Diary: A lighter take on the week

Computers are down this morning so can’t check my e-mails. Phone the IT department who promise that they are on the case and will fix it asap. We have an informal chat in the office about various cases. It’s good to get feedback on clients from my colleagues; usually I only have time to discuss them in formal meetings or after work when we are trying to relax. In the afternoon, I visit an older woman who I have known for years. We need to give her a new assessment but I am worried that it will be used to cut her services.

IT system was up briefly before crashing again so it’s back to using paper and pen. Visit a day centre for older people, which our team is thinking of using. When I arrive with a colleague there is an almighty row between several of the older people. The manager is embarrassed and does his best to diffuse things. The rest of the visit goes well as the centre offers lots of activities. I try to soothe the manager’s embarrassment by telling  him cheerily that “at least the row shows they have some spirit and aren’t all drugged up to the eyeballs”. His embarrassment turns to shock.

Even my boss is now contacting the IT department about why the system is down. They confuse her with talk of “servers’ QSL” , “Linux and PC bases”, “outages” and  the like but promise it will be working by the end of the day. Spend the day doing paperwork and getting my notes in order for when the computers are working. After work, go for a drink with colleagues from different teams. They have the same concerns about not enough time with clients and a crap IT system, which still wasn’t working when we left the office.

IT system flickers into life for two hours before crashing again. Out visiting clients and doing assessments with a new social worker. Tell her that this was what it was like in the old days: no IT, paper forms and visiting clients. But nostalgia ain’t what it used to be.

Called out by the police as one of our clients is drunk and abusing his neighbours – again. Two of us manage to calm him down and take him inside for a cup of tea. The police are relieved they don’t have to take him to the cells, while some of the neighbours are demanding we put him in a home. When we leave, one of the neighbours asks us how he is. They do care for him but sometimes he gets too much. Computers up and running at the end of the day.



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