What had me so pissed off?

Okay, before you say it, I’ll type it. I know it’s better to be pissed off than pissed on.

It started late last night. I woke up from an evening nap, extremely hot and barely able to breathe. I checked the vents; sure enough, no air conditioning blowing through the vents. Dang it. So I play with the thermostat and nothing is clicking, right? Nothing is turning on. That’s about the level of my expertise with this stuff. So, I set it to off and when hubby wakes up, I inform him of the unfortunate event.

Well, he’s a little smarter about these things than I am, and so he checks the circuit breaker. Sure enough, it’s been tripped. So, he flips the circuit back on. Okay, it kicks in. But, before we can celebrate, the dang thing starts to smoke. We rush around as much as we can rush, and open all the windows that are able to be opened. We clear out the smoke and say, “oh well. Have to wait til tomorrow to be fixed.”

We keep the windows open, drag out fans and make do. Fine. No worries. We got a great AC guy who’s been fixing this damn thing since we moved in, right? Right. He can come out and fix it for real this time. I called my step-father who’s more knowledgeable about this stuff than Jerry is and ask him if he can take a look at it tomorrow… just look. Can’t touch it cause we don’t want to ruin any warranties but he can at least tell me what the problem might be: water, motor, wiring… you know? Okay, he agrees because he has to make a run to the dump for us anyway.

Well, some parts are burned out and our wonderful local  HVAC guy isn’t answering his phone. Bummer.

Then… last night, I was able to pass on money to purchase some books that I’m REALLY looking forward to reading so things were on an upswing. I was working on my writing a post when I realized I hadn’t yet done the budget for the month and so I hopped to it.

Oops. Too many bills and not enough money. I probably should’ve done the budget before I bought the books, yeah? No worries. I was able to finagle and finesse into a workable budget. When I get paid again, it’ll be better more still. So, no worries.

But that did raise my blood pressure some: no money, no A/C; hubby and I have COPD and it’s hard to breathe through hot air (85+ degrees). So, I was a little on edge, ya know? Cause hubby worries about money more than I do and his edginess was creeping over to me. Empaths… what can ya do with us?

So, I stayed up late. Studying, reading, and all that good stuff for school. I was tired by 4 a.m. and decided to go to bed. No sooner did I get comfy but that I then remembered I left my cell phone (a.k.a alarm clock) out in the van to charge. Hubby was already lying down too. So, I said to him, “I’ll get up in a minute and get it.” Well, I fell asleep. Just like that. First time in YEARS.

I remember vaguely his trying to wake me up to get the boys off to school. When I did finally wake up later on, I discovered the boys had not made it to school. Apparently, in my sleep, I told my husband that my youngest did not have any clean clothes. I don’t know what reason I gave him for my oldest. Was a little ticked that he couldn’t manage in my absence. Was a little ticked that Tomdoda couldn’t get himself ready. After all, he does it on his own every morning I’m awake. He just does as he needs to. No problem. But mom wasn’t up this morning so things didn’t go as well, I guess. Was a little ticked at myself for not getting up. But with cancer and the fibro, when I’m tired, I’m tired. There’s no waking me up after 2 hours of sleep.

So, I slept in a bit. About 10 a.m., Thom came into the room saying, “[The PCA] is here.” And I replied, “That’s okay. So is Daddy. She’s HIS PCA after all and not mine.” I was a little ticked that I had to supervise the PCA for him when technically she wasn’t servicing ME, after all. Did I mention I get real cranky when being woken up? Everything becomes a problem. A burden. An… Issue.

So, Thom replied, “But it’s Daddy asking for you.” And I groaned. He said, “There’s a problem.” I replied, “What kind of problem could there be?” Little did I know! Geesh!

Okay… so Daddy comes in and says, “You  need to wake up. NOW. “ in his firm Daddy voice. I was like “ut oh” cause I know that voice. That voice Is the one that says, “I’m ticked off. I’m so ticked off that I’m about to cause physical harm to another human being.” Now, I had that feeling myself, so it was easy to pick up on, yanno?

