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I can't quit my job. I'm not permitted to work off site, although it is easily done in my work environment.

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Sounds to me like you already have the skills to handle this. Look at it this way you manage construction crews..big projects that require a lot of planning. Put those planning skills to use in hiring a personal assistant for living for your parents. When I worked for a doctor as a PAL his daughter in law ran the whole show, she hired me, put me in charge of doctor visits, meals, entertainment, shopping for the doctor. She managed me just like she did her business and it was wonderful. The doc was happy, and the family was able to continue working. Planning is the key. Take some time find the right person and use your skills to put it all together. If someone comes in to help now there will be no train wreck down the road.
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In our parents time grandparents came to live with them. My grandmother had 8 kids after raising them she had her Dad and sister. We as children have to stand up for ourselves. Our parents need to understand that we can't give up jobs and responsibility to our families. We should tell them what we are able to do anything else they need to hire or research agencies that can help. Also, not everyone is able to stay in their homes. Have them evaluated and that person explain to them options. Better coming from someone else.
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Is it possible to make up time over a weekend, such as coming in on a Saturday? I've done that in the past. I actually got more work done because no phone were ringing and less interruptions but many bosses may not see it that way. Luckily I work in a 24/7 environment so even though my regular hours are mon-fri, working on a Saturday or sunday occasionally isn't that unreasonable.

My thought is always though, who will do this for ME when its my turn? I certainly will not expect my children to do this. I'm going to see if I can get as much care as possible in house and if I can't at some point exist independently, then I will check myself into an AL situation. I just don't understand why our parents generation thinks they are entitled to having their children ruin their careers, relationships and lives for them. As a good friend pointed out, her parents came to this country and LEFT their parents to fend for themselves in the old country and never looked back. Many of us are children or grandchildren of immigrants who did exactly the same thing! No one considered them thoughtless or selfish. Its interesting that this generation feels they must give back everything, including their soul for their parents in gratitude for raising them. Anyway, I found that my friend's observation interesting.
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Is there someone over your boss? An HR department? If so, she isn't the onlyone who can help. HR maybe able to help. Maybe you can work half the day and work from home the other.
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First working for a woman can have its problems. Not many companies are sympathetic to family problems. There is always someone out there glad to get your job. As said before, your future has to be look forward to. I realize parents can be stubborn but they need to see the childs side. If you can't get through maybe a doctor or Social Service person can explain that you need to be able to work.
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I think Igloo makes some good points. Looking at the situation from the negative angle, your boss doesn't understand and probably won't. She lives in a different world. Is there any way you can help her understand? I don't know. I think someone has to have some experience in caregiving to realize the demands it creates.

What you can do is protect yourself by planning for an unfortunate outcome. If you haven't already, start inventorying the jobs you've managed, problems that have arisen and how you solved them, etc. Inventory the various skills you've used - dealing with tradespeople (probably many men), managing multiple trades, integrating them into a project, project management tasks, construction scheduling, maybe some CPM scheduling as well. These are valuable skill sets.

If you can carve out any time, start networking in trade groups. I once joined a project management group, at which one of the meetings was a blend of knowledgeable and highly placed, visible people in various aspects of project management of a massive utility project. I made a few good contacts; didn't hurt that there were only 2 women there - myself and one of my co-workers.

If you have the nerve, and I'm not sure I would, have a frank talk with her and ask her if she's planning any drastic action, and if so, what solutions can be created to avoid a dismissal. I know it's hard to think in those terms, but you do want to be prepared to preserve what I suspect is a challenging and promising career.

If you don't have time to socialize with the management of the various trades involved, try to get more acquainted with them so you can use them as references.

Don't forget the government folks as well; I'm sure you're dealing with building inspection departments. Even though I doubt many would stick their necks out to give recommendations, there are some. That's how I found a plumber decades ago.

And in fact one of the projects on which I worked was eased along by compliments from the community's building staff to our client, which had brought us in b/c of difficulty with the local building department.

Dealing with architectural and inspection folks can grease the skids to keep a project moving and get an occupancy cert issued. These are important skills, so cultivate those folks and perhaps they might be supportive if anything unpleasant happens.

