As many of you know I work in finance and primarily work at Central. Part of my role is to visit the services to make sure the financial records are kept to a certain standard. This is one of my favourite parts of my job, I love to meet the people we support and engrain myself in their life (if only for a few hours) as it brings home the “why we do what we do” in such a humble fashion.
Upon arrival at one of the services I was told that most of the people we support were out for the day. One lady, Julie, had decided to stay home because she was having a “bad day”. No problem, I was the intruder, so I sat quietly in the office checking the financial records, all kept brilliantly by the way!
So there I was in the house with Julie and the Frontline Manager (FLM), happily ticking away when there was a knock at the door and Julie came in asking me to make her a sandwich (something I found out later that she is very capable of doing herself). I directed her towards the FLM but Julie was adamant that she wanted me to help her, so off to the kitchen we went.
I started to worry a little as this wasn’t my house; I was torn between overstepping boundaries and helping Julie or causing her more pain by getting the FLM to help her. It turned out to be an easy decision to make and on the way to the kitchen I mentioned to Julie that she would have to help me as I had never been in her house before.
My first question was which chopping board to use and where was it? Julie directed me effortlessly. Next question was bread, brown or white? Again Julie pointed me in the right direction. She had asked for a cheese sandwich, so I asked her to find the cheese for me in the fridge and once received it I asked her whether she like it grated or sliced? Did she like butter and if so lots or a little? Crusts, was she an on or off person? Finally cutting the sandwich, was she a triangle or square person?
Once we had finished, I looked up to see the FLM smiling at me. Julie took her sandwich and began to eat it. The FLM praised my interaction with Julie saying that she’d just witnessed a “Great Interaction”.
I was surprised, as to me, a mum of two, it seemed perfectly natural to ask the above questions, but I could see how easy it would have been for me to have quickly made a sandwich for Julie so that I could get back to my work.
Just shows you “it ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it” is such a formidable mantra and can be applied to any given situation.