A Different Kind of Job for a Different Kind of Caregiver

In a few weeks, I’m going to be relocating to the Georgetown area. And I’m going to be hiring caregivers who can keep up with me as I run my business.

The thing is, if you’re a CNA or HHA, you’re probably used to a certain type of job.

Maybe you’re working in a hospital, running back and forth between patients, giving baths, cleaning up messes, and so on. Or maybe you’re used to working in a nursing facility or homecare, caring for the elderly and disabled, doing your best to increase their quality of life and make them as comfortable and healthy as you can.

Well, this job is none of those things. Not even close.

You see, I’m rather odd. I have such an advanced case of muscular dystrophy that I can move nothing but my face, and yet I’m the CEO of a company with employees around the world, I speak several languages, and I pay out-of-pocket for round-the-clock nursing care.

How?

The simplest explanation: I’m a genius. It’s both a gift and a curse, and I would be doing you a disservice if I didn’t admit working with me is a little unusual.

A Glimpse into My Strange Life

One day, I might decide I want to go out and look at new condominiums or houses, get fitted for a new suit, or sample a gourmet restaurant. You’ll need to keep up with me and be dressed for the part.

Another day, I might be totally engrossed in my work and hardly say a word to you. You’ll need to check around to make sure I have food prepared, clean clothes, and everything else I need without any prompting from me.

Another day, I might have clients flying in from around the world to meet with me. You might need to keep notes, click through a PowerPoint presentation, or speak with hotel management.Full-Body-No-BG

Another day, I might decide to tear apart and rebuild a computer, test out motion sensing eyebrow switches, or research the amperage and wattage of my wheelchair battery so I can turn it into a mobile charging station. You’ll need to follow my directions, probably scared to death the entire time of blowing something up.

(Sidenote: I’ve never blown anything up. All my past caregivers are alive and well, none of them missing any arms or limbs, although many have quite a few entertaining stories.)

The bottom line?

You never really know what the day is going to be like. I never really know either.

The best way I know to describe it:

I’m Sherlock Holmes, and You are Watson

I’m brilliant, demanding, and will probably ask you to do things that will scare you. At the same time, I’m fiercely loyal, I’ll make you laugh until you cry, and my antics will give you a never-ending supply of stories to tell your friends and relatives.

Of course, not everything is the same. I’m in a wheelchair, and I have no desire to chase super villains. Not yet, anyway.

I’m also a lot more polite than your typical Sherlock Holmes. While I can be difficult, I’m rarely rude, obnoxious, or vulgar. On the contrary, I’m one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet.

I guess that’s one reason why most of my caregivers stay with me for years. Of the two with me currently, one has worked with me for four years and another for over a year. Prior to them, I had one CNA stay with me for 16 years before retiring to play with his grandkids.

So, I’m well accustomed to working with Watsons. You won’t be the first.

And there’s one really important lesson I should tell you:

No One Is Qualified for This Job.

Reading through this, you might be thinking…

“I’ve never done anything like this. He would never hire me.”

But you’re wrong. Here’s why: No one has done anything like this. There is no possible way for you to be totally prepared for this job.

The best you can do is have a track record as an excellent caregiver. Yes, I’m an unusual client, but I also need help eating, bathing, and going to the bathroom like many other disabled and elderly people.

If you’re used to doing those tasks, I can teach you the rest. Assuming you’re the right fit, of course.

The People Who Work Best with Me Are…

Over the years, I’ve noticed my best caregivers have a collection of five traits:

  1. Pleasant. Let’s face it, we’re going to be spending a lot of time together. If you’re in a bad mood, you can’t get away from me, and I can’t get away from you. So, in general, you need to have a pretty sunny disposition.
  2. Laid-back. This might surprise you, but for all my weirdness, most of my life is pretty relaxed. If you have an intense or high strung personality, you’ll be absolutely bored to tears around me.
  3. Smart. No, you don’t have to be a genius, but you should be able to solve problems on your own, pick up new skills, and adapt to whatever bizarre situation I put you in.
  4. Ambitious. In the past, none of my best caregivers have seen it as a lifelong career. Two of them were artists doing caregiving on the side, and another two were premed students who are now full-fledged MDs.
  5. Energetic. Not bouncing off the walls, but you need to be in pretty good health and have a decent amount of stamina just to keep up with me.

Oh, and you need to have some experience as a caregiver. You also need to be a licensed HHA, CNA, or LPN.

Let’s face it, not everyone is cut out for giving bed baths or washing out urinals, and pardon me, but I don’t want to be your first. You got to pop that cherry elsewhere, darlin’.

(Side note: Remember what I said about not being vulgar? Oops.)

