I have had many hurdles over the past two weeks that have caused me to scratch my head and say “hmmm”. Maybe it is just me, but I am wondering about the human race. What has happened to the core values of doing honest work, for honest pay? Where are the people of integrity, honesty and of high moral standards? Where have they all gone? Did Jesus come back and I miss the Rapture and am left here on earth with dishonest, disgruntled, angry people? Am I going through the Tribulation period?
Last week, one of our service providers was arrested for embezzlement. She was our accountant. I am left with a business of outstanding IRS payments, payroll taxes and a host of banking issues. I confront her, to which she replies, “oh no, that’s a mistake, I never did that and by the way, I am dying”. How does dying fit into this???? I retrieve all of our facilities documents from her, and call it done. I will find another accountant.
Last week or so, one of my staff members called me on a Thursday telling me a dreadful story of how her daughter had been brutalized by a gang, so she needed time off. Ok, fine. Bad things happen to good people. I am understanding. I cover her shifts, putting other employees into overtime. It’s ok, it’s the right thing to do .I am helping her. I am excusing her from work, giving her the time she needs to help her daughter. The following Tuesday, she calls me, telling me she is not going to be able to come back to work yet, because her son has been in a terrible car accident. Wow. When it rains it really pours. I am understanding of the situation. I cover her shifts for another five days or so. She calls me again on the day before she is due back to work. Would you believe that another son has been killed in prison? Brutally stabbed. 57 times. In jail. Ok, so now I am catching on. Either she missed the Rapture too and her life is in constant turmoil or……or…she is lying. The other staff members whisper as I walk by, “Surely she knows she is being played.” Being played. Gullible. Just wow.
Last Wednesday, I fought with our contracted landscapers. We argued about IF the grass had been mowed. I don’t know about you, but I have a pretty good eye for tall grass. I can normally tell when it has been mowed, and when it hasn’t. The grass on our 12 acres is eleven inches high. Yes, 11. Exactly 11. I know this because I measured it. I used a ruler. I measured it merely to win the argument with him. He called, wanting his monthly fee for lawn care. I told him I would write him a check when he mowed the grass. He said he did already. Twice already, so I owe him for TWO cuttings. He explains to me how grass grows when it rains, and it rained, so the grass grew quickly. I must not have noticed the rain. Seriously???? Every time he mows, my office windows shake at the roar of the Skag mower. I am confident in saying he did not mow. I have never seen grass grow 11 inches in a week, nor have I not noticed the rain.
I argued, he became angry telling me how I was just trying to “con him out of money”. I believe the grass height speaks for itself. To this very day, he is demanding his money and refusing to cut the grass until I pay my outstanding balance. Just wow.
Last Thursday, an employee came marching into my office explaining to me how I “disrespected” her by reducing her hours. Really? My theory is this: if you want to work, you will come to work and not call in every other day with car trouble, child care trouble, stomach trouble and to top it off, bail bondsman trouble. Having your sister call me and tell me that you will be to work as soon as your bond is paid….well……wow, just wow. So I give other employees more hours and give you less, yet I disrespect YOU? Wow, just wow.
Last Friday, I bought a honey bun out of the vending machine. I was hungry ; quickly biting into it. The first bite instantly tasting like staleness. The “best before date” was June 18, 2013. Not wanting my staff and guests buying stale goodies, I thought a courtesy call to the vendor was in order. I thought he would appreciate my calling this to his attention. Not the way it happened. He explained to me that the “good before date” was not really a meaningful thing. “The date print on outside, mean good after date too. It mean, not as good , but still good. Good for 85 cent. See?” (Broken language intended.) Wow, just wow.
Here is my problem. I am an administrator. Entrusted to assure a high standard of care is provided for our dementia patients, living in our facility. My problem is, how can they trust me when I can’t trust the lawn care man ,the vending machine man, the payroll specialist or my own staff to do the right thing? It’s a catch 22 all the way around.
I have to be a vigilant watchdog instead of a caring, compassionate, understanding leader. I must sniff out the bad in every person, instead of looking for the good. I must assume that every person I encounter on the job is only looking out for their best interest, not that of the residents. I must change who I am.
A word of advice to human mankind: do unto others as you would have done unto you.