When casuals have a right to say no

Questions on working as a casual. Such as job responsibilities, what to do, finding casual work etc.
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trish73
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When casuals have a right to say no

Post by trish73 » Fri Apr 23, 2021 7:51 pm

Hi, I was working in the preschool room and another educator from another room walked through the preschool room and she accidentally stepped in paint, not sure where and made marks with each step, she stopped and wiped the paint off her shoes and than she told me to wipe the paint marks off the floor?
Did she have a right to tell me to wipe the mess that she made?
I understand that is my duty to help clean up after meals and general cleaning, but not sure to agree to clean up a mess made from another educator? When to say no?
And what would be any other things to say no which would be handy to know?


Butterflyblue
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Re: When casuals have a right to say no

Post by Butterflyblue » Sun Apr 25, 2021 9:16 pm

That's terrible! Was the educator nice (I'm guessing not) and did they have to be elsewhere?

I would've said I'm happy to help her and hand her a wipe to indicate I expect her to clean her own mess up and say something like you can use this to clean up. If she doesn't take the cleaning stuff place it somewhere or back and say its there when your ready or have a minute.
Don't think its reasonable to ask another educator to clean up my mess, unless there was some emergency or I would usually clean up after others so its fair. In any case everyone knows new(er) people don't always know how places and work and some people are nasty

Unfortunately, the worst part of ecec and childcare especially in centres is staff bullying and people being unprofessional towards each other, presumably since they aren't regulars, casuals tend to be treated very badly. If I had a dollar for each bad centre experience for every educator and teacher you know the rest!


First on the list is always the 'dirty' jobs or unreasonable ones like what you mentioned. At least have the decency to say can you please clean with me not for me if its that hard or important.


Top tips for survival as a casual
- Trust your gut instincts
Just listen to it

- Attitude
Be assertive and confident, remain calm and think before you do even if English is not your first language, you are new to the sector or feel nervous etc - just try :)
Greet everyone politely, make an effort to learn names and make general conversation. If you don't know something, ask whoever is in charge.

- Know what is needed
If possible ask beforehand for a list of duties so you'll know what you need to do. Obviously things change over a shift, but clarifying can help you avoid getting into trouble when permanent staff make unreasonable demands and try to take advantage

- Be flexible, compromise and get creative
Be the bigger person, pick your battles and try to think of things from a different perspective.
For example meet this educator in the middle and say happy to help, I'll clean up this side of the room, you do that side. Show people how you would like to be treated and treat others well.

- Read up on psychology and body language etc
Sounds silly but learn about it and develop a skill set that you can add to and fine tune over your career. Learning how to direct conversation and clearly show what it is you want is a good place to start.
For example tell the educator I'm doing this right now so I can't, what are you doing next, maybe I can take over for you so you can clean this up.
Sounds bold but is said nicely ;)

Golden rules:

- If someone asks you to do anything you don't feel comfortable just say so 'no thanks, I don't feel comfortable doing that'

- If you see something bad, say something.
You have a duty of care, don't neglect it.


-Have standards and boundaries
Everyone deserves to be treated with decency and respect. If someone gives you the dirty jobs or makes your life unnecessarily difficult, speak up. Write down what happens at work, good and bad in a diary. You'll never know when you'll need it, plus its an excellent tool for reflection.


There's a damned if you do/ don't situation with telling on colleagues. If someone is bullying you have the right to go to management and HR as the law states everyone is entitled to feel safe at work. In recent times attitudes have shifted and legal issues await employers turning a blind eye.
But if they don't listen, don't be afraid to leave, just try not to burn bridges on the way out.
For example say another opportunity came up or you're taking a holiday.
If you work for an agency, tell them don't want to go back/ reject future offers and if you feel comfortable say that you had a bad experience because it's not worth it.

Bullies are everywhere, learn how to stand up for yourself and spread kindness instead

Hope that's of some help to the casuals out there  :)

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trish73
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Re: When casuals have a right to say no

Post by trish73 » Mon Apr 26, 2021 6:56 pm

Thanks so much for your reply and understanding. I will start a diary. Can I show my reflection diary to my director to read, or do I just keep it for myself? I thought, if the other educator asked can you help me clean up the shoe prints, than that would have been better.

AnneR
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Re: When casuals have a right to say no

Post by AnneR » Wed Apr 28, 2021 5:17 pm

I often hesitate to say no because I'm afraid of offending another person ...
I also realized that I often don't say no because I want to appear friendly...
BUT it often ends badly. People just sit on my head...
It is very difficult at the very beginning of the practice of refusal to force yourself to say " no "
Automatically act as you are used to. And only then do you realize that something has gone wrong...

Butterflyblue
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Re: When casuals have a right to say no

Post by Butterflyblue » Fri May 07, 2021 12:43 am

You can keep the diary for yourself if you prefer.
Its effectively an insurance policy for you where instead of relying on your memory if need be, you have a written record. Its something anyone with any job can keep but in our sector it doubles as a tool for reflections and professional development.


One option is to show pages you want to share for the purpose of reflection with a colleague or manager etc
The rest is for you to keep private, hope that makes sense ;)

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