And, if a worse case seems to be materializing, think about part time, FMLA, or even resigning voluntarily; it'll look better on your resume than an involuntary departure.
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I HAD a boss who said family matters quite often. It turned out when I put that statement to the test that he was thinking only of his family. When I drove my mother to the hospital one night due to stomach pains, I ended up picking her up 4 hours later (1am). I got about 3 hours of sleep that night and went to work anyway. Within an hour (9AM) I asked the boss if I could leave
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If your employer is small, there are few protections for you. It's their way or your toast -that is the reality of smaller business structure in the US. What I'd be concerned about is that your boss has indicated that your performance is problematic. If you were to be dismissed, you may not be able to get unemployment benefits & you would have no decent references. It sounds like she is not ever going to be supportive of your caregiving duties. She has no reason to in her viewpoint. Forget about her; you need to make all this a positive for you.

Personally I'd try to work out a dismissal in the near future that allows you to file for unemployment benefits & get a decent reference right now while you have current projects and some negotiating room in all this. Ask your clients if you can list them as refernces. Go through your files to get names, etc now for future work needs. During the unemployment period, you find a caregiving situation for your folks so that you can go back to work at another firm say in 2 years. Try to find out if getting unemployment allows you to have a part time job with income & if so what the limits are. Id bet yiumare allowed to make a few hundred a mo in part time "work". You want your folks to do a personal care contact with you to pay you right under the unemployment income limit if so. Doing this keeps your own SScredits building and add a bit to your income during this period. Contract if done by atty are totally legit for Medicaid.

My crystal ball is a bit hazey but it seems to show that mom will have an incident within the next 2years & need to go into a NH. Dad gets in NH or AL. Being on unemployment with its flexible time constraints will be almost ideal. Plus you will need to look for a new job and utilizing the states unemployment database could find one with even better projects & clients than the old company ever had. Make this a win win for you.
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Hi all - good question, good responses. We always have to watch how we appear at work, not just what we do, IMO. I wouldn't be surprised if you're feeling a bit guilty about work, and that can feed into it. So try and have more confidence, too. I agree with 'get help' - firstly, I'd get help with this question! Find a counselor or life coach, now, to help you negotiate through all of this as it ensues. S/he can help with the approach at work, and at home. Sounds like you are single, full time, like I am - I engage a number of helpers, and #1 is a counselor/coach.
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I have been in each of these positions as, boss, employee, and caregiver. First, don't blame your loved onr if you choose to give up your job and/or try to do it all. No matter what, YOU are making that decision not them. In all circumstances there are now solutions to getting extra help and/ or in placing them somewhere safe. Under no circumstancs try to care for someone with dimentia without professional help! Not only can you end up jailed and/or wrongly charge with something, you could end up dead before the person with dementia. Do not under estimate the possible danger to yourself or them! Everyone needs professional help because no one is born knowing how to handle these things and too few of us take the classes we will need. On average it takes three people to care for someone, two full time and at least one parttime. As for the boss. You may have a job where instant answers are needed even if you don't 'see' it that way. In addition, if your boss is overly dependent and/or poorly suited for their job you canexpect that, you and not they will be blamed. In the long run, either leaving and/or placing your loved one must happen.
In my case, I opted for making someone's care my new job, and it turned out that saved my life because I was so caught up in the job thatI wasn't doing what I should have for my health, si it was only learning ehst I needed to properly care for someone else, I got a chance to save myself. This isn't going to be true for everyone, however, if money, power, and/ or influence, are any driving forces for choices, your choices will always be wrong. Get help!
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First of all, ignore the people here who are all "me, me, me." Next consider your options. These include aids and companions who can do some of what you do but not all of it. Reserve for yourself such tasks as going to the doctors' appointments. (See katiekat2009's post.) If your parents are eligible for medicaid, start that process.

Call a meeting with your boss and explain to your boss what is going on with your parents. At this meeting also go over how your work is not suffering but rather continuing to be of the highest quality. Give the boss handouts about caregiving. Communication is key.
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You hire day time help for your parents. The caregiver i hired for my mom cleaned, cooked, personal care, meds, took her to the store, and dr visits (where I met them). She was a Godsend! I was able to keep my job that way and only used FLMA when she went into hospice.
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It's a tough spot.

