Friday, January 13, 2006

Honesty Is Hard to Come By

In my search for Personal Care Attendants (PCAs) I have learned much about the nature of people, and I did not like what I saw. The most troubling is that honesty is a rare virtue these days. As part of the hiring process I have prospective PCAs meet me at the local Borders bookstore for an interview after I pre-screen them on the phone. Of the 16 people I have set up interviews with over the past 2 weeks, only 6 have shown up - that is a miserable 37.5%!!! Of the 10 that did not show up, only 2 called me before their appointment to say they couldn't make it, and 1 let me know afterward why they missed. After the first round of interviewing I had two very qualified people in mind to hire, both with seemingly outstanding personalities, and both turned me down because they found other jobs. Now, I realize that withholding truth isn't always considered lying, and I realize looking for multiple jobs at once is common practice. However, what isn't honest is the way in which people lead me on. They show up and act as if this job is this great opportunity that they are excited about. The one guy that I really thought was good for the job, I told he had the job, and he said he was REALLY EXCITED about making a change in his life and coming to help me out. Then I asked him to come over for training on the weekend so he could start by the next week. On Thursday night we set up a training time for Saturday morning - no problems so far. Saturday morning comes - he doesn't show up. I call him, he says he slept in and he has outstanding tickets, he needs to take care of on Monday, but that he could come by later, since his friend could drop him off. Being the understanding and forgiving guy that I am, I let this by as he seemed to be telling the truth. I asked that he just come by sometime on the weekend for a training and then start work on Tuesday. It is not until Sunday night that I call and he FINALLY tells me he got another job. He dragged me along all that time when I could have been looking for someone else.

The second time around, I find two more people that I want to hire. I called one girl back, and that was on Thursday night (it is now Friday night), and then called her again tonight - NO REPLY. Keep in mind that this girl was very chatty and had a cell phone, which went off during our interview. She struck me as the type of girl who doesn't miss calls or messages. No answer, no callback, no nothing. Not even a courtesy call.

Now, just so we do not give up on the entire human race, there were some honest people. The second lady that I wanted to hire, wrote me back (in e-mail, because she had responded to an online ad) immediately after I said the job was hers and let me know she needed to think about it because the drive and pay might not be worth her time. This is very much understandable considering the price of gas, the distance she would have to travel, the number of hours I was offering, and the seemingly low pay. Also, another lady told me straight out after she missed her interview that she transposed her appointment times for her appointments for the day and asked nicely for a re-do but understood if I refused. Another lady called before to tell me she was sick and asked nicely for a re-do if possible. Was she sick? She sounded sick, but I guess you can never tell. Regardless, she had the courtesy to actually give me respect by calling me before her interview. This was especially nice because I was about to embark on a 1 mile trip in my wheelchair in 30 mph winds to get to the Borders.

In sum, hope is not all lost, even though true honesty, respect, and common courtesy is in short supply. I depend on PCAs to live my life and be independent. It is important that I hire a PCA ASAP since my life, independence, and dignity depend on it, and people are playing me as if I was McDonalds. If it wasn't for my girlfriend working overtime without pay, I would surely have either had to 1) move in with my parents or 2)move into the nursing home because I would have had no help. If I do not find someone by Tuesday and Wednesday I might have to drop some or all of my classes at Rockhurst! So as you can see this position isn't just any old job, and I try to let people know that, and yet they still can't be upfront with me. As I said, true honesty is hard to find.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is important that I hire a PCA ASAP since my life, independence, and dignity depend on it

You have dignity no matter what.