Mr XYZ Update

When I went back to work after 10 days of isolation, I fully expected to visit the character XYX. In all honesty, I was looking forward to seeing him because, despite all of his issues, he makes me smile and we get along like a house on fire.

Even though it’s against the rules, I slip him a fiver or a tenner before we part company. I know it’s probably the wrong thing to do because he probably squanders it in illicit ways, but I know for an absolute fact that he doesn’t have much, and it disturbs me that he will go days without any money in his pocket. Perhaps that’s the biggest factor in why he likes me. I don’t know but at least I know he has a little bit of money.

Anyway, when I turned my laptop on to catch up with everything, one of the emails immediately caught my eye. It was decorated with a red headline from my manager. I opened it and my heart sank a little bit. In a nutshell, or a scrotum sack, my manager has taken me off XYZ’s case. He has been handed over to a new starter, because, and I quote, “His unique character and his personal issues will be a good experience for the new starter”. I couldn’t get my head around that sort of reasoning!! It is like he’s just an inanimate subject that is good to practice and hone new skills on, just to become better at the job. I saw it as, his mental issues and personal problems are seen as invaluable learning material!!! To hell with what he needs or wants! I know I’m probably wrong, but that’s how I feel about the whole situation, so God knows what he’s thinking!!

One of the last pieces of news I heard regarding him, is that he is still waiting to be evicted! Although the courts have ruled to evict him, the housing association that he rents the flat off, have got to make their own application to evict him. Apparently, it has to go down that route so all legal avenues have been covered and exhausted. Maybe, they’re trying to ensure he gets to stay in a property that he is familiar with over the Christmas and New Year period. I’d like to think that’s what they’re doing.

Meanwhile, Mr XYZ is living in limbo, on constant tenterhooks, knowing he can do nothing about it, waiting for the inevitable to happen, but not knowing when the chopper will fall.

My colleague rang me this morning to let me know how he is. He walked into the middle of the road yesterday morning (Friday) and began waving his arms around, tapping on the windscreens of the cars that were forced to stop, saying hello and have a nice day and then pretending to be Adolf Hitler, goose stepping in and out of the traffic. The police arrived on scene and didn’t have to force him into a police car. My colleague told me he looked really happy and almost led the way to the police car. Apparently, he put his thumbs up as they drove him away. I think Mr XYZ knows exactly what he’s doing, sometimes!!! He’s one of a kind. I miss him.

45 thoughts on “Mr XYZ Update

  1. I agree. He knows what he is doing. At least that’s my impression based on what you wrote. His world is falling apart. He is a tenant not a person, a learning tool not a person, someone to fear due to mental illness and not a person. The only guarantee in life, after a certain point, is that if you pretend to be Hitler in the road long enough, the police will take you away. That makes you someone. You’re a naughty someone, but someone.

    I saw a lot of that in my old job. They even said what they were doing when they came back. Ironically, the same people we are trained since birth to avoid (be good or you’ll get arrested!) are sometimes the only people that can make a person feel human. People are taught to avoid them, but people on the edge need them. Not all the time, and not so much recently, but there’s a level of safety too. You do A or B, they will put you in the car and drive you away. Nothing else is guaranteed. Being Hitler and goose stepping through traffic WILL get you out in the police car. Guaranteed. No matter what else, that is guaranteed as long as you don’t get pancaked by a truck.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Exactly right Marla. Luckily for him. The traffic came to a standstill. I’m always concerned that when he does things like this, someone will take exception to his behaviour and assault him. As long as the police get to him first.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know someone who did this kind of thing. Would get annoyed at whatever driver called the police because she wasn’t doing anything wrong, just playing hopscotch. As a 50 year old. In traffic. But when someone else said to get out of the way, she would be the first to call the police. I can almost guarantee he’s savvier than you would expect. He wanted the police and got them without a false police call. If he thought it would go south, he had an exit strategy. I’ve seen full-blown psychosis still have 12 back-up plans. It’s quite imaginative and brilliant in many ways

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh yea, he’s a character that has moments of clarity. He knows what he wants and knows how to get it. It’s just a shame he doesn’t want or can’t or won’t to stop with the drugs.

        Like

      3. Yeah. He can’t. Whether it’s because he’s not ready, or medicating something internally, he just can’t yet. He may be ready some day, now is not the time until he knows it is. It’s unfortunate. Also common. That’s why you don’t give them money, it won’t be used for anything good. I know it’s hard not to, especially if you care. But make them work for it if that’s what they’re going to do. I gave food. A sandwich so I knew they were eating. That couldn’t really sell that, and if they could they were making a conscious choice to give up eating. When it’s already money, they just mindlessly go chase the drugs. Don’t promote that. You’d hate yourself if it goes belly-up. None of what you gave him had gone to rent. Likely, he hasn’t put a dime down for food in however long. You can’t control what he does, but you can make sure (to the best of your ability) that he’s ok. Giving him money isn’t making him ok. It feels like it is, but it’s not. Making sure he gets that sandwich is the best thing you can do. Even a peanut butter and jelly. Not three or four of them; he can sell those to the lady with four kids and no money. One sandwich means no one will get it and his brain will just say “food! Eat…”
        He’s truly lucky to have you in his life

