The following events took place quite recently and are true with no embellishment. However, location and names have been changed because I am probably breaking some sort of rule, regulation or policy, but it was such a surreal event blah blah blah, you get the picture.
Apart from my scanty attempts at writing this blog and trying to write my first novel, I work as a ‘Care Worker slashhh support worker’. So I refer to myself as a caring support worker. I can say hand on testicles that this ‘Job’ is the most rewarding type of work I have ever done and I wish I had moved into this type of work years ago.
Anyway, now to the gritty. I had been working with the ‘Company ‘ for about 4 weeks and as such, had been learning the ropes by shadowing several colleagues to acquire the knowledge of how to look after 5 gentlemen who live in 2 adjoining houses. All 5 gentlemen are between the ages of 53 and 63, and all 5 have very severe learning disabilities. Only 2 of them can communicate verbally, but their words are very limited. One of them repeats the name of Bobby Robson, the sadly deceased football manager. However, this chap, who, for the sake of this blog, I shall call Ron, shortens Bobby Robson to Bobson. Ron has the frustrating habit of frequently refusing to walk and laying down in random places around both houses and refusing to move.
The other chap repeats the words ‘Tidied up’ over and over and over. I shall refer to him as Chris and he has an ‘Interesting’ habit that I will reveal later in this blog.
A third chap wonders aimlessly around all day and most of the night grabbing and pulling the carers around for no apparent reason other than wanting to drink 24/7. I shall call him Paddy.
A forth chap is the most capable of all five. He can’t talk but makes attempts to communicate by making horrific noises and pulling the carers around the house to show them what he wants. He has a fetish for trying to smell the feet of the female carers and has an unhealthy obsession for coffee. I shall call him Matty.
Last but by no means least is a chap about 5 feet in height. He has Downs Syndrome, is very strong and makes sounds not dissimilar to a jack hammer that are so loud the eardrums reverberate for several minutes after you have left his company. I shall refer to him as Jack.
Jack goes to a day centre from Monday too Friday to give him something to do and give everyone else some much needed eardrum respite.
It is worth saying that we, the caring support workers, do everything for the residents, you name it, we do it, so they have the best possible experience of life.
One weekday morning, whilst Jack was at the day centre, both houses were in desperate need of food, cleaning items etc. So, in the infinite wisdom of my co-workers, I was left in sole charge of the 4 residents whilst the other 2 workers went out to do the shopping.
And the fun filled nightmare began.
There was I, just 4 weeks into my ‘Shadowing ‘ experience, watching over and looking after 4 unpredictable chaps with extremely limited capabilities. I decided to cook them all a traditional Sunday roast in addition to getting all the washing done, whilst trying to make sure they were happy and comfortable.
The Benny Hill scenario began when Ron came into the kitchen and laid down on the floor in front of the fridge freezer, repeating Bobson with a cheeky toothless smile. That was fine, in fact I batted it back at him and the word Bobson reverberated around the kitchen walls. Then Matty came chuntering through the kitchen and headed straight to the coffee pot to pour himself a cup (Matty has the capability of making his own coffee)
No problem I thought, so he got on with it whilst Bobson echoed.
Next into the kitchen came Paddy, headed straight for me, grabbed my arm and pushed me towards the kettle, which Matty was by now, trying to monopolise. I bumped into Matty, who let out a low growl whilst Paddy carried on pushing my arm towards the kettle. Bobson had gained in momentum and decibels by the time ‘Kettle Gate’ was in full swing.
And then, the “Piece De Resistance” came into the kitchen in the form of Chris, accompanied by the immortal words “Tidied up”. Chris nearly fell through the door because his jogging bottoms had fallen down around his ankles. Unfortunately, Chris is double incontinent, and in his outstretched hand was a giant, softish looking poo, which he had kindly scooped from his pull-up to show me what he had accomplished!!
I didn’t panic, but I did have the thoughts ‘What the fuck should I do’? and ‘Help’ racing through my mind. Bobson was still ricocheting around the increasingly smelly kitchen, with no intention of moving. Matty was starting to guzzle coffee at an alarming rate, Paddy still had a firm grip on my wrist and Chris was beaming with pride at his tidying up adventure.
I somehow regained composure, quickly moving towards Chris, reaching for him and holding the wrist that was attached to the hand that held the poo. Miraculously, Bobson jumped up from the floor and left the kitchen, quickly followed by Paddy into the living room who had thankfully relented his grip on my wrist. I glanced over at Matty who was grinning and clapping as I carefully guided Chris out of the kitchen, trying desperately not to let his poo drop from his hand whilst praying Matty didn’t projectile vomit from all the coffee!!
Somehow, I managed to bath Chris, change him, avoid a crime scene of projectile vomit and keep them all safe, happy and well fed.
Let me tell you, it was a potential catastrophe that thankfully didn’t transform into a situation that would convince me it wasn’t the job for me.
I love helping people who have been dealt a cruel hand and at the moment, I wouldn’t swap this job for any of the other jobs I’ve worked in throughout my life so far. Not all rewards are financial although I little less poo would be nice!!