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(The Care Guy)
20 Commandments 3: Be on time
Posted on 7:18am Monday 14th May 2012
20 commandments 3: Thou shalt be in time for appointments and ‘phone calls. It will show your client that he matters
We are generally very good at excusing ourselves for missing appointments or being delayed by our important work. It’s easy to get wrapped up in our own importance as we flit from client to client, patient to patient or service-user to service-user. These people (we tell ourselves) are needy and could not cope without our interventions. So obviously it’s OK to be late for the next appointment when someone else needs us so badly first.
That feels quite nice and it’s an excuse that we can all become far too familiar with if we’re not careful. The only problem is our service-users tend not to see it that way.
They usually have a much more reasonable view of our importance, regardless of our self-agrandisement. They know that we’re unable to save the world and that if they lasted for a whole week between visits they can handle another hour or two. That’s not the problem. It’s the implied lack of respect and disregard for our service-users as equals that gets in the way.
The client who we kept waiting also knows that the previous client probably didn’t need us very desperately either. So they won’t accept the ‘important mental health worker’ excuse any more than we are happy to accept the ‘important delivery man’ excuse when we’ve been stood up waiting for a parcel to be delivered. Nobody is special – and that includes us.
If you want to show your service-user that they matter then you really need to act as though they do. If you make an appointment, keep it. It matters.
Based on the work of ‘Margreeth H.’