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Guest Guest_Kelly
:lol: I have a job that requires a lot of extra time put in at certain times of the year such as Xmas, Thanksgiving and other holidays or when events are going on inside or outside of our facility. I'm sure as AD's you all experience this but I have a boss that does not feel inclined to give me ample time off. For example I am the manager of my department and received a call off on New Year's eve and Day. Naturally I went in to cover both days but am not expected to take back my holiday time. I wouldn't mind so much if I made the money he did or if I didn't have 2 children and a husband but I feel I am constantly giving my time to my job and never getting any back. I probably have hundreds of hours over and the more I give the more is expected! Does anyone else feel this way or even have this problem???? Got any advice????

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Hi Kelly!

Well, Welcome to the wonderful world of the Activity Director! :lol: :lol: :lol:

I have been doing this for almost 20 years now and have felt your frustration many times over. :-? There is really nothing I can tell you except that this is a big part of the job that we all dispise( the looooonnnngggggg hours)!! I too have children(five ) and a husband that I feel gulity about spending so much time away from, but I also feel bad when my residents have nothing to do when I am away. :-(

It is a catch 22 situation, but I would really speak to your Administrator about your time off and explain how frustrated you are becoming, and maybe you need to find a place that "FITS" you better.I know that I have had a lots of Activity Director jobs before I found one that fits me.

Just know that you are NOT the only one that feels this way!!I am sure that there will be more posts for you on this topic!!!

Just relax and try to have fun!! Gina :)

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Learn to say No. Yes I had that problem until I learn to say no. If you can't avoid the situation try leaving work a few hours early.

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Guest Julie in Jersey

:idea: Kelly.....Just browsed over to this site, being a nursing director and concerned very often re: my "partner in crime", a wonderful young activity director that is often in tears due to the inconsiderate treatment she and I receive from "our" mutual administrator, I say STAND TALL, DON'T BUCKLE, remember its always better to be the nicer guy (even when its tough!). There are many jobs out there, but if you really like yours, don't let him get you down......he's probably got some complex or another, sure sounds like it!!!!! Who knows HIS boss may be on him 'cause HE'S inadequate!!!!!! .....toodles

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Hey Kelly,

You must be on salary pay. I too like eneryone else had this problem which lead to big time burn out! I use to put so many hours in take work home & do the newsletter/calendar all at home on my time. One day I said "Enough" I spoke to the Administrator about the toll it was taking on me. I did some research on the cost of having someone else doing a newsletter/calendar. I presented this to her along w/ the hours I put in over the 40 hour week, usually doing all of the paperwork. I got my message across after that I did the newsletter/cal at home during working hours, my ass't ran the daily work of act on these days, usually 2 to 3 days a month. As for the paperwork well I make the time up by coming in late or leaving early. This is done through out the month. I still put in more than my 40 hours but no where near what it use to be. I just felt better knowing that I was appericated & not being taken advantage of, not to mention that I was able to be with my family more. Remember the job is just that a job, we do this for our lively-hood. Your family is the most important thing in your life & it's not fair to cheat them or yourself. They will be there & stand by you always, your job will not stand by you like them. All of like to think that we can't be replaceable in our jobs but we are. If you know what I mean. This was a hard lesson learned by me & others but a lesson well learned :idea:

Best to u, P

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Dear Kelly,

I have been an Activity Director for 7 1/2 years. My first 7 3/8 years were just like yours............it resulted in me ending up stressed out, burned out and physically ill and off work for 3 months. During that time, I sought professional help. It was the best thing I ever did. My problem, is that I am an enabler with a an incontrollable desire to be the best Activity Director I can for our residents.....which is a wonderful quality much needed to be a good Activity provider. However on the negative side, my enabling quality impacted me greatly.

