Today didn’t bode well. I had this feeling that the meeting at the Coach House was about to be a dictation rather than a discussion.
From the outset the attitude of Ali, the new manager was aggressive. Even though the issue of the webcam was way down the agenda she wanted to be there right off. We had to get her to hold fire until we had discussed other issues first.
I should point out that Ali is the manager of Phyllis who runs the Coach House.
Both of them seem to have decided that everything which went on before they took over is in the past and should be left there. They are doing this with some very serious issues which remain unresolved.
Today was mainly about this webcam though …. Ali came right out and said that because she’d had complaints from staff members (Nick) about the underhanded use of the webcam (?) she decided to check things out where they stood legally, whether they had to accept my imposition! She said she wanted to get everything ‘above board’ again and couldn’t understand why I said I considered that statement ‘insulting’.
She informed me that CSCI had totally banned CCTV cameras from residents rooms (?) and that they considered a webcam to be a CCTV camera. It appears from the tone of the email they sent in reply to her that she’d given the impression I was plastering these webcams all over the flat and expecting them to work under constant monitor. They went into human rights violations toward staff members and all sorts!
Later she told me she’d spoken to their IT department and they’d told her that the system was near certain to be the victim of unscheduled use from someone online (unknown). She did apparently forget to mention firewalls and MSN but then, that’s because where computers are concerned, she is as thick as two short ones. Then again, all those involved in this situation know sod all about computers. Those staff members that do understand them don’t have issues. Essentially she said I could not leave today without taking Jermaine’s new PC with me!
Effectively it was like me being in a room with three blind people telling them how amazing the view is and having them argue back that I could not be relied upon to give them an accurate assessment!
The conclusion to that element (5 hours later) was to get Ali to agree to ask the right questions to the IT team and get them to suggest some suitable security measures to prevent hacking which I would implement. I have zero confidence that she will do any such thing or even has the ability to ask any such question with clarity. I did suggest she allow me to talk to the IT team with her there and she refused citing that it was an internal company matter! The PC remains there disconnected from the internet (£16 pm) until the matter is resolved.
I was going through the paperwork for Jermaine and happened upon an incident report from last September which had not been mentioned to anyone. Apparently Simeon had entered Jermaine’s room when no carers were about. When the carers returned Jermaine had been stripped from the waist down and Simeon walked out from the room. There was no speculation as to what Simeon had done in there but it seemed bizarre to me that such an incident would go unreported to the next of kin. Again this was treated as something which happened before they joined so best leave it in the past.
The issue of Lewis going into the room was initially fobbed off as him just being friendly and him and Jermaine being quite like pals who seemed to get along well together. I pushed it and asked if they had any evidence that Jermaine had made a decision to be with Lewis or whether he had just happened in his room because they have a policy of leaving Lewis’s door open. Phyllis admitted it was quite likely that was what had happened and conceded it was also possible that the two guys actually just barely tolerated each other. Knowing how Lewis pinch’s I asked what she thought Jermaine may do if Lewis were to pinch him and Phyllis said he’d probably lash out. I then speculated what the reaction of Lewis’s family would be to that and whether she really felt that it would stand up to a risk assessment, she agreed it possibly couldn’t. When confronted with what steps were being taken to stop Lewis entering Jermaine’s room Ali informed me that they already had that one sorted and it doesn’t happen any more. I pointed out that it happened just a few days ago when I was there so clearly it is not as sorted as they’d like to think. Indeed, no lessons seem to have been learned from the incident with Simeon and they refused point blank to even consider suitable locks on the doors.
So, a lot of effort was put in to todays meeting and hardly anything came out of it, certainly little I can twist around to being positive.
I have to confess I feel more dejected now than I have felt for an awful long time. I am attempting to remain objective and focused but it isn’t happening, I am just in panic and scared bunny mode.
To make matters yet worse I think the gearbox on my car is about to die. Each time it changes down into 3rd gear there is a lurch and clonk and that just can’t be good and at a time when I am least able to afford a major bill, it’ll just mean not using the car for a few months which, as it happens, is probably the reality even if I could afford the repair 🙁