At one of my jobs recently I’ve worked a permanent shift at a hospital for a hospice patient every day and the night before yesterday on Monday the lady that comes in to relieve me to do the overnight shift said to me in regard to our patient, “I hope she makes it another two weeks because I really need the money”.
Then last night when this lady comes in again to relieve me of my shift she asked me if I think that the patient will last till the weekend, hoping that she would live long enough only to fill up the hours adding up to a nice size paycheck.
This woman who we are looking after is on the verge of death as it is obvious that she may go at any time now has a family that comes to visit her every day that is grieving for her and can’t bare to see her this way suffering and on her way out yet all that this fellow caregiver is worried about is getting paid.
I understand that this is our duty and not any volunteer work and that we are doing our work to actually get paid, but damn.
And the thing about the situation is that she acknowledged to me that she has cared for the woman before at the assisted living facility where she lived and how nice, caring, and hospitable this old woman was to her and claims that if she dies it is going to hit her, meaning that she is going to feel some emotion. Seems like bullshit to me if it was really going to hit her she’d be more concerned about the woman living long enough to spend a little more time with her family and not to earn an extra few dollars, shit, get a second job.
In fact, everyone expressed to me how sweet this little old lady was the first evening I met her she grabbed my hand and kissed it.
I remember this past December when I worked ten hours a day five days a week at an assisted living facility where I watched over a lady who suddenly had a death in the family (her son) and one of her daughters offered for me to stay through out the rest of my shift as family members had gathered together there with her and had planned to take her out for dinner.
I had refused. I cut my shift short; the private agency that I worked for even said to me “You don’t mind cutting your hours short and not getting paid for the rest of the full time hours for that day?”
“No”, I had told her. “Not under the circumstances”, as I was the one that suggested that I’d leave for the day in the first place to give them their privacy and space. To me, it was the principal of the matter whether the family cared or not.