It doesn’t take much to be kind to others and consider how your actions and words might impact negatively on them.
In just over a week, I have had an email from a very disgruntled daughter which basically accused me of being uncaring. This was followed by my trying to help a family member with some information they asked for – that’s important, they asked for me to find out the information – and then basically once again (sigh!) got accused of being out to upset them. Then finally today, I had a phone call from someone I worked with months ago – admittedly they have a brain injury – and they made threats which were very unpleasant! So, that has been my work life lately and I can tell you, it’s not been great fun.
The thing is as I tell people I work with; I don’t get up every morning and think ‘Who can I piss off today?’ Far from it. In fact, I do what I do because I want to help people and for the most part I do. For the most part I feel I am appreciated, and people realize I am trying my best. The thing is, in life I believe in being honest. In my job I 100% need to be and I’m not doing any favours to people if I don’t tell them what they need to know. Even if what I have to tell them is not what they want to hear. I feel like shouting sometimes ‘I DON’T MAKE THE RULES!’ But this messenger at times gets well and truly shot at!
I get that people are worried either for themselves or for their family member that is on the ward. I get that when people are worried and stressed, they can strike out and maybe behave uncharacteristically. I get all that, but it doesn’t make my job very pleasant sometimes.
The trouble is, we are often only seen as what we do, not necessarily who we are. In a role such as mine I am just ‘the social worker’ and not seen as a person who might also have things they are dealing with. Like… Oh, let me see…. Parkies for one!! Of course, I don’t ever share my diagnosis with those I work with but do wish sometimes that people would consider that all of us has ‘stuff’ that can weigh us down at times. All of us have situations that can cause us stress. We get tired, we get grumpy, we get overwhelmed. Maybe we can’t trot out a list of ‘why you should be kinder to me!’ but it would just be nice if people just thought about the possible impact on those they put in the firing line, when life doesn’t go as they would like.
You see posters around these days everywhere asking for people to treat staff with respect and kindness. I hope that in the next few weeks, I have a few more pleasant interactions than unpleasant ones. Particularly as I am doing the job of two people for another two weeks yet. My colleague is on leave, so for three weeks in total I am it for social work on my ward. In the main, I am doing fine, and my team are very supportive, but these negative interactions certainly put a dent in my sense of well-being.
May the next two weeks be more positive!
I should put a sign around my neck that shouts ‘BE KIND PEOPLE!’