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If Carling made jobs, this would be it
I spoke with a colleague this week who manages another branch. She sounded positively down in the dumps which was totally out of character for her. I asked if she was OK. ‘No,’ she responded, “it’s been a bad week”.
The homecare industry is set at a frenetic pace. You take one day off and return to work and everything’s changed; so much happens throughout the day. We plan for summertime, wintertime and every other time in between. We are already recruiting for January and the office rota for Christmas and New Year has gone up on the wall.
Barely time to catch your breath
The constant planning and daily firefighting leaves you barely time to catch your breath. The industry is so fast paced. Your focus switches constantly as priorities change. I sit at my desk not really knowing what will happen in the next 10 minutes, never mind next week.
My colleagues have often said “We should have a film crew in here” and it’s true. Some days you finish the day wanting to go home and cry. Other days you finish and bounce out the door on a high.
To support your workforce you have to be available at all times; the job must take priority over everything else. This is not a job where you can predict a finish time. You cannot say to friends and family “I’ll be there at 6pm” because it doesn’t happen like that. Yes, the hours can be long and some days never end. Yes, the phone can go at any minute for guidance, support and advice. Sometimes it’s just for a shoulder to cry on.
There is always something to smile about
Later the same day I received a text from my colleague Karen - the same one who earlier sounded despairing. She had taken some flowers to a service user who she had not seen for some time, and as she was leaving she said “Thanks Karen”. The lady is a dementia sufferer. Karen ended her text with “For her to remember my name makes it all worth it”.
Every day is different and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I get to work with some amazing people, people like Karen. Individuals of the highest caring calibre, who have dedicated their lives to help and care for others. There is always something to smile about. The little things make the hugest of differences. I believe the adrenalin and buzz, the highs and lows of this job are like no other.
Who wants a normal 9-5 anyway?
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