So, I finally sit up and ask, “What’s the problem?” And he, Daddy, replies, “It’s [The PCA]. She’s saying she can’t do the dishes and all sorts of stuff.” Wait up. Hold up a minute. She can’t WHAT? That’s her job. It’s literally in her job description.

So, I get up to go talk to her. She’s nervous. She knows Jerry (aka Daddy) is pissed off now. She’s afraid it’s at her. I can dig that. So I ask her what’s going on. She says, “Well. I was in the office on Friday. And they asked me how it was going and I told them everything was fine. Then they asked what all you guys had me doing and so I told them. “ I said, “Okay.” And she said, “Well, the basically told me I’m not supposed to be doing so many dishes. I’m only to do the dishes when I cook for Jerry, or if I need a clean dish to cook. I’m not supposed to do anyone else’s laundry either.” (Never mind that she’d only done one load in her entire time with us so far).

Now… lemme ‘splain something to y’all in case you don’t know this. These PCAs get paid to wash dishes, clean house, take out trash, do laundry, go on errands. Okay? That’s their job. Now, medicare and the state program says there is only so much time for each activity and that it can only be for the individual that is receiving services. I understand that my hours hadn’t been approved yet. The problem I had was, “I shouldn’t be doing so many dishes for y’all.” part of it.

What dishes? She was absent Wednesday because she was sick. She came Thursday and did half her time here and left after not really doing much because she still wasn’t feeling well. Fever and all. So, no problem. She was absent Friday because we failed to answer our phone. ( I was sleeping and Jerry didn’t recognize her number on the caller ID). When Jerry called her back she said she wasn’t going to come cause she had already started cooking her dinner and it was too late. She’d be there on Monday.

Now, here it is Monday and she’s doing too many dishes? WTF. Are you KIDDING ME? Seriously?

This is the brand-spanking new PCA. We’ve been eating out mostly the past two weeks for supper so there hasn’t been much dishes. I think we’ve had her for a half week the prior week, last week where she was absent 2.5 days, and now on Monday of this week. The first weekend, I made sure we stayed caught up on dishes and that on that Monday there were NO dishes in the sink. None. I had also done the breakfast dishes already. So, let’s go at it this way:

Last Monday: No dishes. I had done them (even though it takes me hours to do a single load in the dishwasher. All she had to do was put some clean ones away.

Tuesday: She did some dishes. These were the breakfast dishes from that morning: Jerry’s plate from his bagel and Bboy’s cereal bowl. Thom eats breakfast at school and I don’t eat breakfast. So, a plate, a knife, a bowl and a spoon. Okay? With me so far?

Wednesday: She’s absent for sicklyness.

Thursday: She spent the majority of the time telling me how sickly she still is and did a few dishes. Again, not many. Four dinner plates, four forks, a cereal bowl and a spoon. We had ordered pizza the night before.

Friday: She was absent.

Saturday/Sunday: her days off.

Monday: She’s complaining there’s too many dishes.

Now, yes, the first day she came there was a back up from us not having services for a few days. Well, close to what, a week? Okay, so because it takes me so long to fill a dishwasher, it gets backed up. But after that first day, there was never more than four serving plates and utensils in the sink. Seriously. I’ve cooked one meal that entire time. The rest of the time was either sandwhiches or take out. And the meal was this past weekend. So. There ya go.

Okay, not a problem. They asked her right? So she told them what she does: dishes/kitchen clean up when she first gets in. She then vacuums or cooks for Jerry depending on time. She gets 2 hours a day. Oh that’s right. She doesn’t use the freakin’ dishwasher!

