Social Skirmishes: Rosie Warlock

Social skirmishes for 25 09 08 issue of Community Care

Rosie Warlock, a senior practitioner in children’s social services, gets a grilling from a friendly banker

Last Friday, during a rare pub outing, my optician friend Sue introduced me to a male friend of hers who works in banking.

Dave fixed me with an annoyingly amused look. “So you’re a social worker,” he said, inevitably. His expression spoke of condescension, but also sympathy. Out of loyalty to Sue I suppressed a growl and waited for the questions: “How do you cope with all those, er, nutters? Isn’t it depressing having to deal with the poor and hopeless? Can you really ever help anyone… their situation is at least partly out of choice isn’t it? Are you a Communist?”

OK, I made the last one up, but you catch the drift. I inwardly sighed, but as I recited the stock answers I felt my social justice convictions coursing through my veins anew. But I did affect an air of joviality and lightness to make sure I didn’t appear depressed – not that I am, usually.

Suitably impressed by my effusive showing, or bored, Dave probed along new lines: “What do you think of Sarah Palin?” Well, it was the most commonly asked question a couple of weeks back, and I felt jaded by my usual response of “ghastly, those Americans are mad, what a witch, how dare she hunt defenceless animals” so I decided to shock and awe my inquisitor. “A very brave and charismatic woman, a real conviction politician who stands out in this world of greys.” Dave, now clearly wrong-footed, spluttered, “But what about her belief in intelligent design?” I couldn’t keep it up: “I too shop at Habitat”. The penny dropped, we all laughed.

I forget which bank Dave worked for. Oh no. It was Lehman’s.

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