I’ve fallen out of the habit of blogging lately, for a number of reasons. Life has been a bit hard for the past year or so, let’s just leave it at that!
And now it happens that I am in a new (part time, sadly, but you accept whatever work you can get over here!) job which offers an endless supply of amusing blog material… but I can’t blog about it! I’m working as an Activity Therapist in a care home, so confidentiality rules are obviously in place. I will try to work my way around this in order to write about my day in general, without discussing individuals, but I can’t write many of the stories I already have without fear of causing offence and/or losing my job.
I can, however, tell you about my first day of training today, under the supervision of the girl who does my job at a different care home. We were sitting on a sofa in the lobby when I felt a spider or something land on my shoulder. You know, that ticklish feeling where you instinctively bat at yourself without knowing what dastardly overly-legged villain you’re fighting off.
After a frantic inspection of my shoulderal area, during which I managed to maintain my calm, professional, listening expression, I concluded that the intruder had fallen off or scuttled away to pastures greener, and decided – with an admirable power of self control – to dismiss it from my mind.
Have you ever tried to do that, by the way? Dismiss the fact that a fecking SPIDER has just landed on you and you don’t know where it’s gone? It’s a skill in itself. And I mastered that skill. You would never have known what had happened.
And so it came to pass that at least 20 minutes elapsed before I was standing in a resident’s room, with my guide showing me a memory box she’d helped him to create as part of his therapy. The spider was gone from my mind, I’ll have you know, until that horrific moment when I suddenly felt it crawling around INSIDE MY BRA.
That is not a feeling you want to get on your first day in a new workplace. Something crawling around in your bra. Honestly, if you’ve never considered it until now, let me just assure you that you don’t want it to happen.
My memory of the spider-on-shoulder incident immediately came to the front of my mind, and I froze in an awkward mixture of horror and desire to maintain a professional exterior.
“So you should involve the relatives,” said my guide, “and most will help you to fill it with photos and letters, you know, anything that will trigger a memory or -”
“I’m so sorry to interrupt,” I said in my politest, most terrified voice, “but there seems to be a spider in my bra.”
I can honestly say I have never uttered that sentence before; nor have I ever interrupted a professional training session to turn away, stick my hand into my cleavage, and grope about frantically before triumphantly producing a small, wriggling arachnid. The trainer uttered an expletive and excitedly stomped on the unfortunate stowaway as it landed on the floor.
I’m not going to lie, it felt like the tone of the occasion changed quite significantly after that.
That’s day one of the induction done, anyway.