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I just met- and interviewed- a woman recommended to help me out with my parents. She had taken care of her dad who passed away years ago. Even though all of her work background is clerical, she is well-versed on the care job. I fully expected to not only hire her, but to also hire her fulltime because she wants full-time and I could use someone full- time.
I've been through 4 agencies in the past year and each of them sent women who just sit and look at their phone while I run around doing chores. This woman worked for an agency briefly and knew about that being a common complaint. We discussed it several times so she knows I won't tolerate that. I found out later she doesn't even have a cell phone, much less a smart phone.
As sure as I was that I would hire her full-time, I'm having second thoughts and wondering if I should hire her even part-time.
Issue #1 was readily apparent. She has a LOT of "personal insulation", and we've had really hot weather, so she sweats a lot. When I was showing her around, her sweat smell, which was not fresh sweat but hours-old sweat, was strong and pungent. Not wanting to be superficial, I thought I'll just keep my distance from her at all times. Several hours after she left and Mom/Dad had gone to bed, I laid down on the sofa to mull over the hours I should give her. I noticed the sofa had a sweat stench. When I turned over and put my nose near the seating part where she had sat, it was worse, and not just sweat.
I told myself I'd just hire her for the earlier part of the day when she's fresher and it hasn't been as long since her shower.
Now I realize I overlooked something else. Our interview should have lasted an hour. It lasted just under 3 hours. I had a difficult time keeping her on track and on topic because she had advice for everything. It didn't feel like her bossing me around or telling me how I'm doing everything wrong. It felt more like her wanting to show me how much she knows.
But, I'm concerned that she's not going to be able to stop giving unsolicited advice and won't be able to buckle down and work when needed. And I'm not going to be able to get things done either because of it. I reigned her back in once when she went off topic for far too long about how I need to give Dad Omega 7 and 9. I thought she'd never stop talking about it so I bluntly told her we need to get through the interview because I was short on time. She apologized and we went on, but later I had to make more attempts to get back on topic.
I'm also worried about being able to reach her if necessary because I called her 5 times in the morning to tell her I wanted to do an interview instead of the "trial" we'd planned. She wasn't home but also has no voice mail. And with no cell phone either, how will I reach her when she's out with Dad at his daily noon mass while I'm home with Mom? I could buy a cheap phone for her but what if I decide not to keep her on?
ALL that said, she's generally nice and knowledgeable. And I really, really need help. Should I try her out or would I just be getting more frustration?

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UPDATE: I decided not to hire her and am SO glad because it's taken an odd turn.
Because of her lack of phone access and no voice mail, I told her in email the next day, so as not to leave her hanging. That was about 2 weeks ago and today I got an email from her, politely demanding payment for the interview, both because it went so long and because she believed she was coming over for a "trial", not an interview.
In my reply I reminded her that I had called her several times to change it to just an interview, not a "trial", but since she was out and has no caller ID or vm, it seems to her that I didn't call, but that is not my fault or concern.
I also reminded her that I had to interrupt her advice-giving more than once and ask her to stay on track so we could get through the interview.
AND I also reminded her that I tried to end the interview several times though I'm not sure she was paying attention.
Because she missed my calls, I had told her before the interview that Dad had been late for therapy 2 days earlier and I would NOT let that happen again so it would not last that long AND instead of "trial work", I needed to interview her, esp since she brought no resume' or references.
The fact that it still went longer was her own doing and at no point did she help or assist me with anything. We sat the entire time, except for the last 5-6 minutes where we went back to the bedroom for her to meet Mom and so I could wake Dad to head out for his appt....
He got up and went to the bathroom and she and I went back to the den, so I could escort her out. Then Dad walked around and through the dining room instead of the den where she and I stood, on his way to the garage. She asked why he wasn't stopping to meet and talk to her. I said "because we need to leave for his appt", so she tried to follow him and help or talk to him, but I said, "the front door is this way", to direct her towards it. She kept talking and I said, "ok, ok, we've got to leave now" twice.
I really hope this doesn't turn out to be someone who cannot accept rejection. Lessons Learned: Never do 1st interview at the house. Meet the person first in a public place. Confirm and verify plans in email so it's all in writing.
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anonymous912123 Jul 26, 2019
Good, glad to hear this, watch those red flags in the future!
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When it comes to interviews, I think all of us at one time have felt very nervous and over talkative.... not to mention feeling like we had just walk through a rain forest before even stepping foot in front of the person who is interviewing us.

