Musings

Just a Little Respect

Whether you’re a fan of Erasure or Wheatus (personally I quite like both), you’ll know that all we want sometimes is a little respect from one human being to another.

It’s been a bit of a year for me, employment wise. I’ve had a lot of let down. And when I say employment I mean as in I am a boss.

If you know me or have been following my blog you will realise that I have the sort of disability that means I have an assistant to ‘assist’ me in everything I do. Now I can use agency to supply me with this support, but for some crazy reason I decided to employ my assistants myself. I’m not totally crazy, my thinking is that I’d like to have a say in who I spend a huge chunk of my day to day life with.

My fussiness of employing my own PA’s means that I have inadvertently become a boss. I have no training in running a business, employing staff, I studied Art for goodness sake, nobody in their right mind would ever employ me to manage their business and their staff. In theory that is what I do almost everyday of my life.

I run a small business of people keeping me alive, sane (mostly), and independent. And it’s all worth it when I do find Miss Right, I have some brilliant assistants.

Recruit, rota, organise, annual leave, sick, risk assessment, timesheets, pension, disciplinary procedure, are all common language to me.

I am currently in the process of recruiting a new PA, which means job adverts, interviews and the like. Sometimes that flows nicely, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes I wonder where all the unemployed people that I hear exist actually are!

And sometimes people just baffle me.

It starts with me writing an advert, then interested folk contact me. Some just reply informing me they are interested in the job (so many obviously haven’t read the advert properly), I reply asking to hear more about them. Sometime they answer. Sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they then say loads about themselves, but ‘oh I can’t drive’, or ‘oh I can’t work out of school hours’ or ‘oh, I’m only free Wednesdays if that’s any help’ (not really, no, it isn’t). When the advert clearly states what is required. Some send a cv. Some don’t. Some then find other jobs the day I’m meant to meet them. All in all I contact back and forth say 20 people that week. But end up meeting 4. But then 2 don’t come. Or they come and are totally not right for the job.

Back to the subject of respect (as you’re probably wondering where my ingenious title came from!).

So I organised two interviews one evening last week and the first of them never turned up. A no-show.

(This isn’t the first ‘no-show’ of my career as a boss, maybe that justifies this oncoming rant a little more)

Ok so maybe I wasn’t going anywhere, maybe I was just going to sit and watch Netflix all night. But that’s not the point. I have every right to do that.

People could show a little more respect. It’s not an easy task, advertising, interviewing your own assistants.

It’s hard enough having to rely on an assistant for everything you do. But to be able to find a suitable one, can be quite a challenge! I have to spend a large amount of time with these people. Every hour bar the ones I’m asleep really (and even then they are usually in the room next door). I’ve had PAs say to me before ‘do you know I probably spend more one to one hours with you than I do my partner!’ Which is probably true. They say don’t get involved, don’t get too close, I shouldn’t know about my employees family and they shouldn’t know about me. But is that practical? They’re not some special agent keeping every factor of their job/life a secret. We are bound to talk about our lives outside of the PA employer relationship. As well as they are bound to talk about work at home.

I know more about my PAs than I do much of my family. I know their quirks, what they like to eat, what they’re having for dinner tonight, I know their likes, their dislikes, their interests.

Anyway back to the issue at hand. If you are applying for a job or going to an interview, whatever the position or circumstances, please take into account the person at the other end of the situation. The person trying to employ. It’s not easy, for any business I imagine, but especially when you’re somebody like me, with little clue and its needs must. It takes a lot of work and time. For me I have to make sure I’m free, my house is free, my Mum is available (as she lives here), I get anxious that I need to find Miss Right. I need to make sure I ask the right questions, choose the right applicant, somebody I’m going to spend hours of my life with.

We are on edge, want to get comfy, relax, but there you are keeping us waiting in the unknown. Will she come? How late is acceptable? How late means not coming at all?

When you just don’t turn up, yes I get frustrated, I get annoyed, angry even. I’m a person you are letting down, a person that you don’t know yet yes, but a person you have so little respect for that you don’t even consider messaging me to say you’ve changed your mind, something has come up. I contact you worrying maybe something has happened, but then I see you’ve read my message and fume even more that you don’t have the decency to reply. Yes you probably feel bad, embarrassed, ashamed. I really hope you do!

I really don’t get it. Tell me you’ve changed your mind, fair enough. Got another job, fine. Something came up, life happens. But just have the decency to contact me.

People should be thoughtful and compassionate and considerate to their fellow humans. Most of us are just trying to get by, doing what we must to survive with an aim of being content.

Well I am.

Is there any respect left?

