Down the rabbit hole

Alice discovers its a steep learning curve

I was counting on at least six weeks classroom time before the challenging “real people” stuff began. Thats how I like it- cram me full of information before showing me a client. “Alas” and “shock – horror” though, this was no gently sloping rabbit hole but a steep, steep learning curve kind of descent into the “wonderland” of support planning. After only two days we left the classroom, I was assigned my first client, and had begun searching my A-Z for an address deep in this unfamiliar borough of London ready for my first visit.

It didn’t help my rising sense of unpreparedness that Kate, my trainer, who it turned out has a wicked,  slightly sadistic, sense of humour, informed me I would not be “shadowing” her as I had been told but that she would be observing me! Now I am no shrinking violet but remember I had not been fed enough information for my liking – I was out of my comfort zone. However, despite my polite but increasingly frantic requests that she see sense (I think I may have even threatened to vomit at one point) she remained unmovable and on the twenty minute bus journey to Mrs B at flat 7 even had me rehearse out loud what I was going to say!

I am not ashamed to admit that as I knocked on the front door of Mrs B, a frail 82 year old in the early stages of dementia, I was as close to begging as I have ever come. As the door opened, however,Kate was all smiles, swept past me, and did the entire interview herself. I didn’t know whether to kiss her or punch her in the face!

So, as Alice said  “curiouser and curiouser” –  but at least I’ve made it down the rabbit hole and survived! I have since done the second visit to Mrs B on my own and it went ok. Ive got a lot to learn – I’m still out of my comfort zone but I’m enjoying the journey – hope you’ll stay with me and, please, tell me what your own journey is like.

Oh – and Kate ? – we’ve become good friends but she’s a little jumpy cos “paybacks a bitch” ha ha!!

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