On The Road To Bastardom.

Every now and again I announce I’m going to start training to be a bastard.  Events in recent days, weeks and months have made me say that  quite regularly actually.  Being a nice guy seems to be getting me nowhere.  Well, last night at work I got to try out as a bastard, and with no little sadness I have to report that I think I passed…

As I came on shift last night, I was informed that one of the residents wished to stay up a couple of hours later than usual in order to watch a fireworks display, and that they had been told that whether this was possible or not would be entirely “up to John”.  The firework display – an annual affair for the Newton Ferrers Regatta – was to start at 9.30pm, and was due to run for maybe half an hour.  Normally my default position is to accede to the wishes of my residents, but this time saying yes was not so straightforward.

One problem was the knock-on effect accommodating this request would have on other residents, some of whom are rather particular about the time they get attended to.  I have yet to master the art of being in two places at once…

There were other considerations, but the main problem was that this resident needs two carers to assist to bed, and from 9 o’clock onwards I would be on my own.  I would be no good to anyone if I put my back out.  Doing so while defying explicit written instructions about best practice in manual handling probably wouldn’t do me a lot of good either.

It’s been jokingly remarked before now by one or two of my colleagues that some of the residents might see me as a “soft touch”, so willing am I to do any daft little thing for them.  This was one of the few times where I was going to have to say ‘no, sorry, I’d like nothing more than to accommodate you but it just isn’t possible’.

To say the resident was unhappy would be a bit of an understatement.  There were petted lips, and threats to “raise merry hell”, along with that of “going on strike”.  There was the expressed intent to leave the very next day, and stop taking any medication.

I was all the bastards under the sun.  The powers of the bastard flowed through me, triumphant.  And I hated every second of it.

So there you have it, proof if ever needed that even nice guys can be transformed into complete bastards by the power of the situation, as outlined by Philip Zimbardo in his book The Lucifer Effect.

We made up within the hour and no crisis ensued.  I don’t know if that counts as a mitigating factor in my favour or not….?  Still, being a bit of a bastard should make me more of a hit with the ladeez….  😉

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2 Comments

  1. Sad isn’t it that as we get old we are told when to be in bed because it may cost a few bob more if we want to stay up. Is it normal for only one member of staff to be on shift from 9pm? seems early to me.

  2. It is currently normal for only one person to be on duty from 9pm. There were two up til 10pm about a year ago. Undoubtedly cost considerations are a factor. It’s things like this that make me an anti-capitalist….


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