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patricia 8th Sep 2013 Recreational Activity Officer
Being told by management that "I should have known when I took on the job that you would have to do work in your own time".

What does everyone else think of this?

Unfortunately this attitude and expectation adds to burn out and exhaustion of RAO's.

dorothy 9th Sep 2013 diversional therapist
hi patricia
sounds like you work for a very unskilled manager that has bullying tactics herself/ himself whichever is the case .
Madeleine 9th Sep 2013 Recreation Activites Officer
I don't think it should be an expectation that you will work in your own time. I now make a conscious effort not to work out of my allocated hours. When I run out of time during the week I just tell people I haven't had time. Residents can see I am busy so I had to make the decision to do it. We don't get paid enough as it is so why should they get even more hours out of us for nothing. It further devalues our roles.
I run exercise classes ( I could eran $50 and hour if i was working in a fitness centre), host events (what do events coordinators get paid by the hour?), organise and run bus excursions (tour guides salary) and then there are all the other little things I do. $20 an hour is a joke. I know I sound bitter and twisted but I actually love my job and the residents I work with. It's managements attutide that gets you down. I'm am in a fortunate position that I don't have to deal with other staff members who don't value my role. I'm not sure I could cope if i had that as well.
Patricia, I woujld be pulling out my job description and asking where it states working in your own time. Do the RN's, AIN's and EN's have to work in their own time?
Sheree 12th Sep 2013 Activities Co-ordinator
I work in the UK and the attitude of management is pretty much the same. I have worked in many environments and generally there is the expectation that you'll 'volunteer' your time when needed (rather than management putting on extra staff or paying for longer hours). I love this work but the pay and conditions are terrible!
Margaret 12th Sep 2013
Sorry you feel like that. You shouldn't have to do work in your own time but you should enjoy it so much you cant help yourself. It does sound like you are not valued in your position and you have burnout. Maybe you need a change.
Have you thought about working in a Seniors Day Centre in the community (heaps of fun) or looking into a career change. You need to take care of yourself above all before you can care for others. Seems a shame for your organisation to lose a talented employee though.
Sheree 25th Sep 2013 Activities Co-ordinator
Margaret - I'm sorry but I don't agree with your comment to Patricia 'You should enjoy it so much you can't help yourself'. It's not a requirement for anyone to be unpaid in their employment whether they love it or not. I'm sure most people are happy to put in a little extra time but not if it becomes an expectation - that just devolves responsibility away from the employer. No I don't think she has burn out either, I just think she's being assertive and standing up for her employment rights. I wish more people were like her and then this 'profession' would get the salary and status it deserves.
Shantell 16th Oct 2013
I think i am one of the lucky ones. I work for an organization that if i work outside my allocated hours, at MY choice, i bank the hours. So when they build up I can take time day off here and there and it doesn't affect my annual leave. But i have worked for organizations that do expect you to work in your own time for free and its not fair. They can see how much you care for your residents and take advantage of that. I know its hard but TRY to leave ontime and not take your work home with you.

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