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66 thoughts on “Just a Little Respect”

  1. Sadly, this does seem to be a reflection of society as a whole at the moment. There’s a focus on the self rather than on others and their needs. And, having been an employer myself in the past, I’ve experienced what you’re talking about. But it’s also true when it comes to people we are buying a service from – plumbers, builders, utilities providers. In fact, service seems to be very low on their agendas. None of this offers a solution, Gemma. If anything, it only adds to the frustration.
    In your own situation, of course, you’re looking for someone who will be considerate. If they turn up for the appointment, I guess they go to the top of the list!
    In spite of my comments, I do know that there are some complete stars out there who will go the extra mile. When you find them, you need to do everything you can to keep them!
    Good luck with your search.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you’re right, there is a lot of focus on ‘self’ recently, which can be a good thing, as we need to take care of ourselves to be able to care about others. But sometimes we need to take into consideration the impact our actions have on on others.
      Yes, good service is indeed hard to find. In a way a service is what I am buying into.
      There are some stars out there yes, and I have had the pleasure to know some!
      Thank you for stopping by and for your support.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. There is little I find more galling than no-shows. That utter lack of respect, excepting emergencies because emergencies can and do happen, is inexcusable. I’m an anxious freak about timeliness, so for me arriving on time is arriving late (I know, I need a support group, I DO!). Not showing for an interview as a personal assistant says a lot about the employee, I’d venture to guess. Easy to say you’re better off without, but. . . Good luck with the business transaction, Gemma!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That’s very disrespectful. I used to get that a lot when I ran my therapy practice. People not showing up for their treatments. So frustrating! Such a time waster. I’m sure in your case it’s more annoying as I can imagine it’s not easy picking the right person for the job. But I think you’re doing the right thing in choosing your own assistant. If it was me I’d want to do the same! Good luck Gemma!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The world is cruel place according to me. People no longer respect and treat others well. I was a friendly person but now i just stay to myself and talk to people only when necessary. I am.content in mybcurcke, you can’t expect the world to respect others anymore.
    It’s as though something went horribly wrong and now everyone is pissed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is. Trouble is because I choose to interview and employ people of my choosing there is no body else involved. I advertise myself, select myself and then interview myself. So it’s all just between me and the applicant. I do wish there was a way to report this kind of thing to future possible employers.

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      1. Sorry to cut in Gemma, but is there an independent/inclusive living centre near you? While I did all my own recruitment, I did have an employment advisor from the local centres where I lived (not the JobCentre). They helped me with advert placement, provided a neutral interview space, and I reported any no-shows, etc to them. Also is there a PA employer peer support network anywhere near you as well?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Absolutely cut in, thanks. I use an organisation to help with wages etc. They hold the funds on my behalf. They can assist with advertising. I didn’t know I could potentially report no-shows to them? Do you know what they can do about the no-show? If I have advertised privately?

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      3. Ah thank you. The organisation I use do have a database as such where you can have a profile as a PA. But living in a countryside area I don’t find many locals on there, as maybe I would in a big city. I don’t know. I find I have to advertise to a larger audience. I’m always open to suggestions though!
        Things are looking up a little at the moment, I’ve made progress since my rant 😊

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  5. Nope…there isn’t. As a school counselor, I (we) try to instill many of these soft skills in our students, but you’d be amazed at the lack of common sense and common decency kids are being raised with. It isn’t being taught at home. I realize you are speaking about adults, but I guess that’s why the next generation isn’t getting the message, either.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you.
      Yes I’m afraid people are becoming too wrapped up in themselves sometimes to consider the thoughts of others.
      I wonder why it seems like self respect and respect are becoming more sparse?
      Your mention of self respect made me think.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Appearance to decent common courtesy were common place when we grew up [yes I must be over 50 LOL]. Now wearing PJs and not opening doors or giving up your bus seat for the elderly is now acceptable for many. I have told young kids get off their ass and let an elderly woman sit down. Most times I just get off my seat for them instead of asking a young person 🙂 Basically if you don’t love yourself you really can’t love anyone else can you?

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      2. Very good point. Respect starts with yourself, and at home.
        I’m 32 and I wouldn’t dare disrespect my Mum or anyone else for that matter!
        I can see it is becoming seen as a generation thing. And I think in part it is. But I also think it depends on upbringing. I’ve know some extremely respectful teens, strangers, holding open doors for me etc. And then a 40+ person pushing through or letting a door close in my face.