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the update on Mr XYZ. Your heart is in the right place and you did what you could for him ❤ For many reasons beyond an individual's control, survival in this world is much harder for millions among us. As the numbers of those who fall behind grow, our local communities fail to keep up in providing for their needs. Here in Los Angeles, the number of individuals who are homeless or "unhoused," as some prefer to call them, have reached critical levels.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m guessing the situation in L.A. is probably much worse than it is around Derbyshire, where I live. It’s definitely becoming a lot worse over here, especially in and around the big cities.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree that the argumentation of the manager reduces XYZ to an object for studies, like a laboratory mouse. The manager is either cynical or completely insensitive. But why would he want to go to prison? A roof over the head and food?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. OMG! I feel like I kind of know the guy! not personally, but still! Maybe management did you a favor in a way. If you get too attached to a person you’re trying to help and they die it’s so hard on you. It leads to burnout. It sounds like you’re doing a good job and at least you are one person in the system that cares. Keep up the good fight for the human rights of those people!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. When I worked at Home Instead…management was always trying to do that to me. At first, it was a “temporary” pull, putting me in with someone new to the system, but when they started doing it more and more I put my foot down and told them no! I was working with Alzheimer’s, dementia…people that just didn’t really trust anyone else. Most any seniors I went in with, were begging me to come back! There was also the issue that a lot of the girls they hired weren’t very trustworthy.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Nice one John! I reckon the social services policy is, (as it was in my day, long ago,) ‘Don’t get emotionally involved with your clients.’ Easier said than done of course! And I’m sure you will miss him. And he you.

    I read somewhere that when Socrates was sent to jail he went gladly, offered no resistance.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s difficult not to become attached Peter. Yea, maybe he’s unsure about his place in this world. Sometimes, I think he has no identity. He’s an abstract painting in a black and white world Peter.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Touching as usual, John, and sorry to hear about the seemingly whimsical decision-making.
    But glad to see you came through the virus okay, on the upside!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. LOL !!
    That would be me, too, if I cooked. Good for me (not being able to taste). Bad for hubby (projectile vomiting horrible cooking).

    I hope you get more rest at some point. We have to resume our lives, yeah, but how does one keep going, going, going with exhaustion? Take care of yourself. 🙂

    Like

  9. And I know if you figured that out, Mr. XYZ did a long time ago. Yeah, that’s what your ilk did to me too. Any time I didn’t conform to what they expected of me, I was “treatment-resistant.” I wish Mr. XYZ well, and I wish your boss a day filled with abject misery.

    Like

  10. Wow, what a character. I bet he has moments of fun too, just laughing through life. It’s sad that they do switch up people in his life. I would think caretakers are the only real family he truly gets to know. I imagine he too has his favorite, to only have them taken away from him as soon as he shows interest in seeing them every time. Heart breaking. It happens here in our country too, with the government programs that is. Hurts both sides. We as humans need our community, groups of others, and just that familiar feeling of seeing a friendly face that we have seen many times before.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I wrote a comment… and it disappeared! 😦
    The gist of it was this : I find this both infuriating and heartbreaking… and can only imagine how it must make YOU feel! So I am sending a huge hug to you right now. I am so sorry to read this news 😦 And I echo your sentiment : what about what HE wants and needs??? He’s a human being and not just someone’s lesson!!!!!!!!

    And you sound a LOT like me. I have also been known to ‘break rules’ when it comes to being kind and compassionate. You would not believe the amount of homeless people/street people around here. And we no longer have a shelter for them either. Unfortunately they have a tendency towards violent crime as well, so most avoid them, especially when it comes to giving. The biggest argument against giving money is that they will use it for drugs and alcohol…. I kind of feel like I might do the same should I be living on the street – especially our streets where they will stab you for a cigarette! So I give anyway. I have my regulars – a man who looks to be in his forties and is most certainly mentally ill; and a group of boys who look between the ages of 12 and 15. When I don’t see one of these regulars in a day, I am concerned for their safety. It’s a relief to encounter them yelling for me the next day as soon as they see my car! Sadly, there are trust issues regarding my safety… so these regulars of mine usually just get some food and cash through my car window, opened as little as I can, doors locked. But that is how we have to travel around here anyway. I could never approach them alone on foot. But conversation would be difficult anyway because of the language barrier.
    What has happened though is that I have a bright yellow car, and have become ‘known’. And so now there are many more who wave and try to flag me down. I feel horrible saying no… but I simply don’t have enough to go around 😦 Unfortunately I have to put my kids needs first.
    There are organisations around here who do help with food and clothing…. quite a few, in fact. All privately funded. But it’s just not enough. And even worse is the privately funded bureaucracy that dictates rules and regulations that even I can see are impossible for these street dwellers, which means ‘we’ll help… but only so much and only if….’
    It’s frustrating to say the least!
    Sometimes, I understand the rules…. but if you don’t know their why, how on earth do you expect to help them? If you don’t understand fully their difficulties and challenges, then how on earth can you expect them to suddenly make changes?

    Yip…. all things I feel strongly about. But I won’t go on and on… this comment is long enough as it is! Ha ha!

    Keep doing what you’re doing, and keep being who you are, because you rock 😉
    And here… have another hug x

    Like

  12. I’m not a “social worker.” But I understand and your recounting here hit home on several levels across 40-odd years. Just concluded a 6-part vignette that samples what I’m talking about. Self-serving perhaps but when I write I draw from experience – shared or not. Good to see you back in harness.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Wow, we always have someone with whom we want to spend time. A person with whom we feel happy. Mr. Xyz is that type of character. I hope, you will meet him soon. Good things will come to you soon enough. Don’t worry, be happy. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s