Met with a parent who wants to know why her son “has to have”
his day at home (in the service) changed. This is the same parent
who complained bitterly (and quite rightly) that her son was funded
only for one-and-a-half hours’ one-to-one care each week. A quick
explanation of how the staffing has been restructured to give all
the tenants more one-to-one time without affecting their other
activities calms the stormy waters. Four hours later leaves and
thanks me. Perhaps I should join ACAS and really put the years of
training and experience to good use?


A rare opportunity to take back a few hours. I had phoned the
boss to ask her for annual leave and she said just take the time
and “owe it to us”. Having averaged a 55-hour week for the past six
months, we agreed that I could take the time off and the company
would owe me a little less! The meeting in the afternoon with
colleague providers went well. Not many policies ratified but it
was good to know that I wasn’t the only one facing recruitment and
retention problems. We agreed to share the four people in the
county who want to work as residential carers between us on a
week-to-week basis.


A visit from the boss. Her weekly inspections strike fear into
the heart of anyone not on a day off or annual leave. It isn’t that
she’s nasty or critical – I suppose it’s that she just seems to be
an entity far above us mere employees. A member of staff likens her
to Q from Star Trek. Way over my head although she does seem to
boldly inspect things that no man (or woman) has ever inspected
before such as tread on wheelchair tyres and the amount of
photocopy paper in stock.

Interviews in the afternoon. Is it only here that people come to
improve their interview technique prior to going for the job they
really want? Four applicants, one attended and informed us that the
JobCentre said he had to apply for jobs to get his benefits. A cup
of tea and a chat later and he agrees to do some volunteer driving
for us at weekends, “as long as it doesn’t affect my benefits”.


Having nursed a pounding head all last night and welcomed in
3am, 4am and 5am on the radio, finally get to sleep only to be
woken at 11am by the general manager. Told him that wild horses
wouldn’t get me into work today and he’s OK with it. Then the boss
phones and asks when I intend to be in. Of course she’s right. How
dare I let my work life be affected by illness? Drag myself to the
computer at home out of guilt.


Good job the body has an autopilot – it managed to get me up,
dressed and into work. What can the day hold? One manager calls to
say she won’t be in as the grandchildren need looking after,
another comes to complain about the lack of a payslip again!! I’m
told to go home by three out of the four people I see today, and so
I hide myself in the office for fear of being mistaken for someone
who can function. At least the weekend on call means I get to be at
home. Can I do telephone advice only, I wonder? Come back apathy,
all is forgiven, if you can be bothered that is.

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