I am in the office alone updating all of my Support Plans. I’m making sure I’ve signed each page of each Support Plan in the correct place; after all efficient bureaucracy is obviously the key to ensuring progress in our resident’s lives.
All of a sudden, a slightly obese, uncouth twenty one year old female member of the underclass storms in to the office. It’s Kirsty, Kenny’s current girlfriend. She immediately starts shouting.
“This place is a f**king joke,” she growls.
I agree with her but for very different reasons.
“First of all, calm down Kirsty. Please don’t walk in to the office on the offensive. For a start, you should knock and wait to be invited. If I wanted to talk to you I would knock on your door and wait until you opened it.”
However, I never want to talk to Kirsty. Sometimes I have to but I can’t get away from that. She ignores my comments and continues her rant.
“Where is Brendan? I want to talk to him?” she asks.
“He is keyworking some one.”
“Well, I put in a request for a wake up call with the night worker and they wrote it in the book and then I only got called once and so I slept in. I had an important appointment and it’s this place's fault I missed it. I specifically asked to be called three times within half an hour,” she remarked.
“Well Kirsty, for a start we are not a hotel we shouldn’t be doing wake up calls and if you had asked me I would have told you to use the alarm on your mobile phone to get yourself up. We are supposed to be helping you to become independent. We are not servants. You should not have been told you could have one wake up call never mind three. However, you did have one and should have got up then. We have other things to do. If it had been me working you wouldn’t have even got one.”
“Look, I’ve got a disorder where I can’t get up easily in the morning. I’ve told the Doctor about it and all so you can ask him about it. I have to be woken several times or I just fall back to sleep.”
I didn’t know being lazy and stupid was a medical disorder but there you go, you learn something new every day in this place. I wonder is her inability to get and keep a job or stay on a course a disorder as well. The fact she is two stone overweight is also probably a disorder called Repetitive Shoving of Pies Down One’s Gullet Syndrome.
I somehow doubt that Kirsty’s Doctor would validate her insistence that her laziness is an illness. You never know though after all many in the medical fraternity believe addiction is an illness as opposed to the results of people’s choices.
“I think you may find that a large proportion of the country suffer the very same difficulty with getting up in the morning, but they have to make sure they get up as they don’t have keyworkers,” I comment.
“You lot are supposed to help us and you hassle us when we are not doing anything. I had to go and see about a job this morning and thanks to this place I’ve lost that chance,” she barks.
“Well you are going to have to learn to get yourself up. If you cant get up for an interview how the hell are you going to get up for work?” I ask.
Kirsty shrieks in frustration at such straight talking, partially because she isn’t exposed to too much of it around here.
“I’m putting in a complaint form about this, it’s not on,” she says as she wobbles in her tracksuit out of the office.
You do just that Kirsty. It’s your right after all and as our Complaints Charter states:
We treat all complaints about the qulaity of our services and the conduct of our staff with serious concern…We endeavour that all our service users are comfortable and confident in making complaints about our services. To do this we will provide as many different options to make complaints as possible, including text, telephone, in writing, email and in person.
Now, with policies like this is it any wonder we have people making complaints about not getting the sufficient number of wake up calls. What is worse is that Kirsty’s complaint will be dignified with a written response from management. Personally, I wouldn’t waste the paper. Then both her complaint and the manager's response will be placed in a file which will be scrutinised, as part of an audit, by bureaucrats from the Department of Communities and Local Government.