Diary: A lighter take on the working week

Monday: Mixed feelings about work after the weekend’s flooding. Friday was my day off and the local evening news revealed that one of our rehab centres had to be evacuated. Catch up on Friday’s events and check on colleagues. One isn’t in as her village is cut off. All visits are to be cancelled, and we will only be responding to emergencies. Attend emergency planning meeting about service users who have had to be evacuated. Decide who needs an intermediate care bed and who can continue rehab at home. Return to the team and receive a message from a relative of an evacuated client enquiring whether we know where mum’s false teeth are.

Tuesday: Stranded colleague returns as floodwaters have receded, hugs and much relief all round. Sense that she has found the whole experience quite traumatic. Spend the day working on getting some evacuated residents home. Much time is spent locating a house key, key to pill box and a steamer. On one of the many phone calls to the rehab centre I overhear a member of staff advising another not to stand still too long or her feet will stick to the floor. Humbled in the afternoon after speaking to a home-care agency which, despite the flooding and the rural location, managed to complete every scheduled call over the weekend.

Wednesday: Further realise in team meeting this morning how much people went above and beyond their role over the weekend. Including team managers who waded through water to fetch an evacuated resident’s personal belongings and senior managers working at emergency centres. Informed that the home will be shut for three to six months. Return to the office and the scramble for respite beds begins.

Thursday: Arrive at work in optimistic frame of mind. All my evacuated service users are sorted and intend to do my own casework for the first time this week. Hopes are dashed as I’m on duty and an urgent visit is needed. Senior practitioner promises daughter on verge of breakdown that we will assist with tasks including pension collection. I speak to home care which won’t do it. Return problem to source and e-mail senior for her suggestions.

Friday: Slight unease in the team today as more heavy rain is forecast. There are concerns there may be a re-run of last weekend and worries of being stuck in the office. Lunchtime brings severe weather warnings and an instruction that “non-essential staff” should be encouraged to go home. However, a definition of this vague term is lacking. A further message is received that one of the main roads is flooded, and several staff leave. EDT collects names of people willing to work at emergency centres over the weekend if necessary. Stop on the way home and buy a pair of wellies, just in case.

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