When she first started, I told her I have a dishwasher. She said she’s never used one before and would be afraid of breaking it. I told her if she loads it up, I’ll start it. No worries. I’ll show her how to place the items in. Or tell her more accurately. I can sit on a chair and direct her. She still seemed uncomfortable with that, and so I said that my last PCA also did not like dishwashers. She didn’t trust them (took me a few years to get used to one too). And I said, by the by, this dishwasher doesn’t need you to pre-rinse the dishes. Just scrape any big stuff down the disposal and load it in (but for the most part, we rinse our dishes in the sink when we put them in there). I mean, we’re not SLOBS for crying out loud. But our last PCA used the dishwasher for a drying rack. I told this new one she could as well if she really didn’t want to use the dishwasher. So, really, the time she spent doing the dishes is her own fault here in my book.

So, I told Jerry to call the office and get it straightened out because “Kitchen” cleaning, which dishes was listed under that was on her task sheet for him. So he calls. He gets pushed over to the case managers’ boss. What an arse!

He kept telling me that what she said was right and I said, “Then why is “dishes” listed under his housekeeping tasks then?” That’s for ONLY when she cooks for him, he tells me again. I know he’s wrong. I’m not an idiot. So he agreed to send Jerry’s case manager out “sometime this week.” I ended up on the phone with the jerk because Jerry has no clue about what he’s entitled to and what he isn’t. I handle that stuff.

This boss man kept alluding to the impression he had of us: we’re lazy slobs who just want a maid. He… get this… actually suggested my 11 year-old autistic son be in charge of the dishes and laundry and any other chores we’re unable to do. Are You Kidding Me? Seriously??

I asked, “What part of autistic did you not get?” and then he mentioned again how *I* should be doing them. I said, “I have f’in cancer, dude. Really?” I don’t swear except when I get extremely upset. So here I am, ON THE PHONE, with a jackbutt… making me feel like I’m just some lazy slob. I can’t tell you how UPSETTING that is.

I’ve had fibromyalgia since 1997. However, it was not diagnosed until 2006. So, for that almost decade, I was told I was just being lazy. I just needed to get off my dead ass and work through the soreness. And so on. If anyone has fibromyalgia, they’ll tell you that it doesn’t always work like that. Yes, regular exercise can help but it doesn’t always work. There are FLARE-Ups. And with cancer, guess what? I don’t have anymore “good days” you sorry SOB! What a way to make a person feel so small… hit her where it hurts pal.


I can’t even describe the anger I had. I sent the PCA out on errands since we were out of eggs and that’s what Jerry wanted to eat. Since she couldn’t clean anything after all. **eye roll**

While she was out, Jerry called the office again to ask what day at least his case manager would be coming to visit. He wanted to pin down the “sometime this week” the boss man had said. Well, the case manager called back and Jerry spoke to him some. He then handed me the phone cause he wasn’t explaining it well, I guess. So, I told the case manager all of the above. Including the fact that the PCA said since Jerry only gets an hour for laundry, she can only load a washing since it takes my washer 55 minutes to run. The case manager was floored by that because he said (which I knew) it was a “multi-task.” They don’t count the time the machine actually runs. Just the amount of the time the PCA spends sorting, putting it into one machine and into the other. She’s to move on to something else, like CLEANING the kitchen or cooking a meal.

When I told him about the dishwasher thing, he was again flabbergasted. He said, that doesn’t make sense that she wouldn’t want to use it. I said, well I have witnesses to her saying it. And he said he believed I was telling the truth, just that it didn’t make sense to him.  Well, join the club buddy.

He also said that Jerry gets one hour a week housekeeping. If she had used the dishwasher, she could’ve done dishes 4 x a week (15 minutes each time). See? Am I stupid? It could be dishes, dusting, vacumming… whatever is under that portion of “Housekeeping.” We choose to have her do the things that are most challenging for us… dishes. Duh.

So he said he was gonna call into the office. I asked for a new PCA. I don’t know why but I just felt something fishy going on. I didn’t like it. He said okay he’d do what he could but if the staff was out at lunch, it’d have to wait til the a.m. cause he was going to be sedated soon. (His own health issues).