Note, if you are hiring someone who isn't part of an Agency, your parents would need to contact their insurance carrier to purchase a "workman's comp" policy so in case the employee becomes hurt on the job.

Then there is the question of payroll deductions. There are companies that will do payroll. You send the funds to them, and they will take out the required deductions, and mail the check to the caregiver.

When my Dad needed around the clock care, I used a nationwide caregiving agency that worked out great with having 3-shifts of caregivers each day. The Rep came to the house to see what is needed to be done, so we pretty much interviewed each other. My Dad was a major fall risk, so the caregiver had to time how she was going to do light housekeeping. While Dad was napping, I had no problem with the caregiver being on her cellphone, it was a break for her.

Now, I wouldn't be happy with excess cellphone use which I noticed is the norm with the much younger caregivers, and my Dad noticed that, too. Why society is so glued to their cellphones is beyond me, they are missing life around them. Dad said the younger caregivers were very inept at face to face communications :(
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Familyslave Jul 26, 2019
I haven't been given anyone's age who was sent by the agencies, but I'd say they ranged from 28-58. They all looked at their phones about equally, which was far too often for a 3 or 4 hour shift. I've had jobs where I had to go as long as 8 hours without looking at my phone. On film sets of well-known films (like The Hunger Games) we worked 15 hours days and had our phones taken away. We got them back for one half hour during that time.
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Red flags are waving in your face, pay attention. I have a friend like this woman, not the BO, but the blabbing, she definitely has cognitive issues, her mind is wandering, this is not good. Her personal hygiene would tell me "no way" right off the bat. Sounds like you are wanting to jump the gun, me, I'd keep looking.
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Familyslave Jul 13, 2019
I think I needed someone to throw water in my face. I think you just did. LOL....
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I know you're desperate, but she was most likely at her tip top very best for the interview! She has probebly been told by others that she talks too much and was likely trying to restrain herself. There is a fine line between "strutting your stuff" during an interview, and just being inappropriate. It sounds like she may not be able to identify these boundaries. She sounds friendly, but that know-it-all opiniony personality might get old really fast. And about the hygiene issue..... I know that we don't like to judge people, but if it was that bad, then your parents will also have to tolerate it all day....and it sounds like the Eau du Caregiver will last into the night. I'm sorry, but I couldn't do it. No matter how desperate I was. If you're nice and hire her now, it will be even more difficult to have to let her go down the road when it becomes intolerable. There's got to be a solution. Can Dad go to Adult Day Care while you continue your search? have you tried Care.com? You might find some good candidates there. Good luck!
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Familyslave Jul 13, 2019
I did try Care.com. An astonishing number of women on there (in this locale) have profile pics that are wildly unprofessional so I skip over the majority of them. I'm baffled by that site in general though since none of them mention work history. They all just write "I'm great for the job". And of those I contacted, none were willing to send a resume', or even a work history. So either they had not worked, or had jobs they weren't proud of/were fired from.
My parents' sense of smell is gone completely, which, in this case, is fortunate. But mine works well. I have more concern about being trapped in the car with her so I can take Dad to mass and have her stay with him. He can't handle AC, and it could get costly to have the car detailed as often as it might take to get the odor out.
Taking Dad to adult day care would mean him missing noon mass. He goes every day and is the ONLY thing that is important to him. It would also mean I'd have to go somewhere else to get him for Dr appts or PT, and that would be a bigger hassle so daycare would be more trouble than help.
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The smell would be a problem for me. And the sweating. I have to spray my car seat with Fabreeze every time I take my nephew somewhere.

