Caring - Hardest Game In The World

Discussion in 'Taylor's Tittle-Tattle - General Banter' started by Clive_ofthe_Kremlin, Apr 17, 2020.

  1. Clive_ofthe_Kremlin

    Clive_ofthe_Kremlin Squad Player

    Update on carer lady - letter withdrawn and she was given an apology. Nothing recorded on disciplinary. We'll call that one a victory for the goodies.

    Meanwhile the Kremlin family Wartburg looks like it is finally for the scrapyard. Despite prayers, orations and several chickens sacrificed to the saints, it failed its MOT dismally with a list of faults as long as yer arm. Excessive play in this. Severely worn the other. The bill for fixing it? £466. English pounds. Not Pesos.

    Well the car is not worth £500, but the question is irrelevant anyway as I don't have it. I don't have half of it.

    So now I am a foot carer. Sans motor. Shanks's pony. I walked 12.2 km on my rounds today and did 7 visits.

    It is a bit of a pisher in some ways to be without wheels, but it is healthy to walk and at 06:15 in the morning when I set out, the dawn chorus was in full volume as I walked across the fields and the trees were black winter silhouettes against the dark blue sky lightening right up on the horizon where the sun was coming up. Just beautiful. The moon was a perfect crescent and Venus, the bright evening star, was sitting right next to it, like the Muslim sign and I thought to myself Allah Akhbar Clive, Allah bloody Akhbar!
    hornmeister likes this.
  2. Clive_ofthe_Kremlin

    Clive_ofthe_Kremlin Squad Player

    Announcement from our dear Sodexho employers re Xmas.

    Although time and a half will reluctantly be paid for working the bank holiday on Mon 28th Dec, they will be paying just normal regular minimum wage for us poor schmucks who'll be required to work on Boxing Day - Sat 26th.

    The master orders that I should NOT discuss this with other staff as those poor unfortunates who joined us after our capture by Sodexho will be paid "differently" (presumably no enhanced rates at all).

    Still, thanks for all the clapping though! I expect the little green 'Care' badge will be great too when and if it comes.
    Bwood_Horn and Moose like this.
  3. hornmeister

    hornmeister Administrator Staff Member

    Check the terms of your contract, it's unlikely they can vary it without agreement especially with respct to payment terms.
    One thing I've learned is that salary discussion amongst colleagues is a bad idea. If you're happy with what you get keep schtum, if not speak to the powers that be, plead your case, if you don't get a favourable response look for another job.
    inayellowshirt likes this.
  4. Moose

    Moose First Team Captain

    Sturgeon giving a flat £500 bonus to care staff in Scotland and has asked Westminster not to tax it, which is a nice F You to the UK Government, because it no doubt will.
  5. Keighley

    Keighley Squad Player

    Devolution has been a disaster.
  6. Moose

    Moose First Team Captain

    Yeah but you and the Governments Tory chums raking in millions from PPE and vaccine contracts are still all in it together aren't you?
    Clive_ofthe_Kremlin likes this.
  7. Moose

    Moose First Team Captain

    Says no care worker today.
  8. Diamond

    Diamond Squad Player

    Clive, is it minimum pay doing that job?
  9. Clive_ofthe_Kremlin

    Clive_ofthe_Kremlin Squad Player

    A little under the NMW.

    We get £10.44 per hour for "contact time" but zilch for the travelling time in between visits. However since some communistic leftie government has insisted that the travelling counts as working time, they have to ensure we get the absolute bare minimum for all the time we are out. Therefore there's often a little shameful addition to our weekly payslip saying something like "NMW £5.40" etc which is where they're making it up to avoid prosecution.

    Unfortunately many of my poor comrade carers, in their innocence, fondly believe they earn "more than £10 per hour" and that they're "better off" than those on NMW. I've tried explaining it to them many times, but you know how it is.

    On Sunday evening just gone, I did 3 jobs. All three were half hour visits putting to bed. All three involved copious amounts of the brown stuff. I earned £15. :-(
  10. Clive_ofthe_Kremlin

    Clive_ofthe_Kremlin Squad Player

    My first lady this morning is on the way out. I've attended her for a few years now (she was my first ever solo visit when I started). She's gone from being strong and determined and intellectual to being super-frail, wetting the bed and quite confused. Her liver is failing they say.

