Where there's a Willesden there's a way

Thursday, January 11, 2007


My client's hiding in a bush round the corner when a text arrives from My Lady to tell me that she's in hospital after going down an escalator head first. And I'm tempted to join both of them.

That was Wednesday evening midway through the most unpredictable and dispiriting shift I've had in Greenborough. And although I tend to look forward to the end of the shift, as it involves heading home and getting on with my life, it's also the point when I have to admit to all the things I've screwed up in the team's eyes. On Thursday it genuinely seemed like I'd never get home.

I was kicking myself for two things on Wednesday night. My lady was in a pretty bad way, and I should have been doing boyfriend things like looking after her. By the time I got out of work she'd reluctantly left town to go and stay with her nurse parents for some pretty brutal rehab. I was also feeling guilty for startling one of the clients by opening the front door when he was struggling with his keys. I know it's not completely my fault he yelled and disappeared down the street (later to be found in a bush), but sometimes you need someone around to tell you that.

Sadly, I'm rapidly heading to two conclusions. Number 1, that there's a massive gulf between the idealised rhetoric of my job "Supporting people to make their own choices" and the reality "Forcing people to do stuff for the convenience of the organisation". I'm either too nice to do the second one, or I actually suck ass at the first. Number 2, I can't stand half the people I work with. It's lucky I really like the other half of them.

When I finally get home, a full 31 hours after I first left for work, it's pretty clear my housemate's having similar thoughts about her job. And in the longer term we've both got to work out where we go from here. In the meantime, there's a crate of beer in the fridge labelled "For people who suck ass at their jobs".

So at home we're going to neglect our household tasks, drink slightly too much and sleep until midday. And I'm suddenly quite keen to protect my clients' right to do exactly the same, even if it gets me fired.

Anyway, Chief's back on Monday. And once she's seen my list of new years resolutions, she's going to wish she'd never come back.

On the bright side, I'm more for coming out fighting than going down an escalator.


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