Sunday, March 9, 2014

Life Or Something Like It

After almost 2 years of trying to build a caseload with some hours to it, I'm finally up to 20 hours a week. Well, technically it's 19.5 work hours and an hour travel time. Still, it's an increase in pay. Doubly so since I received a $1.65 an hour raise.

Our office coordinator got fired and the one that left the state in 2009 was rehired. She and her husband had moved to Florida where she was unable to find employment so they came back to New York State. They gave her my old on-call job and she was waiting in the wings when the new coordinator apparently screwed up big time. Trust me when I say it was big time. My boss doesn't fire anybody. She just makes your life miserable until you quit.

When I have contact with the coordinator, I am the one with the issue I'm asking her help on so I tend to follow up on things. I use my age as an excuse and usually ask if I have the correct information. That avoids the going to the case when you aren't supposed to go issue, and also keeps things running smoothly when there's a change in how the client's care gets paid for. Some cases start life as temporary for a number of hours and if I go for longer than the approved hours the company has to pay me, and can't get paid. Sometimes those cases switch to a different program and become permanent at so many hours per week. If the coordinator doesn't pay attention, mistakes happen. Since I follow up on my end, changes in schedule get caught before the damage happens.

The oddest thing was that while P was coordinator if I asked for more hours I'd get told we weren't getting any cases. The first week that C was back, the subject of my hours came up. I asked for more hours since my case load was down to 12 hours a week. In 2 days she found cases for me that now have me working 19.5. In a week and a half, C picked up 17 new cases. Although cases have been assigned, there is still the potential for me to pick up more hours since the first aide on the case sometimes doesn't work out. It's been hurting my income to have gone from 26 hours a week down to 12 especially since we were being paid minimum wage.

I have space in my schedule for 6 more client hours. With the increase in pay, I may not have to take all of that. I might though because when it comes to my retirement, it might make my monthly payment higher. I can't retire at full benefit until 66 and actually might, depending on how I feel, actually wait longer than that. We'll see. I have arthritis and it does limit things like stair climbing which so far, I don't have to worry about. It's something I need to consider before asking for more hours. The pain might not be worth it. Also? Some of these senior buildings have periodic outbreaks of bed bugs. I'm not sure I'd want to take cases in those 3 buildings.

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