    Night carer at the start of the week was so worried they said they didn't think she'd last the night after another bad fall she'd had. I was there the next morning first thing, but rather than forewarn me or give me any info about what had happened, my dear Sodexho bosses merely phoned me after the visit to see if she was still alive or not.

    This morning I managed to manually lift her out of her wet bed (she can't even sit up by herself now), stand her up, get her on the commode for her business, get her washed and dried, fresh pad and PJs on (pre-warmed on the radiator), bed changed, carry her back into the bed and get her comfortable. Feed her cats. Feed her. Cup of tea. Morning paper. Hearing aids in, specs cleaned and on. And all in 30 mins. Five whole English pounds well earned!

    Where the real earning comes is right at the end of the visit when I said goodbye to her. We held hands and she cried a bit and said I was "a godsend" and she wished it was me who came every morning.
  11. zztop

    zztop Eurovision Winner 2015

    Hat's off Clive.
  12. Diamond

    Diamond Squad Player

    Jesus Clive, I've never welled up reading any post on here before but .....
  13. Clive_ofthe_Kremlin

    Clive_ofthe_Kremlin Squad Player

    Well, you know that us poor people, in our innocence, are quite scatter brained sometimes. Also, as our living circumstances are a bit different, we don't normally have neat shelves of indexed box files stored in our home study.

    As an alternative to the middle class home office and en-suite study, we poor have a thing we call "the yellow box". It is a large plastic thing with a clip-on lid, kept stashed away in a small cupboard here alongside the shoe cleaning kit, envelopes and paper, the chess set, a plastic bag full of connecting cables for who knows what, assorted stuff the kids have made at school and certificates and such. It is so full that not all the clips will go on at the four sides and bits of paper spill out of the top like an overstuffed mattress.

    When any paper comes through the post or whatever, that any Kremlin thinks they might like to keep, it is designated for "the yellow box". After a couple of weeks or so of sitting on the windowsill or on top of the microwave or propped up alongside the toaster, it will be grabbed with anything else destined for the box and shoved in.

    There's all sorts of old shyte knocking around in there, from ancient yellowing receipts, to old payslips and P60s, stuff to do with car, stuff from the union, stuff from the school, stuff from the various employers and authorities that they sometimes demand to see from time to time when you're getting means tested.

    It's not even in any sort of chronological order, because every few months or so, a cursing bad-tempered Kremlin will root through it looking for some paper or other and turn it all upside down and higgeldy piggeldy. If they have found the paper that those above are demanding to see, then they seem to have little inclination to tidy up, but rather just shove everything back in and force the lid down. If they have been unsuccessful, it is worse. We couldn't find the log book for the dear departed family Wartburg when it went to the scrappers last week, which caused a great deal of wailing, gnashing of teeth, tearing at clothes and shuffling of the yellow box. I haven't seen our wedding certificate in years and think it's lost altogether. Also very worried about my birth certificate.

    So, maybe the contract is in the yellow box somewhere. Probably. Towards the bottom I should expect. If you want to have a look for it so it can be checked, then feel free, but I'll be farked if I'm doing it.....
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2020
  14. Clive_ofthe_Kremlin

    Clive_ofthe_Kremlin Squad Player

    ...And so the BIG moment of the year arrives!

    In previous years, our masters have not been very generous with Christmas gifts. One year we had a little package like a food parcel, with biscuits and fudge and a few other bits in. Another year we had a £20 shopping voucher, which was nice.

    However this year is different. We carers have been on the front line, working extraordinary hours to keep the job going. With the desperate staff shortage anyway, when carers have had to isolate we've all done days from 7am through to 10pm with no stopping. No lunch break, no any break. Just driving round the county from one job to another. We've all done 20+ visits in a single day.

    Obviously with so much contact, we've been putting ourselves at risk with a lot of exposure. We've sweated through the summer wearing full PPE in steamy shower rooms, we've scraped the car windscreen in the winter and been out in all weathers. Not only that, but this year, we have the millions of the mighty Sodexo international conglomerate behind us. This year is different.

