25 Jan 2012

Post 327: This adding insult to injury, it's no fun

I hate using this as a place to grind an axe but this feels like the only place I have a voice anymore. In the last few posts I have been going on about how dreadful my carer situation is. Now, people can normally get on with their lives after people take the p*ss out of them but if people do it to me instead of me just walking away (the irony), I start wondering about whether in the long term it will impact my ability to survive and on an even more Darwinian level whether we, as a species, prey on those weaker than ourselves to get through life. I hope this isn't true, otherwise I'm f*cked. This delightful train of thought started when I discovered that my old weekend carer
(on the right) was stealing from me. Despite getting rid of him pronto, I haven't bothered getting him on the CRB list because the process is too onerous, the amount is so little and he's going back to Bangladesh. The other Bangladeshi chap in the picture Hassan, and his wife Agnesieka (the blonde lady) are my main carers and have been here since April, now since Christmas they have been doing as little as they can which has not made life easy for me, and it's bloody January
– one small mercy has been that they at least gave me a months notice at the end of December. I can't wait for them to go back to Bangladesh on Thursday 26th although they have been living here doing nothing since Monday (23rd) rather feeling like I've got squatters in the house plus as they live upstairs I can't even confront them, bastards. Here were people I trusted. I have tried to make the terms of caring for me as generous as possible with them living here for free including bills plus a cash 'sweetener' which I used to pay to put the arrangement on a more formal basis and to help cover transport costs to the dayjobs they assured me they'd look for. Instead they've just been dossing upstairs. In fact he is usually in too deep a sleep during the day to ever hear the front doorbell. My weekend carer has got exactly the right idea. She found a job almost instantly and thinks that if she lives here for nothing then she ought to look after the house and the cats and socialise with me a bit. My parents think I'm mad about the main caring arrangement, they thought that living rent free plus bills was more than generous and considering my pension isn't a fortune it stretched my financial capabilities considerably. Anyway, as the payer of this money, I thought I was within my rights to withhold payment since Christmas (not including any food shopping they have done on my behalf) I have actually paid them £190 for three shops despite the fact we appear to have run out of a few quite important things more than once in the last few weeks and everything in the fridge appears to be out of date – I feel like a Daily Mail story about to happen. I am normally in a fairly fraught emotional state which negatively contributes towards the energy I have for doing anything at all with my life and this hasn't exactly been an improvement. To add insult to injury (a phrase I have to use too much on this blog), I got a call from a lady at the Citizens advice bureau saying that she's sitting there with Hassan and Agnesieka saying I have unfairly withheld their 'wages'. Would you pay a plumber who came to 'fix a leak' and it was still leaking after he'd had a go at it while sitting around drinking cups of tea? Same principle. I abhor lazy people, and the reason I agreed to let Hassan live here was he seemed like an industrious, conscientious, tenacious and trustworthy guy – and I thought him and Agnesieka were for a while, but this email I sent to them summed it up For starters I don't understand how it's got to £640[what he said I owed them], as has always been the case, the onus is on you to get your weekly pay and any reimbursements on Monday mornings, you clearly forgot to do that. I am withholding ANY payment on the grounds of poor performance (basically taking advantage of me). I am a disabled person and I find it disgraceful that in the last few months you think you have done a good job. You know that you don't deserve this. I haven't fired you or formally warned you because the process for finding new carers is too onerous and I am not in a position to discipline people I rely on so much. I had hoped you would become more conscientious. Here is the list I put together. I had hoped you would see these things and do the honourable thing: Instead you have done quite the opposite 1.Not cleaning the house properly (we alluded to this a lot) 2.Depriving me of a guest room 3.Your mum and sister staying for more than a 'few' days 4.Never waking me up at 9am, I always have to ring the bell (I repeatedly mentioned this - it's in the household manual that it's better to wake me rather than wait) 5.Once forgetting to even wake up when the bell wasn't working and leaving me believing there was no-one in the house 6.Once leaving me without any towels in my bathroom and not hearing me shouting for help for 20 minutes 7.I told Hassan I'd pay for driving lessons so he could swap his international licence -he did nothing 8.Not bothering to even look for a dayjob, instead sleeping through the day 9.Forgetting to give me lunch on Wed 11/1 10.Never answering the front door despite the new bell ringing upstairs 11.I am grateful you have given me three weeks notice, you have however, only been here 8 months, I believe we said 'at least' a year 12.Never being up when Tesco deliver despite me asking if you could be 13.Not helping to find a replacement – you agreed to screen applications, contact candidates and arrange interviews -you did nothing saying maybe it was better Bianca did it because you only check your email a couple of times a day and you're usually sleeping 15.Talking at 3AM – not loudly but enough to stop me sleeping[repeatedly] 16.The last straw – Abeer [the thieving cousin] staying here in secret and even smoking upstairs. Him helping me when you're out is nice but beside the point 17.Abeer using my card illegally without permission to purchase localphone cards.THIS IS THEFT. I am considering involving the police 18.Letting me buy Sonu Nigam [some bollywood star] tickets for you and Agnesieka (£120) knowing full well you weren't going to be here [Not bothering to leave me dinner on two consecutive nights. Instead calling me and asking if I could order a pizza? [are these the actions of 'carers'?] thankfully I have found new carers who I trust, I'm sorry if this feels like a bit of a tawdry saga and 'airing dirty laundry' but I needed somewhere to talk about lifes complexities and to add insult to injury (there it is again) the girl I'd been seeing has just basically said she's 'too busy' to let thinks develop. I'm disappointed and can't not think the stress of this whole situation didn't help. F*CK. Nice girl but being prioritised above anything work related when that person is a teacher during term time is never going to happen. Two learnings: 1.Going out with teachers is always going to be difficult 2.Always ask potential carers from the sub-continent if they had servants at home. If they did they're likely to be lazy as spit. In fact, employing carers whose first spoken language isn't English and hasn't read any of this is a risk. I worry that I am turning into a difficult person which is what I expend most of my effort trying to avoid.


INCITE said...

Amazing how even the most seemingly trustworthy people will take advantage, very sad. Hope you have a much better experience with the new ones. Scum, sub-human scum.

martha said...

Dom, sitting reading the latest in disbelief that they could be such a *** holes. Really crappy. Xxmartha

Filth & Splendour said...

Hey mate,

Not pleased at all to hear this. Call me when you can and let me know if there is anything i can do to help.


Hassan Al'Banna said...



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