Before I get myself into further trouble, let’s talk about some of the specific things I need you to do:

A Short, Incomplete List of Your Caregiving Responsibilities

  • Assist with bathing, personal hygiene, using the restroom, and other private details. No lifting required.
  • Drive me to where I need to go without killing us. I have a minivan with an automatic ramp and tie downs where the passenger seat normally goes. Just to warn you, I don’t like my driver to be reckless, but you can’t be a slow poke either.
  • Learn about my medications, give me the right ones at the right times, refill them well before running out. I’ll never remember. You’re on your own.
  • Stretch my hands, arms, and legs. Sitting all the time, I can get quite sore, and it helps to do a bit of stretching every day. I’ll have one of my other caregivers show you how.
  • Remind me to drink water throughout the day. I get so wrapped up in what I’m doing I often forget and get dehydrated.
  • Wash, iron, and organize my wardrobe. There’s nothing too extravagant or hard to take care of. Just a matter of doing laundry, mostly.
  • Cook me stuff. I always like to have at least two healthy and delicious meals prepared and in the refrigerator for me to eat. I don’t think about food until I’m hungry, and by then, I’m too impatient to wait for you to cook anything. So prepare.
  • Answer the phone. Remember what I said about being strange? Well, I never take unscheduled calls. I don’t care who it is. Even my mother has to schedule her talks with me in advance.

In general, though?

Be my hands and feet.

Because I’m unable to move, I’ll ask you to do anything I would normally do myself (no, not that, pervert). And because I’m an eccentric genius, you never know exactly what that’s going to be.

My caregivers have helped me build computers from scratch, drive across the United States (twice), use chemistry to test the caffeine content of sodas, speak in front of thousands of people, and cook rocket fuel on the kitchen stove.

For the record, that last one was a bad idea, but I was a teenager. I’ve wised up since then.

Maybe.

Or maybe not.

How Much Do You Get Paid for This Insanity?

The starting pay is $15 per hour. You’ll also begin accumulating paid vacation days after three months.

Over time though, I’m open to giving you raises and/or more time off. Assuming you’re a great fit, of course.

In general, the more valuable you are to me, the more I will be interested in giving you a raise, but remember, this isn’t a giant corporation with an unlimited budget. I’m paying you out-of-pocket, and my personal finances affect things too.

Not that you should be worried about it. I’ve never missed payroll. I also keep a healthy rainy day fund, in case anything bad happens.

And I’m frugal. Yes, I may negotiate hard to keep expenses down, but you can also count on me to always follow through on what I say because I never overcommit myself. I think that stability counts for something.

The bottom line:

This isn’t a job you take because you want to get rich. It’s a job you take because you want to learn and open future opportunities for yourself.

What Are the Hours?

I’m hiring for three different shifts:

  • Monday through Friday, 8 AM until 4 PM
  • Monday through Friday, 4 PM through 11 PM
  • Saturday and Sunday, 8 AM until 4 PM, or maybe 8 AM until 8 PM (I’m flexible)

It’s also a big plus if you have a flexible schedule. If one of my other caregivers needs a day off, I may ask you to cover some or all of it. I need someone with me all the time.

And should you receive the job, I’m looking for a minimum of a one-year commitment from you. If you decide to move on after that, there will be no hard feelings. All I ask is you give me at least two months (not two weeks!) notice so I can find another caregiver.

The Hiring Process: 5 Steps to Getting the Job

Here’s what to expect:

  1. Submit Your Application: After reading through everything on this site, head over to the application and fill it out. I’ll ask you a bunch of pointed questions, and by the time you’re finished answering, you’ll probably know whether this job is a good fit for you or not.
  2. Phone interview with my executive assistant, Brenda.
  3. Skype Interview with me and Brenda: Why not do a phone interview? One reason: this is a test of your technical skills. If you’re not familiar with Skype, it’s fairly easy to set up and learn. Google is your friend.
  4. In-Person Interview: If you nail the Skype interview, we’ll then schedule a time to come hang out in person. Don’t worry, this won’t be a stodgy old-style interview where I ask you about your favorite colors and whatnot. Mostly, I just want to get to know you.
  5. Tryouts: By this point, I’ll have narrowed down to probably 3-5 applicants, and I’ll want to work with each of you for a day or two. You’ll come in and spend the entire day with me, doing all the work you would if you get the job. I’ll pay you for the day, of course.
  6. Background Check: Here, I’ll make the final decision on who to hire, and if I choose you, I’ll let you know and we’ll start the background check process. I’ll talk to your past employers, go through your driving record, verify you have no criminal history anywhere in the world, and in general, do an extremely thorough background check.

Ready to Submit Your Application?

When you click the button below, you’ll be taken to the application. It’s 27 questions and will probably take you 15-30 minutes to complete.

Brenda will look over the application and send you an email letting you know if you made it to the next stage of the process.

To start your application, click the button below:

Start Application