I did mention here a while ago that I had the impression that me and the manager of mum’s care home are not going to get along very well. I didn’t want to give the details as I revealed which care home it was, but then, it will take ages before people will start reading my blog in Poland (if ever) so let me tell you what made me come to this conclusion.
For those of you who just started reading my blog: my mum was taken to a government care home after an accident she had in June. She had to pay part of the fees from her pension and then me and my brother would have to cover at least some of the rest, depending on how much we earn, but as we know, my brother is a heavy drinker and I was unemployed at the time so that didn’t happen. The care home was extremely crowded and basically, if mum stayed there, she’d spend the rest of her life in bed. Mum has some savings that me and my brother were supposed to inherit but my brother would just spend it all on drinking and I didn’t desperate need it so I decided to move mum private. It was a difficult decision at the time, especially that families in Poland don’t place their relatives in care homes, let alone privately. If I told to anyone my mum is in a private care home they’d think I must be extremely posh, while for me it seemed like quite a logical decision, considering our family dynamic. Mind you, the fee for the private care home is just slightly higher than the full price of government one while the standard is much higher.
When I first went to go to see mum’s current care home I felt very confused – which is quite normal for me in a new surroundings, with new people and when I have to make an important decision on top of that! I didn’t ask too many questions, which was partly due to confusion but also due to the fact that I knew I didn’t really have many choices regarding care for mum as number of care homes in Poland is really low.
But I did ask the manager if it’s possible to leave some money for mum for toiletries and stuff so that staff could buy what she needs (the care home is in the centre of nowhere and the closest shop is a few km away) or should I buy things online for her. The manager said that was possible and mentioned a family who transfers 2000PLN at once for this type of shopping. She looked absolutely extatic as she was speaking about them and, believe me, I thought at the time she’s crazy! 2000PLN is loads of money in Poland, some people probably don’t even take that much home a month so it seemed to me like it was rather unlikely that someone would leave that as a pocket money for an elderly relative. Don’t get me wrong, I want my mum to be able to afford things but if I left this amount of money at once, the care home staff could then have an impression that I have an unlimited amount of funds so they can just keep on spending it.
I didn’t understand though, why the manager was so happy when talking about that family. It’s not her money, is it? Is she happy just because she’s in touch with rich people? She must be crazy then… but then, if she was crazy she wouldn’t be a manager in a care home that looks like it’s being run perfectly well. Something didn’t add up there. And, as I said, I was perfectly aware my choices were very limited so I said yes, let’s do that, let’s move mum in there.
And only several hours later I realised what that was all about: the manager thought it’s me who wants to associate with rich people and pretended to be extatic when talking about that family because she wanted to check if I’d follow her lead and became extatic as well.
She must have thought I was Anna Sorokin of Smardzewice, only wanting to move mum there to feel better about my own financial status while not being able to afford it. Do I blame her? Well… loads of people in Poland, especially those who live far away from cites believe that those who have money wear fancy clothes the entire day, every day, and some people in fact do that to show off their status. But fancy clothes are difficult to maintain and not very comfortable so I prefer my tracksuit bottoms, which in the UK are perfectly acceptable no matter one’s financial situation. More over, I didn’t have a car when I went there ( or ever for that matter, I never learned to drive).
And, on top of everything, she probably couldn’t work out my non verbal communication.
If I didn’t know that I’m autistic and that some people use those tricks to find out things about others, I’d never work out what the manager’s unusual behaviour meant. I’d just thought she’s one pashmina short of a lolly and I’d ignore it. Which, quite likely, would be better for me as I got very angry when I understood what it all meant.
At the time I only mentioned on the blog that the manager is someone who seems to be very skilled at finding out the truth about people, without asking questions. She is someone who’d be called an excellent communicator by others. And yet, I’m now in a difficult situation due to her communication skills.
Basically, when working out how to send parcel after brexit I found out the recipient may need to pay duty tax. It’s impossible to predict what it will be so it can’t be paid by the sender. Not thinking much I transfered some money for the care home’s account (and much less than 2000PLN!) and then sent an email to them to explain the situation.
It didn’t even occur to me to ask beforehand. What I took from that strange conversation when I first met the manager was that, regardless of what she thinks about my financial situation, it’s ok to transfer money for mum, so why would I ask about that now?
And here you are: the care home manager responded saying I wasn’t meant to do that without asking first and the money will be allocated towards the care home fees.
Great! So now it’s possible that my mum will not receive her parcel because there will be no money to pay the duty and I wasted all that money and effort on preparing it as it all ends up in the bin.
So who would you call an excellent communicator? Someone who’s very skilled at finding out things about people without asking questions? I don’t think so. And why people do that, actually???
Don’t get me wrong, I may do similar thing too sometimes (even though I’m autistic), like for example jokingly tell a guy who I just started dating (that was before The Boyfriend of course, but I did that to him as well) that I need to marry him because I really like his surname, just to see his reaction.
But why do that in a situation like I just described, in a care home with 50 residents, where something can happen to families of any of them and they won’t be able to pay? I’d think, if it happened, one just have to deal with this according to procedures. No need trying to find out anything about them at all.