It is a funny thing to reflect back on the past. You find yourself wanting the outcome to be different and walk away on a positive note. It replayed my mind on and off for two years, my horrific job experience!
My experience being a state employee was entirely different from working for a non-profit. In my beginnings with the state, I was assigned a trainer, and I was required to commit for one year. My duties were to go out into the community to learn the process of assessing elderly individuals seeking services.
Conflict: Every time while on a scheduled visit, the trainer would interrupt me while I conduct the assessment with the consumer. It ‘s hard to keep focus when that happens. I was instructed to read the question exactly as it appeared on the assessment. No paraphrasing! Bear in mind, as an assessor; you conduct the evaluation with the individual and most often a caregiver or family members.
By the time it was over, I would be so upset and frustrated I could not think straight!
How can anybody learn this way?
I was diagnosed ADHD two years prior. I kept it a secret due to fear of losing my new job, I should know better coming from a mental health background.The laws protect individuals like myself with disabilities. Elder Affairs method of training would be better with proper accommodations. An example: allowing me to finish the whole assessment process from start to finish and then meeting with me about my performance upon completion.I brought the issue to the attention of my then supervisor, she disagreed. She continues by stating that it is better to catch the errors as they occur.
Reflecting back? I should have resigned the first month, but I was determined to make it work and besides my husband wanted me to quit based on the incidents. I was stubborn!
I was jobless six months prior, hence the reason for my stubbornness. I referred to my joblessness as ” unemployed island.”
Eventually, I came forth about my ADHD. The state’s method of training was severe. Incident #1: During a meeting, I was told not to chime in. My supervisor mentioned my diagnosis, to say that it is the reason that I jump in to give input. Incident #2: I was asked to attend a meeting. My supervisor went as far as to tell me not be an embarrassment. The next day after that conversation, my supervisor selected another employee to attend the meeting. It was humiliating!. There were many instances, where I’d be called to meet with my assigned trainer. It felt more like an attack on my person rather about supposed errors found. It was her word against mine.
Why I Resigned
Fast forward to why I resigned. The day before I was scheduled to go on the field with my trainer. I prepared the appointments, mapped out the locations, files and to make sure that I had plenty of forms. I was Paranoid! I wanted to prove to them that I was a viable employee.
I received two files. I contacted the family members, except I left a message for one of them. I did not follow up, a bad mistake!
On field day: I was very nervous about going out. We were getting ready to leave. I was told to drive my vehicle. I was not familiar with my way around the Orange County, and I did not own a GPS.
Upon entering my vehicle with the trainer. I had the mapquest directions at hand to follow. The teacher immediately commented, “Did you review the instructions before leaving?” I looked at her, as though she had two heads. I responded, ” no.” She continued by stating, ” you should not read the directions while driving because you can get us into an accident! ” I responded by saying, ” I don’t intend to read while driving I will refer to them while waiting at the traffic lights. ” Her approach disturbed me a great deal!
First stop: A son is caring for his mother. She was discharged from the nursing home and was bed bound with Alzheimer. Conducted the assessment with consumers son, her caregiver. I began the process, during the evaluation, one of the forms I used was the wrong one. I inform my trainer who added fuel to the fire. We had to return to the office, but we continued to our next appointment at the nursing facility. The teacher was silent throughout the entire ride, and I knew she was angry with me. I apologized to her, which ignited a lecture. I tried to explain, but no matter what I said, it fell on deaf ears.
Second stop: We were to meet the client’s son at the nursing home facility. I previously left a message, again I assumed! I never got a call back from the consumer’s son. The staff at the facility informed us that he was at work.The client had Dementia, and we were not able to conduct the interview without a family member present. More fuel to the fire I was about to be burned at the stake!
It was January 7, 2011, my tenth month. That morning I knew that things were brewing. I should have taken the bull by the horns and demanded a meeting with my boss and trainer, but I did not. I allowed myself to become a sitting duck!
My co-worker across the way was concerned for me. A big boom was coming, and I was to be the target! The trainer tells me that I failed to schedule a third appointment. I told her that she gave me only two files, not three! It made me very suspicious. She proceeded to ask me to check my files to see if the file in question was in there. There were two tops draws of data. The left file drawer was of my current clients in alphabetic order, and the right side were the customers who were to staff for services, bundled and staff for services.
Upon opening the right drawer, I was shocked! The drawer files were in alphabetic order. I went into a state of panic. I thought to myself. Am I being set up?
I began to doubt myself, was I so paranoid that I had a memory lapse? I DON’T THINK SO!!!
My co-worker advised me not to resign and think things over. We prayed, and I was crying, uncontrollably. It was a Friday, and all I could see is that I was being set up. I could not prove it! Do I refuse to believe that I was so confused to have made such a mistake? Forgetting an entire file?
The boss was out of the building but was on speaker phone when I was called into the trainer’s office to meet. I knew that my supervisor was informed about the field experience from the day before. I was questioned about the third file and leaving a client waiting. I stated I was not assigned a third file and did not leave a customer waiting. My supervisor did not want to hear what I had to say; the trainer had filled her ear on her version of the story, and I did not get an opportunity to defend myself.
Unfortunately, I resigned effective immediately with no notice. It Caused a lot of distress and until this day I can not prove whether leaving as I did hinder my future job opportunities. As I said, I was on the unemployed island for two years and in that time frame I had three interviews and attended one workshop.
I learned from the experience not to take things for granted, to always be proactive, not letting on the job situations build up and fester until there is no recourse for a solution. As for my diagnosis, I wear it proudly!