home to the time you have to leave again no matter if its a 0 hour contract or not by the Work Time Directive Law. Unfortunately people on a 0 hour contract in a health care assistant profession will most likely get abused by companies not following this law and it needs to stop.
1) It’s unhealthy mentally.
2) Sleep is important, 8 hours a day is recommended but if you’re getting less than this and coming home to go straight to bed to get up,. then you literally lose your life just working and sleeping. I am not a social butterfly like I used to be because of this. It’s also dangerous to drive whilst tired and I’ve been doing it A LOT because of this job.
3) When will I actually get time to socialise and see family and friends? NEVER.
I am physically and emotionally tired and having hardly any sleep for 6 days straight does give me a mental break down FACT because of the worry of work changing the rota’s right in the middle of night when I should be getting a decent sleep. I don’t get time to relax basically.
And the biggest thing for me for quitting is being guilted and black mailed into my job.
Let me explain.
So because the management are terrible (well one certain human who we’ll call knobjockey for now) they change the rotas constantly and you can never be sure where you’ll be set. I’ve had them changed at 3am once and woke up for the time I thought I had to set off for work but actually woke up the time I was meant to be there as I had no warning.
But this time Knobjockey really took the biscuit.
I was at my friends house socialising for the first time in months with my closest friends who’d come back from uni and I knew I had to leave early to get up at 5:45 am to leave for my job. Now I also have a 20 mile radius for people i’ll go to around me which they never stick to and I spend so much petrol getting to places as it is which they don’t pay for, only the ones in between calls and that’s 19p a mile.
So at 5pm the evening before at my friends I get an email for the rota change. Instead of being 22 miles away from my house I was 27 miles away, another county over and for an hours jobs which would take me an hour and 10 mins to get there.
WHAT THE HELL!!!
I was so fed up as this isn’t the first time oh no probably the 5th in the space of just over a month (and bearing in mind it isn’t like me at all to cry) but I broke down infront of everyone.
My friend Katie who i’ve known since I was 4 years old took me away and told me to ring them to stick up for myself and say I cant do it. So I did and knobjockey answered and I asked; now this bit is important to remember: can you please swap me with someone who is closer to Nottingham and can fit more calls in and i’ll do calls in Leicester that are closer to me and I can fit more in.
Apparently thats impossible because everyones rotas were set now.
Well wasn’t mine set until 15 mins ago but got changed???
So he offered me an hours extra office time of pay to make it worth it but that isn’t the point, its more wear and tear on my car and if I didnt stick up for myself I would keep getting walked all over. So after the call ended Katie was mad at me for having given in.
Now I HATE confrontation at all costs but she gave me the courage and with the help of my friends ma who’s a work lawyer I realised I had the law on my side to be able to reject hours even though i’d offered to swap.
I said I have anxiety and this whole situation and the stress is causing me months of work getting better to be set right back. He said he has it too and knows what its like, as if I should get over it. I put my foot down and said look I’ve offered a swap of rounds but you’ve given me no choice and i’m saying no.
Do you know what he said?
“You’re leaving vulnerable clients at risk I hope you know this”
I said how dare YOU threaten me like that.
(Also as i’m writing this I got a call from my friend who works for the company too, saying she was late for our double up and I said I don’t have them to which she said yeah we have them together. Looked at my emails and whilst I have been in between calls not having internet to look at my phone or any text messages that they’d changed the rota, so currently i’m ready to go in my next call and now having to leave that one, go to this one they added in then come back and finish up leaving me an hour later than I was supposed to be. ARGHHHHH.)
But anyhow back to the main story. He said let me see what I can do and hung up the phone.
I waited and later I get a phone call from my manager saying “this isn’t how we work and someones had to go in on their birthday etc etc” and I wanted to say this isn’t how I work either on a 0 hour contract with a 20 mile radius and legally being able to reject any hours even though I offered to swap. But I didn’t and got the telling off. I felt awful and then also asked me to come into the office tomorrow.
So I did, I went in as they scrapped ALL of my morning clients and the first thing I asked her was:
“did Knobjockey tell you that I asked to swap my round with someone else?”
Wanna know her reply? Because it was a big fat NO he didn’t have the decency to let her know the main thing that didn’t make me seem like such a bad person. STUFF YOU. She was furious with him and so she should be.
And after what happened the other night which I briefly mentioned in brackets, I quit. Probably the happiest i’ll ever feeling about handing in a notice because I am not a magical flying puppet on a string that can do whatever the heck they fancy me to.
SO THINGS LEARNT FROM THIS:
- Don’t work illegally on a 0 hour contract or any contract. It can put other people and you at risk especially driving whilst exhausted, never get time to yourself and crap for your mental health. You have a life too.
- If your managers are this bad then they’re never going to improve and best to get out whilst you can. Plus whilst putting your point across to managers DON’T lose your rag. Stay calm and keep it factual and to the point or write down what you want to say beforehand so you don’t forget it, even in the heat of the moment. Make it clear/concise.
- If you want to go into a care assistant job make sure you’re going with the right company and look at the reviews for the one in your area as I didn’t and oh boy what a big mistake.
- Also know your rights guys. Don’t get taken advantage of and remember to stick up for yourself. There are laws that you will have on your side.
- If you feel you can’t stick up for yourself then why not join a union who’s sole purpose is to stick up for you and your rights as a human being. Don’t let this happen to you guys.
- LIFE’S TOO SHORT TO PUT UP WITH POO LIKE THIS (literally, a lot of poo). You only get one life so live it being happy, which is something i’ll always live by now.
Anyway let me know your work related problems you’ve had with managers, I want to know i’m not the only one who’s been messed around.
Peace n love guys, keep blogging!!!