Vampires that roam the streets

I'm naturally someone who will over complicate everything. It's unintentional, yet true. Why go to one house when I could go around all of them? Why walk before I can run or wheel at high speed? Why use a single word when there're thousands? You get the gist. That said, not all the chaos that surrounds me is my doing. Cerebral Palsy and the fact that I require assistance from another person often causes issues.


By choosing to have private care instead of it being organised through an agency, I have more control over who comes into my house to help me out. It's also more financially beneficial because I'm employing someone directly, so it's cheaper and I get more hours to fit my life into. However, the downside to that is sometimes I have no choice but to employ people who don't quite fit the bill because someone is better than no one. As irritating as these situations are, I'm laid back and easy going, so all I require are three things.

1.Common sense

A few years ago, I employed a young girl who had good intentions but zero life experience. One of my first tasks was to teach her basic cooking skills. In my mind, I had the theory and she had the physical ability. What could possibly go wrong? We made a bog-standard Bolognese. It seemed to be going quite well. I told her to chop some garlic to which she asked how many. I responded with, "just one clove". Knowing that I could be of little help, I left her to it. Upon my return, I found she had managed to banish every vampire that would ever roam the streets of Lincoln. It turned out that I should've explained the difference between a bulb and a clove.

I like to think I taught the girl in question some lifelong lessons, such as chunks of dry-fried carrots aren't edible, mopping with a sweeping brush isn't effective and Cerebral Palsy is a stable, unchanging disability. To be fair, the latter was my fault; it was April Fool's Day and I thought it would be funny to tell her I'd been cured through hypnotherapy. Granted, it was a wicked joke, but six years on, I'm still laughing.

Apparently, it wasn't common sense.


It goes without saying that things don't always go to plan. Sometimes life cannot be scheduled down to the last minute, and you just have to roll with it. For instance, one person who I had the joy of working with thought it was perfectly acceptable to leave me standing in my frame all night because it'd reached clocking off time. I pointed out to her that I was strapped in and had no chance of getting out of the frame unaided, nor would I successfully make it to bed without severe injury. Eventually, she decided to stay and lend a hand. I was most grateful because I hadn't mastered the art of standing up independently, let alone sleeping standing up.

Apparently, being flexible wasn't common sense.


Up until now, it might have sounded like working for me is a one-way street. It really isn't. In order for anything to be achieved, we have to meet in the middle. I totally appreciate that what is deemed common sense for one person, is as clear as mud to another. Likewise, I'm aware that people have commitments and can't always be as flexible as I'd want them to be. It's about understanding people's circumstances and facilitating them.

Finally, this brings me on to my current scenario, whereby one of my employees is almost as disabled as me, thanks to a rather inconvenient slipped disc. As a result, we have "adapted the workplace". These adjustments consist of; slower wheeling, so that she can hobble along beside me, bathing my feet in a washing up bowl whilst sitting in a raised wheelchair, thus reducing the need for her to bend, and ensuring I have all I need before she, not so elegantly, adopts her resting position of lying on my living room floor.

Never fear, her back will be fixed in the near future. In the meantime, I'll be using my common sense and ability to be flexible by showing what an empathic and understanding employer I can be…She'll be receiving a giftbox during the festive period entitled "A Christmas Cripple". Luckily she has an epic sense of humour and won't find it offensive at all.

November 25, 2018 1:03 pm

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *