Those of you who were sleeping with me in 2007 will remember that I used to be a social worker.
Specifically, I worked in an older adult mental health team.
(With how ‘PC’ language has got, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was now called the “Experienced service user cognitive maintenance and support partnership”)
Having anything even vaguely resembling a sense of humour in that job is very scary. It’s like walking a tightrope – one wrong quip and you’re fired.
Thankfully, I managed to escape unscathed…
(Having to wear a tag and not being allowed within 500 metres of a swimming pool counts as “unscathed”, right?)
… but there were a few gags that popped into my head – at completely inappropriate times – that have always stayed with me.
Like when I met Dorothy.
I was asked to go an assess Dororthy after her family had noticed she was starting to have memory problems.
(BTW, I’ve changed Dorothy’s name, not because of privacy, but because, in a weird sense of irony, I can’t sodding remember it)
Dorothy was functioning perfectly well at home – she did her own shopping, washing and cleaning, and she was an active member of a bowling club, but the family had noticed a few things, so…
… I went out to see her.
She was warm and friendly right from the get-go – the sweetest of the sweetest old ladies you could possibly imagine.
There were also doilies – lots and lots of doilies.
She put them EVERYWHERE.
(I think she may have even put one on the couch before I sat down)
Within 5 minutes it was clear that she wasn’t a major risk…
… she made a cup of tea by adding milk AFTER the hot water, for example.
(This comprised 98% of every social work assessment I ever did)
We got chatting. She talked about her life and her routines and she clearly had a solid grasp on reality.
(You wouldn’t believe some of the conversations you have when working in mental health…
… “Do you mind if we make it quick, John? Only Bill Clinton’s just been on the blower. He wants to recruit me for Galaxy Force 7. He’s battling alien overlords and wants me, Peter Andre and Angela Lansbury on board…”)
Dorothy was fine. As social work visits go, this was a piece of cake…
… probably with a doily underneath.
Towards the end of our chat, she got a little quiet, as if she had something difficult she wanted to say. “You know…”, she started, before pausing again.
If you’ve ever been on the end of a difficult breakup conversation, you’ll recognise the vibe.
She was talking so quietly, that I had to lean forward.
My doily may even have slipped off the couch.
“… I’ve not said anything to my family… but I have noticed… small things… here and there… where I’m a little forgetful…”.
“FOR F**K’S SAKE. WE GET IT – YOU’VE GOT MEMORY PROBLEMS. STOP BANGING ON ABOUT IT EVERY 5 SODDING MINUTES WILL YOU???”
… is what popped into my head.
“I wouldn’t worry about it. You’re doing fine. Talk to your family though. I’ll pop my number next to your phone and give it to them too. Call me if you get worried. Now… any chance of another Bourbon?”
… is what I probably said.
(I definitely remember the Bourbon bit)
I had a few people contact me, saying they’d seen yesterday’s email before.
It was a different version of a social post I made a few months ago, but I didn’t think I’d sent it to you – my favourite of all people.
I’m quite careful about double posting emails, so I checked.
I couldn’t find it in my mail account, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t do it.
If I did, consider this as a worthy replacement, along with the following statement, read by the head of my newly formed, “You messed up” division…
Also, I added a doc to the GOOGLE DRIVE OF AWESOMENESS!!!! yesterday.
It details how I recently approached someone who was waaaaaayyy out of my league and managed to get my foot in the door.
If you’ve been struggling with developing a cold pitch to get noticed, I think you’ll like it.
I’ve included the exact text I used, given links to the all-important doc I created AND included their replies – word for word.
I’ve called it “The Sniper Approach” because:
a) it’s a solid metaphor,
b) it sounds cool, and
c) I’ve been playing far too much Fortnite recently.
(I’m still crap)
May your inbox be unfettered with duplicate posts for the rest of the weekend,