I have a nephew with both problems. We thought it was meds, its not. I cannot do BO smells. It makes me sick. Can u stand it for 8 hrs and your parents too. The sweating means there is a problem. My nephew is overweight and his sweating is a sign of over exerting. Half way thru the day is she going to poop out? With my nephew its causing his BP to go up and his EKG was not good.

I think the not hiring someone because of weight is in public sector. I would think as a private individual hiring someone to work in your home, the laws would not apply to you.

U can always get a cheap cell phone thru Tracfone, pay as u go. That way u can keep in touch with her. But not being able to contact her would worry me. Her not keeping on topic would bother me too. I think this is going to lead to communication problems.

My opinion, keep looking.
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Familyslave Jul 26, 2019
you were right. See my update
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You have identified issues that shouldn’t be ignored.

She doesn’t sound like help. She sounds like more problems.

Aside from the phone, these are difficult to address issues.

Folks who have “too much information” are hard to stop. Not sure they are able.

Your entire home will soon smell. It could be her diet or her supplements or lack of soap.

I haven’t dealt with the hygiene problem but the talking/advice is so difficult when you just need to communicate and move on.

The phone is a problem not only when she takes your dad out but also if you need to reach her after hours etc. No VM. I’m assuming no text as well? I have one care taker now that doesn’t do either but she has a cell and a landline and if I don’t reach her immediately she calls me back when she sees I’ve called. So it hasn’t been as big of a problem as I was afraid it would be.

I would keep looking.
If you are desperate you could try her on the trial basis. She may have attributes that will compensate but when two of your five senses are affronted it would be difficult day in and day out.
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Familyslave Jul 13, 2019
very good points! Thank you! And yes, I sent a text to her but it came back as an "invalid number". I know that some landlines accept text msgs but apparently hers doesn't, maybe because she has no voice mail.
There could be many times I need to notify her of schedule changes, or other reasons to contact her.
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I’m not going to address all the issues you brought up, just some of them.

It was the “larger” women that were able to handle my mom (200 lbs. dead weight the best). The smell of your prospect is another issue, just don’t write off someone because of her weight.

None of my mom’s caregivers were CNA’s. They had all cared for a family member of some sort to some degree in the past.

The only caregiver to ever have a smartphone was the agency CNA who stole a check from my Mom. The agency caregivers were also so worried about “who was doing the most work”, there was continual problems & agency was fired.
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Familyslave Jul 13, 2019
thank you for your comments, Mollymouse. I don't believe, though, that anything I wrote indicated her weight is a problem for me. It was really just an explanation for why she sweats so much.
The RN to whom I did offer the job was also full-figured (though not as much) but she ultimately decided that taking care of her grandkids is all she can handle so she didn't take the job.
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I think you could find someone who was a better fit. I have been a care giver over 30 years and quite honestly the job requires you to do what is needed for those you are caring for AND the family. She gave out a lot of advice that you did not ask for and does not have the scope of practice to do so. In the end it is going to cause you more stress than anything else. I would say find someone else. Good luck!
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Familyslave Jul 26, 2019
yours was one of the answers that resonated for me. See my update on the odd outcome.
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I just wanted to mention the reality of job interviews these days. You can be invited to an interview in person, after taking an online test and maybe even a phone or Skype interview, a request to write a lengthy email explaing WHY you think you would be The Perfect Fit after looking over the links to their social media and websites, then be left hanging with NO email or phone call ever again. Not only are you not PAID for all the time, brain damage or gas you've wasted, you're not even given the common courtesy of their decision at the end of the miserable process. You may even be asked back for a second interview and face the same end result. It's really disgusting what potential employers put a person through these days. I have applied for 47 jobs recently, so I know from where I speak.
For this woman to have done what she did with her interview, and to then demand to be paid for YOUR time she WASTED just freaking blows my mind. Blows. My. Mind.
Thank God you went with your gut and did not hire her.
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I think if you re-read your original post, you would be able to reach an answer to your question. I would be surprised if you hire her
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Familyslave Jul 26, 2019
Ha! I did not, and so glad. See my update.
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