So, the PCA FINALLY comes back from the store with: a gallon of milk, 4 loaves of bread, butter and eggs. She claims it took so long because she couldn’t find an associate to help her get Jerry’s creamer so she didn’t end up getting the creamer. I have a feeling she stopped somewhere and called into the office. More on that later…

Well, my bath lady came today. I was not up to bathing because I had spent the day doing dishes and three loads of laundry. To sit in the shower was really just too much.  I’d have to raise my arms to get out of m clothes and that just was not gonna happen. Yanno?

Well, while talking to her, because I was still sooo upset over all of this and something was still bugging me about the situation, I told my bath lady about it. She said to me, “Really? I’m a PCA too, and I can tell you this. I’ve worked there for 7 years. They don’t care. They don’t care what the PCA actually does in the home so long as she enters the correct code when she calls in to clock on and off. If they’re saying something to her about the dishes, it’s because either YOU complained or SHE did. Otherwise, they don’t care. They don’t ask, “How’s it going?” Unless someone complains, they don’t care.” Well, since I know Jerry and I didn’t call and complain, I know it had to be her.

Remember that inordinate amount of time spent running to Wal-Mart for groceries? Yep. I betcha any amount of money she was calling to find out if they told us that she complained about the dishes or whatever.  Or, what I really think is, that the conversation never took place. The bath lady also said because we allow her to use the phone, there is no reason for her to GO to the office. Everything is done over the phone, there are no forms to send in or drop off or anything. She gets her check either mailed to her or direct deposited. Interesting, no?

Which reminded me of a conversation I’d had with this PCA her first day. I had said I liked the idea of the telephony system since it meant I didn’t have to sign countless forms, etc. She agreed and said “I know. I hated having to go into the office every week to turn in forms. Now I don’t have to with this system.”

Hmmmm…. No need to be in the office, so why would she be there?

Well, let’s just say she popped in for a matter like a meeting or something. Who knows. Let’s just say she was there. But… I still doubt that they asked her anything about it. I think she complained about the dishes and that she stopped on the way to the store to make sure her butt was covered. Because no one that we spoke to at the office mentioned her being in the office or the conversation. They were speaking of policy, only. It’s our policy type of thing.

So, she lied to me. I don’t feel sorry for her losing hours now because I can’t trust her. If she had been honest and just said it was a problem with us, it would’ve been fine. Even if she was in the office and had this conversation, I know it was HER that brought it up. So, it’s still a lie. I can’t trust someone who lies like that. AND didn’t feel comfortable enough with us to bring it to our attention. Something we asked for in the beginning. That if there was ever a problem to take it to us first because we’re tired of dealing with Adult Protective Services and she agreed. She broke that agreement; so she’s outta here.

I need someone who can cook and use a dishwasher anyway. Before we realized Thom had used the last of the eggs, she was gonna make some corned-beef hash for Jerry. It comes in a can. You open the can; you put into a fry pan; you stir it around; you brown it up and make it crispy and hot. That simple. She didn’t know how to do it after reading the directions, so I stayed there to explain it to her, step-by-step.

I’m tired of that. I want someone who can open a freakin’ can of meat and fry it up!

I want someone who isn’t afraid of a freakin’ dishwasher!

I want someone who knows how to multi-task appropriately.

I want someone who won’t lie to me.

I want someone who feels comfortable with saying, “Y’all, this is too much mess.”

I want someone who DOES THEIR FREAKIN JOB!

Is that really too much to ask? Really?

And then… she leaves.  And like I said, the bath lady came. I sent my husband with my step-fatherm when he showed up just after the brouhaha, to the dump for trash day. When he returned, I was in so much pain. I had a doctor’s appointment for myself and Thom. I sent hubby with Thom instead.

They came back an hour or two later to report that Thom has a new cream; and that they were unable to tell the doctor what meds Thom was or wasn’t taking. They weren’t able to tell the doc anything because I usually handle it. Ugh.