    We knew that they wouldn't let us down when it came to showing their appreciation and we have NOT been disappointed! The gift arrived in the post on Saturday tucked away inside a cheap, pre-printed Xmas card, the front of which said happy christmas and new year from SWEATEM'S CARE AGENCY!

    And what a gift! It's the best I think I've ever received. Although the card was immediately tossed in to the recycling, the gift is in pride of place in the Kremlin lounge and has already led to HUGE Christmas cheer and merriment amongst the comrades and family that I've shown it to.

    It is a thin plastic circle with a piece of short ribbon tied to the top. The consensus is you're supposed to hang it on your Xmas tree. It is inscribed with the following touching poem, which I take the liberty to reproduce here....

    Christmas 2020
    2020 what a year!
    Lots of people cried in fear
    (yeah us, on rent day, said Ciff)
    But beyond the cries, worries and strife
    You our carers brought calmness and light
    (Ahh they read about me resetting that tripped MCB in the fuse box at that old boy's house then)
    The job you do brings smiles and hope
    To clients and familes who thought they couldn't cope
    Long shifts, short shifts all the same
    To those people you're more than a name
    We thank you for the job you do
    And in this place of work
    We need amazing people like you!

    Care Agency

    So there you have it. I'm sure, like me, you're wiping away a quiet tear of laughter at this trite old shyte. It couldn't have been funnier if they'd printed the old "money is tight, times are hard, here's your fackin' christmas card" on it. I wonder who the poet was? It doesn't scan, it barely rhymes. Still, great to find out that to the clients (or "those people") at least, I'm more than just a name. Makes up for being simply an employee number and economic unit of profit production to the Society of Exploitation in some ways. The thanks at the end feel like the sort of thankyou that a mugger might give you as he takes your wallet. I am sure of their sincerity when they say they need more people like me. They just don't want to pay for them is all....
  15. Clive_ofthe_Kremlin

    Clive_ofthe_Kremlin Squad Player

    Lady passed away Saturday night. Janet was her name. Lovely old girl. I shall miss her very much in the mornings.
  16. Moose

    Moose First Team Captain

    It’s great you were able to care for her over that time. It is a very hard job, but incredibly worthwhile. RIP Janet.
  17. Christ, that's tough. Sorry to hear Clive. I know I couldn't do it, even for 5 whole english pounds per 30 mins. I guess the gratitude and knowledge you made the last few weeks a little more palatable for her is worth a lot more. You go to bed at night knowing you made the world a little better for someone. I go to bed knowing I've just nailed a crackin' spreadsheet.
    Diamond and Clive_ofthe_Kremlin like this.
  18. Moose

    Moose First Team Captain

    Hey, the love’s all there for you Excel Jockeys. C’mon, big hug.
  19. Aw stop it, it's nothing really, you're making me blush....
  20. Otter

    Otter Gambling industry insider

    Obviously that's the massive downside of your job, as well as arses for bosses, that your clients will deteriorate and pass on eventually.
  21. Loyalhornet

    Loyalhornet First Year Pro

    That genuinely bought a tear to my eye . Really very sad. God bless you Clive
    Clive_ofthe_Kremlin likes this.
  22. Clive_ofthe_Kremlin

    Clive_ofthe_Kremlin Squad Player

    Yep. Quite often they disappear into care homes too. You build up a relation with them over a few years and all of a sudden they just disappear off your roster.

    One lady I used to see nearly every day at least once. Used to take her out shopping and on socials to pubs and museums and so on. Took her out on her birthday all dressed up for a nice pub lunch and so on. Although she had middling dementia, she was a really nice lady to go out with and fascinating too. She was born in Germany and was in the Hitler youth and went through all the war. After she married a British soldier and moved over here. I took her out to an Oktoberfest one Saturday (even though it was my day off) and we had a tremendous afternoon munching sausages and slapping our lederhosen to the oompah band and she surprised me by knocking back at least two pints of wheat beer. Found her some German people who she could have a good chat with. We were swinging our beer glasses and singing the songs and doing all the stand up, sit down bit. I know it was the best day she'd had in years - her husband had died and she lived with her bully boy unsympathetic lazy arse son.