Our facility had 3 previous Activity Directors before me. When I took the position, I was determined that the staff would not gossip about my lack of programming for the residents. My first mistake was that I did not have a job description. That's a no - no....and I learned this the hard way. It's taken me 5 years to get a job description for my dept. that reflects the current resident pool. The one I was given after 2 years of nagging Admin was developed at a time when there was 2 level 4 residents, (one with advanced Alz and one with Advanced Parkinsons with dementia). The other 29 residents were cognitively well, and there wasn't an assisted living wing which housed 10 tenants. My second mistake was I started fundraising, and unfortunately was very successful at it. I did this so that I was able to have a budget as the only Activity supplies were some tattered Bingo cards and Bingo chips. My efforts were so successful that Admin informed me 2 years later, that he wanted my fundraised monies to go thru the Home account and than these funds were used to by capital equipment and provide a courtyard for the residents. My third mistake was developing a successful volunteer program I did this because I knew that if I wanted my fundraisers to succeed I needed community support and advocates. The volunteer program took more time away from the residents, but it did help me get a regular pastoral care program going, a courtyard for the residents, and some friendly visitors and a great deal of musical entertainment. However now my hours have been cut and volunteers deliver the Activity Program on Mondays. We are not unionized so this is perfectly legit. The point I am trying to make is that in my facility, I donated at least 20 hrs per week for a better part of 6 years. I delivered the services of management labor and received starting rec attendant wages, unbeknownst to me until I started a networking group with other AD's in the region. My Administrator was my direct supervisor and had a clause in the old job description that he wanted me to go by, that said " and all other duties as assigned". I did the facility newsletter, developed forms for all the other depts. and mine, and as my "star" rose in the community and in the home, my Admins personal dislike and bullying of me grew....until I went on stress leave. As his dislike of me grew, the more he minimized my contribution at Board level. I became just the fun and games girl. You see, I too, never wanted to let the residents down, so I did as much of the extra workload I could from home. ... so the Board has no idea of how much I did. My children were teenagers and my husband and I had been together several years....I didn't think my overwork impacted them...however since my stress leave, I have learned differently.

I am now back at work, the DOC is my direct supervisor, and a wonderful leader and mentor she is who supports my efforts on behalf of the residents. She represents me fairly at Board level, has given me a job description that is quite specific in my responsibiliities. The Admin had informed the Board a couple of months ago that the Volunteers were very good and do not need a leader. The DOC has removed Volunteer Coordinating off my job description. Now all I coordinate are my volunteer music groups and friendly visitors. I no longer recruit, train, supervise, manage volunteers. I know longer Fundraise for the facility. Unfortunately, she and I know that we will lose the strides forward we made, but the Admin and Board Members are unable to see it. They feel that the volunteers can manage themselves and that they will just do hot suppers and no one will have to organize the volunteers, that they will organize themselves.... and they might for a while, but those of us who have worked with volunteers know that this won't last. The other item she got, which Admin refused to do was to provide coverage for me while I am off. You see I used to go to work sick and all, because he refused to cover me when I was off, and when I wasn't there, staff would be ticked at me, the residents and their families would be angry that I was ill....and it just got worse and worse. Then along came a DOC who values what Recreation Programming does for the residents, who values me as a caring,committed employee and in the process, she also got me a $2.00 an hour raise.

 

My point is.... the Administrator is there to save money. Our facility is funded for a full time Activity Director. When I was cut to 4 days a week, our Administrator hired one of my Volunteer Secretaries and now she is receiving pay for 1 day a week. I am an intelligent woman....I know where the money for her wage is coming from.

Just remember, you are there to provide mental, physical, social, emotional and sensory stimulation for your residents. Working harder only gets you more of a work load. When you burnout, the focus doesn't remain on the great job you did....5 minutes of fame is just that....5 minutes. The focus will be on the lack of stimulation for the residents, how you're tired and grouchy all the time....etc.etc.

I go to work now, and I am happy. I have time for the residents and they are getting the best of me. I don't bring my work home anymore. What I can do on 4 days a week is all that gets done. At home...family first. At work....residents first. This is why my Motto is WORK SMARTER, NOT HARDER! Take care of yourself, Darlene

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