So I have to call the doctor’s office tomorrow to let the nurse know what Thom has been taking. And to find out what the cream is and what it’s for. LOL Jerry and Thom both forgot. Thom said “I think it’s for my itchy spots.” He has psoriasis or eczema.

So okay, that left the physical therapist. Lord forgive me when I type this, but I was never so glad to get the phone call saying the guy had surgery on Saturday and wasn’t making it today! THANK YOU LORD!

I was in NO shape to exercise today. None. Emotionally or physically. I’d be liable to hit the man at the first suggestion of moving my left leg.

Okay, that left one more “thing to do” on my list. Thomas. He wants an X-box 360. I told him the night before to package up all the components for the Wii system, and the games. I’d wash the games that night or this morning whilst he was in school. I told him, there’d be an 84% chance of us going to Game Stop tomorrow to turn it all in and see how much we get for it all. I always leave a percentage in case plans change.

I wanted them to change. I was sore, tired, cranky, pissed off. I didn’t WANT to deal with the game system thing because I knew we still wouldn’t get enough to buy the Xbox 360 AND two games to go with what Thom was planning on getting.

Now, if you know anyone with autism, if they have a plan in their head, once it is in the head, there’s no getting away from it… right? Right. So, knowing this, I dragged myself out of the house, albeit at 7:30 p.m. and went to Game Stop. Sure enough. System costs $199. We got back after all said and done: $115. I told Thom before we got there that this might happen. I told him, we’d get store credit, save allowance, and so on until we had enough. It’s not that far off. We’re pretty close actually. A lot closer than I originally believed. He’d also turned in his broken PSP. Can you believe they paid him $35 for that? Yeah, me too.

Well, when he heard we definitely did not have enough, a meltdown ensued. He’d been picking up on my crankiness all day (he’s also empathic). He was tired himself because it was so late, we still hadn’t had supper so I imagine he was hungry. And now he’s being told that his plan is ruined. And of course, if it does happen the way he wanted it to, WHEN he wanted it to, it was NEVER going to happen. So, he left the store and spent a few minutes in the parking lot letting off steam by kicking the tires on our van.

I’m actually proud. He could have melted down in the store and let out steam by destroying some of the near-by displays. He really wanted to as well. You could see it in his eyes, building up. He managed to contain it until he got outside. No, I don’t think it was appropriate to kick my tires and throw a fit like a two year-old because he didn’t get his way; but I am proud that he managed to contain the anger to the degree he did. It is progress!

So, in the midst of dealing with the lying PCA, I also had a child who had a plan and would not be thwarted off of the plan, plus the need to work, plus the need to complete school work, plus I was in pain, tired and grumpy. And then my husband.  He was also grumpy. We get on each other’s nerves a lot and he said a few insensitive things that I know he didn’t think about when he said them. They were off the cuff and not even intended to be mean.

The good news is, that this is now Tuesday. We called and were given a new PCA. She did more in the 1.5 hours that she was here than the last lady did in three days. She said, “I know how to use a dishwasher.” I was happy. She said, “I know how to cook,” and I was happy. She said, “Oh my mom has the same exact washer and dryer. I know how to use these.” And I was ecstatic.

She has two daughters and a son, ages 8 and 6. One of the girls is twins with the boy. The boy has special needs. It’s nice to have an understanding parent! Her son was recently diagnosed and so it’s nice to be able to discuss what has worked for us (one of the same diagnoses that Thom has) and what hasn’t. Who to see and who to avoid, maybe. LOL So, not only does she do her job, the way it needs to be done but she also has a real down-to-earth personality that I can dig. I am back to my normal happy self.


3 Responses to “What had me so pissed off?”

  1. May 4, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    Hugs, lady. Lots and lots of ’em.

    • May 5, 2010 at 2:26 am

      Thank you sooooo much. I need them right now.

      Turns out, my formula for math used in Excel for the budget? Faulty. I’ve got plenty left over. haha… I knew something went wrong! I hate math.

  2. July 15, 2014 at 7:12 am

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