    He used the excuse of a burst water pipe in the house to move her into a home at the beginning of the virus and now the house is being sold. She won't be coming out and you can't even go and visit her. It is quite hard with things like that.
  23. cyaninternetdog

    cyaninternetdog Forum Hippie

    Learning how not to give a **** is harder.
  24. The Voice of Reason

    The Voice of Reason First Team Captain

    Sorry Clive I have to disagree, because being a Watford fan is the hardest game in the world right now :D
    Clive_ofthe_Kremlin likes this.
  25. reids

    reids Squad Player

    My sympathies Clive, this threads been a great read into the work you do and it's appreciated!
  26. "Managing/coaching" WFC is harder it seems.
    The Voice of Reason likes this.
  27. hornmeister

    hornmeister Administrator Staff Member

    Come in, chuck some random people on the pitch for 10 games without skill or thought, get a payoff.
    Seems pretty damn easy to me.
  28. Clive_ofthe_Kremlin

    Clive_ofthe_Kremlin Squad Player

    Of course, the number of hours or visits you're allocated each week varies wildly depending on whether other carers are sick or on holiday etc. The number of calls goes right down at Xmas/New Year too, because families are staying with the oldies and looking after them in many cases, although today I've got 8 visits starting at 7am around 10 miles away.

    I've just been looking at my online payslips to check them against the universal credit statement. Out of interest here's my pay for the past five weeks sweating at the poo face. The travel amount is refund of petrol expenses at 35p per mile and so non-taxable and doesn't count against your benefits.....

    Date Paid Amount Travel

    25/11/20 £306.03 £44.77

    02/12/20 £114.37 £2.38

    09/12/20 £186.56 £8.02

    16/12/20 £218.62 £19.18

    23/12/20 £192.81 £13.62

    Total: £1018.89 £87.97

    Net Total: £930.92
  29. Clive_ofthe_Kremlin

    Clive_ofthe_Kremlin Squad Player

    Quick update from the care world. We now have to wear face shields as well as masks, aprons and gloves. We have to get 'dressed' in our own time of course before entering and swiping in at a clients. We then have to dispose of all gear in the bin outside after exit. We are instructed to clean our cars and disinfect after each round of visits. In our own time of course.

    In the meantime, another sad death to report. Lady L of Saxony, Germany passed away in a care home. A great shame. I wrote about her earlier in this thread and I will write a full tribute on here when I get time. She was a big favourite of mine and really liked by everyone we came across. She was friends with everyone - the supermarket staff, neighbours, people in the street. Everyone. "Look I can still touch the floor with my flat hands! Can you?" - that was her catchphrase, while bending over and doing it. I always used to laugh and try to get her to stop. I'd always say I could picture myself carrying her in to the ambulance doubled over like that one day. That was our big joke.

    Anyway. She spent lots and lots of money with our company. 3 visits a day, 7 days a week. Two long shopping trips and one social a week. Going on for at least the two and a bit years I've been working there. Thousands and thousands she must have paid them.

    The family messaged me to say the funeral is next Thursday at 11am. Could I come? I emailed my Sodexo bosses to tell them this and say that I'd like to attend in a personal capacity, to represent the other carers and to represent Gradgrind's Carers Ltd as a whole.

    They replied:- "You can take annual leave if you like".

    I will do that. Yes. But now I will only be representing myself and the other carers. Sir Humphrey Gradgrind and the company can represent themselves.

    I suppose now the poor old girl's dead and her husband passed on some years ago, there's no more money to be made out of her and so they've lost all interest. Mercantile cants.
  30. I Blame Bassett

    I Blame Bassett Squad Player

    A story on BBC news just now about John Lister who has just died from Covid aged 101.
    A veteran of D Day John's wife had died before Christmas from the virus and his carer had told the BBC of his story and how lonely he was prior to Christmas.
    He received over 15000 cards and gifts and the film showed the lady reading them to him and how it boosted his moral.
    Very emotional and a tribute to the kindness of the public at large and his carer especially.

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