Sunday, 21 December 2014
The Gift of Light
On this the shortest day of the year, when the light begins to return, it is I believe one month today since that fateful meeting of which I wrote - the meeting between myself, my nemesis and her sidekick with my own Manager to iron out our difficulties and misunderstandings, for that is what it turned out to be, a misunderstanding based on the assumption that what others were saying about me was the truth, when in reality it was just their perspective. When they thought I was asking inappropriate questions about the clients and the work that the staff in the care home were carrying out, what I was in fact doing was trying to find out whether or not this was a job that would suit me. The response that I got ultimately showed me that it was not, and so their behaviour and assumptions have for them at least, backfired spectacularly, for it means that they have lost the opportunity to have me working there alongside them. I don't think realistically this was really an option anyway, but I had to ask those questions in order to find out, as that is the only way in which to learn. It did though open up another possibility - that of joining the supported living team. I have always known (pretty much) that I did not wish to do care work, as this involved dealing with body fluids and the less savoury aspects of human behaviour, but support work is different. Those who need care are unable to care for themselves and live independently - this may for due to a number of reasons - a stroke perhaps that has left them partially paralysed, or severe learning difficulties that makes it hard for them to learn to cook. Those who need support however can live independently but need support and mentoring in order to do this - help perhaps with keeping their flat clean, managing their money or with being taken to appointments. This then is the role of Support Worker, a role for which I believe I am eminently more suited. At least one of the Senior Support Workers it seems agrees, for two weeks ago she approached me and suggested that I consider applying for a job in the Unit where she works. After much deliberation I have done just this. This is not a decision that I took lightly and I still oscillate from day to day as to whether it is the right thing. Sometimes I am filled with confidence and am certain that this is for me, but sometimes I am filled with doubts, and almost agonising over whether to withdraw the application and stick with what I know. I wish I understood where these doubts come from and what triggers them - a lot of it is the fear if things going wrong and having burnt my bridges with my existing job (for the moment I leave I know I will have to be replaced) and not being able to go back. If this happens then I will be forced to leave the best place I have worked at for a long time. Yet another part of me knows that I cannot make a mistake, for it is all a learning experience, my goodness, decisions, decisions, why is it never easy? Having had a chat with a few others who have or are doing that same job, I am clear in my mind that I would be able to do this, and would potentially be very good at it but there is still this indecision that is holding me back. A lot of it too is the hours - it will involve shift work including after 6 months the possibility of sleeping over maybe up to once or even twice a week, and 24 hour shifts - a late shift followed by a sleepover and then followed by an early. I know how lack of sleep affects me and how ratty I get and am concerned that tiredness may affect my ability to do the job effectively. I am also aware of what has been referred to as "issues of favouritism" regarding the rotas, whereby new staff are given all the shifts that no one else wants to do with very little time or support to be able to deal with their paperwork. I however would be working in a separate unit where these issues do not (as far as I know) arise, with a team that I already know and like, and perhaps more importantly with clients that I like and know. Yet there is still this uncertainty, and this indecision. The answer may be as was suggested to do bank work for a while at the weekends, to see with no real commitment from me whether this is for me. In the end it may be the only solution. In the meantime, Christmas is beckoning. I have a full six days off from work this year which is more than I have had in a decade. I must admit that I have enjoyed the more regular hours that my job entails and the opportunity it also presents to be out in the fresh air. Coran and I will spend Christmas at home this year, just the two of us visiting her family on Boxing Day and mine I expect at some time in the New Year. It has been an anxious time these past few days, since last week Coran's sister had a heart attack and had to be rushed to hospital today. After tests and a few days rest, they confirmed that it caused by a blood clot that travelled from her lung into the heart. This is pretty scary stuff, as it could easily have been fatal. She is home now though and recovering which I guess is that matters. As for the New Year - well I guess that only time will tell. For the moment at least any decisions are out of my hands, so I can but sit and wait.