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  6. No, there isn’t a lot of respect left in the world, it seems 😦 No one wants to think outside of their own specific little bubble and what’s happening to them and only them. I have a friend who has a PA to assist her also, as the government supplied assistants seemed to think that her accessibility issues came and went with their schedule somehow! It sounds like you have been doing an absolutely stellar job!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comment.
      Yes the government/agency support definitely isn’t up to scratch. Life is 24/7, and it’s the same if you have a disability, you can’t plan things in to a time slot. Life can be restricting enough without being limited further.
      It does seem people a living more and more in a bubble of their own. I wonder why?

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  7. I can’t understand some people’s attitudes either. I’m so sorry you’ve been let down. Not contacting people to let them know if you can’t attend -an interview or an appointment is so disrespectful.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh Gemma! I feel you!
    I hope you have great success. I can only offer my cliche, that they just weren’t the right Miss Rights. The right one will come along.
    In a similar vein, I had someone contact me from LinkedIn in saying ‘we have a role, you look like a great fit’ I replied saying ‘yeah, sounds like a great role, I am interested’
    I sent my CV and now I’ve heard nothing.
    It works both ways.
    A simple bit of contact to close the loop would be so helpful.
    I hope respect is left.
    I guess, not everyone is like you and I

    Lots of luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it was not meant to be! I’m also better to be let down by a no-show now, rather than later when I am relying on them!
      It does work both ways. That’s annoying for you, you’re right just some contact either way so you know where you stand would be very helpful.
      Maybe we expect too much from others, and that everyone plays with the same rules.
      Thanks, I have since made a little progress in finding a Miss Right!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m sorry to hear this happened to you. I don’t know how it feels to interview for an assistant, but I’ve had potential clients book in appointments and then not bother to tell me they weren’t going to turn up. Sometimes I think people think that their schedules are the only ones that matter. I guess the only good thing here is that you saw what this person was like straight away and didn’t give a job to someone who wouldn’t take your thoughts or feelings into consideration.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I think you’re right. It’s probably good she let me down from the start, rather than impress and then bail!
      I agree, sometimes people are too wrapped up in their own lives to consider the affects it has on others.

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  10. Gemma, I could not agree more, and Im sorry you are experiencing this. Up until January this year I had a business, and employed staff. It was the hardest and most mentally challenging thing ever! I feel your pain. People don’t seem to have the same integrity that we would afford them, and the lack of understanding of how their “no shows” affect us always amazed me. I hope that it all gets better for you, you may have to kiss a few frogs hahaha xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I may! Haha.
      Maybe sometimes we expect too much from people, assuming they have the same considerations as values as ourselves.
      Yes it is extremely challenging sometimes, being a boss. I don’t think people always understand how difficult. Just because it’s not a large business doesn’t mean I don’t have to follow the same guidelines. It’s a time consuming role isn’t it?
      I’m glad to find someone with an understanding!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Couldnt agree more. Im sorry yoube had to deal with such rude people i mean manners cost us nothing. Ive also been on the recieving end of this but from possible employers can you believe? It truly baffles me. Good luck in your recruiting and just know if they dont show then maybe they werent right for you in the first case x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Yes, if they don’t even have the compassion and decency to contact me then it wasn’t the right job for them!
      You’re right, manners and respect don’t cost a thing.
      I’m sorry you’ve had awful experiences from the other side. I hope that I am a good boss, I try to be!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Yes the joys of looking for carers, you took the words out of my mouth. Plus it’s nice knowing others like you, going through complications of carers, time consuming, energy consuming (the tiny bit we have). Hope you find right care x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s nice to hear I’m not alone in my struggle. It is very time and energy consuming, and like you say, some people have little energy in the first place!

      I noticed you also wrote about you’re first trip to Five Guys (I had a little nose and followed your blog!) I wrote about my first Five Guys visit not long ago 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I worked as a PA for a wheeler for 2 and a half years and saw quite a few others come and go too. The disrespect sadly happens everywhere, I don’t think people understand just how important the PA job is to the one who will be employing you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for stopping by and commenting. It is great to hear a point of view from a PA!
      Yes I agree, although it can sometimes be a difficult relationship, wheeler/PA. Keeping professional and sometimes turning into friends.
      I do find that many applicants don’t take the job seriously, like not applying properly, turning up to interviews, being too relaxed because it is an individual you are working for rather than a company.
      It can also be very difficult for the wheeler to be a boss, to discipline and direct.
      Thanks again for your input.

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  14. I’ve been employing PAs since I was 17, in preparation for Uni. You’ve explained all the behind-the-scenes more eloquently than I have chosen to over the years. Thank you, Gemma. xox

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comment, means a lot coming from a blogging superstar!
      It really can be quite a challenge can’t it? Worth it when you find someone brilliant. But so time consuming. As is a lot of disability – time consuming.

      Like

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