today is the first day of new staffing levels...we are going to miss louise on so many different levels..i am not going to list them all, i will just get depressed but what i am dreading the most is probably stupid to most but it is true none the less...answering the phone messages.
i am thinking i should check those today. too bad i could not cut costs and save money by cancelling our phone service...rescue life with no phone would be quite nice.
not all the messages are bad but they all have something in common..they require a response...responses take time that i don't have. refusing animals are not as quick as a simple, no. you have to listen to the problems and the stories and the desperation. then you have to offer solutions that no one is interested in because they already have the perfect solution in mind. then you hear the disappointment (or the anger), you offer your sympathy and best wishes, hang up and carry worry for that animal around for awhile. it probably doesn't last long, the worry i mean, before another animal in trouble pushes that worry over to them.
last week louise told me, someone called for the first time on thursday night before good friday..it was a long weekend, she got back to them on monday morning. there were 2 more angry and escalating messages calling us names because the first message had gone unanswered. louise is nice, she still returned the call politely and just explained it was a long weekend and then dealt with the problem of saying what the message already said...we are full and not taking any new animals in.
i have been trying to compose a new message for folks to hear and maybe understand better but i am having trouble with it...how much simpler can you get then, saints is full and not accepting new animals at this time?
most of the ones i come up with are just plain rude..i don't want to be rude. i just want to protect myself and saints from hearing some horribly sad stories that either i can't do anything about or even worse..that are so upsetting that i actually do cave and let the poor animal in.
louise was great...she just tossed off the facts to me...2 15 year old cats want in...she tried to keep the sad stories to herself as much as she could....i'd say no, she would call them back and try to offer alternative solutions to the problem.
there are advantages to paying others to do what you don't want to do. but i can't dump this on one of the other staff because they will have much more important things (like absorbing louise's building of animals needing care) into their own reduced working hours.
sucks to be where the buck actually stops....right next to the god damn phone.
we will have a quick meeting this morning...i have been thinking over the weekend and do have a plan for the things that i can take on, that the volunteers said that they can help with, that will free up enough of the staff's time to take on the mp animals care.
like (but not limited to)....i will take on the afternoon field runs for the dogs and scooping the upper field and loafing sheds when i get home from work. i can do this because i can combine them..i can have the dogs in the field with me while i wield the wheelbarrow and pitch fork. they don't care if i am forking shit as long as i am out with them.
i can take over the second set of feeding and meds..i can do that at 5pm and shift the bedtime meds up to midnight..there aren't that many bedtime meds so it is not a big deal. i can also absorb the laundry that does not get done during the reduced working day.
and this is my point in this post..in rescue, you need to be flexible. you need to be able to shift things around depending on the individual and unique challenges of each day. this is why i have so many animals here..i can pretty much always figure out some way to actually care for them. and what is interesting is that while all of the contributating problems are often complex..the solutions are relatively easy..if i am willing to roll up my sleeves, pick up some extra work and figure out ways to do things differently.
there will be no suffering of saints animals here during the hard times...the staff, the volunteers and myself will make sure of that....it is our job and we are good at it.