I'm in the same boat, starting to hear rumbles of discontent about how often I need to run out to take MIL to an appt. or pick up a kid from school. My review is coming up, so I've started making a small list of what I do around the office that is "extra" - so they can see that although they are "putting up with" some difficulty with me, I also go above and beyond for them. Hoping this will help compensate and appease some of the grumbles.

You might try that, making a list of things you do that go above and beyond. Hopefully you can show them that overall you are an asset to the company. And someday your boss will likely know about how hard this juggling act is, because it will happen to someone in her life :(
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I'm new to the website and am so thankful for your thoughts. Fredflyer, I'm in exactly the same situation, no live in, hands on (yet) and it's more addressing urgent matters, Doctor spots, hospital testing. To make matters even worse is that my father, who is 8 yrs younger has a host of his own issues which also requires my assistance too. They both try hard to depend on one another. I already see the train wreck coming down the track.

My moms biggest ongoing issue is extreme memory loss due to a stroke. Most days she depressed and irritable with a "my life sucks" disposition. Hard not to get resentful considering all I'm dealing with because of her. Of course, then I feel guilty for that and then get resentful of my boss and my mom, then everyone in my life. Lastly I get mad at myself for the pity party, poor me, BS.

It's a never ending circle of emotions that I can't pull out of anymore. It's only going to get worst too. UHG!
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You have an interesting predicament- a woman in a man's world handling a challenging and difficult job, while working for a woman who climbs the corporate ladder like a man and has no family ties to integrate into her work life.

I can understand that a construction manager should be on the job; if something goes wrong you may need to make instant decisions. I'm wondering though if you can train promising tradeswomen or tradesmen as assistants, gradually accepting more and more responsibility so that they can support and/or substitute for you in the event of an emergency. The bottom line should be that all events and possible on site issues are addressed timely, safely and within budget. Is there a way that you can create workarounds that meet these criteria but still allow you time for caregiving?

I've been thinking of the tradesmen who've provided work for me; their boss is rarely on site, and has assigned specific individuals with specific tasks; they keep in touch by cell phone and send photos if an issue arises. But the boss has to have confidence in his/her employees in order to extend this responsibility. Do you have workers that could be trained to support you in this manner?

I'm wondering how long your boss has been in the business, and if she still feels a need to prove herself which is part of wanting you on site all the time. I'm wondering also if this is a WBE contractor or subcontractor and your boss reports to another contractor which might be influencing her decisions.

Is it possible that you could do the paperwork at home but spend the supervision time on the job site?

This is an interesting and challenging situation, one in which a woman who might otherwise be sympathetic doesn't even understand the basic issues you're facing.

Wish I had some better suggestions.
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One thing about FMLA, it is only 90 days worth of time during an one year time span where the company guarantees that your job will still be waiting for you.

I am so glad I never used FMLA to use for my parents because I came down with a serious illness that required surgery and I needed every single day of FMLA for myself.
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Cclarkphxaz, I had a boss like that, too. She had no clue what I was dealing with, and here I wasn't a hands-on caregiver, it was just all the doctor appointments and other days off for whatever.... I used up all my vacation days, sick days, and days with no pay.

Me being out of the office didn't sit well with the boss. Eventually headquarters eliminated my position because it noticed that other employees were able to share my work. Gone was an excellent job that had great benefits such as matching 401(k), health insurance, profit sharing, paid tuition, etc.

I was heartbroken, and very resentful of my parents because they could have changed but were too stubborn in their ways. If they could have changed, I would still have that fantastic job.
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FMLA if possible
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Tell mom not to call you at work. We had to do the same. If she needs a housekeeper, hire one. Get her a medical alert pendant if she is prone to emergencies. If she is starting fires in the kitchen, consider Assisted Living.
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I agree completely. Unfortunately my job doesn't provide the option for temps. I manage construction projects and new builds for my company. I love my job; it keeps me sane. I am fully capable of doing my job occasionally off site. Even when I need to be out I stay connected and my projects always move forward regardless of where I physically seated. My boss just doesn't like it and has no frame of reference when it comes to family demands. She's never has to experience it. Luck boss.
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Your boss depends on you, so you need to be dependable. If you need time away, use your family or vacation leave so he/she can hire a temp to do your job. It would be nice if we were like some European countries that work fewer hours each week and have longer vacations.
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