Saturday, December 18, 2010

The last few days have seen my colleagues and I working like eedjits on speed. It must be a combination of the economic mess, snow and Christmas contributing to the avalanche of referrals over the past week. Or to put it another way people are experiencing shit, shit and more shit. We had been expecting a deluge of crisis referrals for people with financial, housing, employment and relationship problems after the new year. The traditional season for bills and recriminations following the Christmas bunfight. This year it has started early and we have been inundated. Most of them get redirected to appropriate agencies but that still entails a ton of paperwork and endless phone calls to a variety of people explaining why we will not be providing a service to that person. That's just for the people we don't provide a service for let alone the rainforest for those we do. Pointing out that a mental health problem is the starting point for a referral to our team elicits some astonishing reactions. That we are not housing/ employment / benefits / police / paramedics / medical doctors comes as a surprise to them. Nor do we provide a telephone support service for people in Dorset or Glasgow.
But we have done some sterling work for those we do work with and help them to get through the worst of it. There are some complaints from one or two individuals who don't like hearing some plain talking or advice to accept responsibilty for their behaviour. "The reason you are not making progress is the 6 litres of strong cider you drink every day" doesn't go down well with some people. Telling us "I can't be an alcoholic, I am middle-class" also does not wash when you are necking three bottles of quality French wine per day. It is all grist to the mill and most of us do what we can. It is also difficult because we do have a new senior manager who is a bureaucrat to the nth degree ("I love the smell of paper in the morning!") and new staff who give every appearance of being shy of hard work. C'est la vie. It is time to gird my loins for the supermercado.


Blogger Suzanne Jones said...

No doubt it's a very stressful job - dealing with the public always is, but even more so when they have such issues.


11:08 pm  
Blogger delcatto said...

Oddly enough the stress is manageable especially when working with people with severe mental illnesses. It tends to be the 'worried well' who are unwilling to accept responsibility for themselves plus their accompanying sense of entitlement that causes the problems. We generally work a way around but some people have to accept that Harry potter is fictional as are the magic wands we don't possess.
A client who once witnessed another client abusing us suggested he could fix the problem with a magic piece of 'four by two' wrapped around the latters head. So almost a magic wand...

10:34 am  
Anonymous Blue Witch said...

I was about to say something, but you beat me to it in your ccomment... "...who are unwilling to accept responsibility for themselves plus their accompanying sense of entitlement that causes the problems".

Hope you're not on call over the FOTCRâ„¢?

8:25 am  
Blogger delcatto said...

Sadly I am on call both nights.

10:05 am  
Blogger delcatto said...

What does FOTCR stand for?
Is it Felicitations of the Christmas ....?

10:06 am  
Anonymous Blue Witch said...

It's "Feast Of The Cash Register."

Google: ["Blue Witch" "FOTCR"] and you can read almost every mention there has ever been of it...

And bad luck with the on-call. I hope they're paying you a decent rate...

11:21 am  

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