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Tony Grist

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Taxi Duty [Nov. 7th, 2009|10:17 am]
Tony Grist
Carl's car came a cropper on the way back from Morecambe- where he and his family had been sitting in the audience for Most Haunted Live. It was a freaky mishap: the lorry ahead of them on the motorway shed a brick from its load and the brick bounced up under Carl's car and made porridge of the gear-box. For the moment then he is off the road- and last night we were on taxi-duty (for which Carl very handsomely put a fiver in the petrol tank) picking Karen up from work and taking her home.

I thought she worked in an old folks home, but it's more specialised than that. She works in a unit for people who have compromised their brains with alcohol and/or drugs. The symptoms are similar to senile dementia, with the difference that the sufferers can be as young as 30 and some of them get better.

"So what was the show like apart from the thing with the brick?" I asked Carl on the way over. "Crap," he said. "What self respecting ghost would turn up to be shrieked at by a white-faced loon and her big-headed husband?"

The home is angled into the far corner of a housing estate.  There were teens on the pavement outside mucking about with fireworks and one another.  Grope, wrestle, bang.  We parked round the back in orange light with a black Victorian church tower peering over our shoulders. The clock on the big Victorian church tower was stuck on midnight.  While we waited Carl told us about the time he'd been waiting there for Karen and she was running three quarters of an hour late and he'd texted to ask her where the fuck she was- and where the fuck she'd been was down on the floor giving the kiss of life to a woman who'd just dropped in her tracks and died.

On the way home Karen told us how she'd wasted time doing paperwork for a trainee who hadn't turned up for her first day at work and how the government should put her charges on TV to scare the kids off the booze and how a policemen who'd worked on the Bulger case (in which two boys tortured and killed a toddler) had been one of her patients. "So sad. Such an intelligent man."

[User Picture]From: pondhopper
2009-11-07 12:45 pm (UTC)
Thank goodness there ARE people like Karen. They're the ones who make a difference. I admire people who can work with unrelenting misery like that.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-11-07 01:53 pm (UTC)
And she does it without anyone noticing she's doing it.

I've worked in hospitals. I found it terribly stressful. I'd not willingly go back.
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[User Picture]From: carl9whalley
2009-11-07 02:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you for your kind thoughts on Karen my wife, to me she's one of a kind and all the relatives of the patients love her.She doesn't just take care of them she fights for what there entitled to in the system and she gets it for them.
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[User Picture]From: carl9whalley
2009-11-07 08:52 pm (UTC)
Karen has told me to tell you that she also has a team of underpaid people who also do a amazing job and she couldn't do it without them.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-11-07 09:34 pm (UTC)
Before last night I had only only the haziest idea of what Karen did; now that I know I'm full of admiration.
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[User Picture]From: glitzfrau
2009-11-08 09:42 am (UTC)
I've only recently realised that the really, really important jobs in society - the essential, tough, caring jobs - are done by an army of passionately dedicated and horrifically underpaid people, most of them women. It's amazing, and awful too. Well done, Karen.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-11-08 09:59 am (UTC)
When I think of what Karen does and gets paid- and then about what a banker does and gets paid it makes me angry.
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[User Picture]From: silverhawkdruid
2009-11-08 10:17 am (UTC)
Thank the gods for the Karens of this world, and their teams. This would be a poorer world without them.
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