She gave no reason.
I was not amused.
We had had her nice, affable PA in earlier that afternoon.
But, as usual, she had not mentioned why she hadn’t turn up last Tuesday or notified us.
By now, even I had been angry enough to explode to her on arrival,
‘We haven’t the time for commercially aware people’,
But she ignored the comment.
And, as it was excruciatingly embarrassing, and futile even trying to find out why she had hardly shown up since commencing her ‘support’ as workers can’t discuss their working practices with us ‘clients’.
It was ignored over a coffee and a chat.
Issy remained in bed.
The PA sat on her bedroom floor.
My stress levels were high, as the social services disability manager had recently visited.
And Issy was distressed, just dressed, and a Measured Lady stranger, in the kitchen, would not help.
Could the Measured lady not have asked if it were convenient,
or, given the courtesy of the reason for her visit?
My husband was duly admonished.
Could he ring back, and say no?
No, we didn’t have her number.
An hour of trepidation followed.
I bite my lip, calmed down, and accepted the inevitable.
The Measured lady arrived with the usual,
‘How are things going?
I bit my lip again,
’ Not too bad’.
She sat down.
‘Would she like a coffee’,
‘She preferred tea’.
I stared at the kettle interminably not boiling, determined not to be the first to speak,
But, the Measured lady remained motionless, expressionless and silent in the chair.
I wished the kettle weren’t so full
I cracked, as the effrontery of her continued silence was too much to bear.
I blurted out, a rather impolite,
‘so X, why are you here?’’
‘Oh, I just wanted to see how things were going.’
The effrontery was getting worse.
The ability of overseers, not to engage but merely enrage never ceases to amaze.
‘Surely, you ought, and must know, how things are going? Yours PA has hardly been here’
I find confrontation and our society’s beloved ‘assertion’, inherently rude and stressful but this ‘weakness’ is played on.
And I have found if you do adopt their inquisitorial role and they deign to answer,
Ignorance is feigned and/ or the truth spun.
I was not to be disappointed.
Without any detail she stated simply,
‘her PA had reported, that I had told her, there was no point in her turning up’.
So, it was all my fault.
Her silence continued.
She looked blank, when I mentioned my emails to the LA education coordinator, complaining about her service.
I was now so flabbergasted, I found it difficult/too futile to formulate sentences.
So my husband spoke,
‘Finola didn’t tell her not to come, only to try to be as late as possible, as Issy was not getting up. On three of her six designated days, she didn’t even turn up’.
Unfazzed, he was shot him down with a,
‘You, weren’t there at the time’
Omitting her telephone conversation with me, at the end of the PA’s first week, when I had relayed exactly, when she had been and what had been said.
Her plan had also stated, she sought to recruit people,
’who can manage a family with so much anxiety and dissatisfaction regarding support and communication from authorities’.
She then did, what managers are trained to do, when cornered;
Become indignant, and, threatened to withdraw, with a
’If you would rather not have our support’.
The previous education package’s modus operandi, had been the same, with a,
‘Do you still want us to continue to support Issy’.
I stated the obvious, that that this was not the issue.
In retrospect, I wish I’d told her where to go.
Her silence resumed.
The Measured lady sat motionless.
How long would this silence last?
Again I was forced to break it, with a,
’ I don’t like these long silences’.
’Oh, I rather like silence. I feel comfortable with it’.
I had met a brick wall, a well trained ‘manager’.
Issy could be heard from her bedroom, repeating her NAS care workers abuse, so I left the kitchen to try to break her out of it.
Angry at the measured lady’s failure, to react to Issy repeating abuse and groaning in the background,
or, even discuss, her present distress, I dared to accuse her of not caring.
As I received an impassioned silique;
‘when she had first been introduced to us, had she not cared about Issy, she would not have got involved’.
There was no point in mentioning the pot of money, she held on our behalf, just as there was no point in her silique.
By then, she had been nearly 25 minutes in the kitchen, and had given no indication of how much longer she would stay.
This forced more assertion with a,
‘I’m afraid I will have to get on with the supper now. It might be best if we didn’t have meetings like this, we can do most things by email’.
Although, I was too timid to look at her, and grabbed a frying pan and pancetta for support.
I felt this did not go down well.
And I received an indignant,
‘If you do not want us to meet up, then that is up to you’.
As, I’m sure she knew.
What I did not want, were regular unnecessary meetings, to justify my pot of money that were extremely stressful, disturbed Issy and, wasted my time.
But knew, my pathetic attempt at assertion, was naughty, and would probably be used as ‘non-engagement’.
She put her coat on and I saw her out, and of course thanked her for coming.
The PA turned up the next day, being her designated Tuesday, well before 10 and left at 1 pm
The first time ever.
I mentioned the meeting the evening before, and that I did not like the way her boss did ‘business’ but knew she could not comment.
The measured lady sent an email, stating her PA, and a lady from The Lodge, would be visiting on Monday from 10-1, 10-3, and the PA on Tuesday 10-1, and the other lady on Friday.
Eventually after 5 months she was attempting to do, what she was supposed to, for our pot of money.
I post this on the Friday, the other worker, Lodge Lady apparently, studying an MA in autism arrived just after 11 am, but Issy was up all night, demanding crackers and cheese,at regular intervals, so is now asleep.
It is 10 weeks since the agency withdrew social support and we are still without any.
In just under two years, our only respite has been the 3 days blogged and 2 evenings out..
Yet Issy has cost the public purse during that time, some £200,000.
This is not about cutting budgets but extortion and making money out of effectively doing nothing.
This is about creating private profit, from meetings, ticking boxes, and cheap labour.
This is about commercial awareness, here extortionate.