I have decided this is what is happening to me and I seem to have no choice ….
So …it began with the mobile phone back in the day …a very useful piece of kit which soon became a ‘cannot live without’ item
Then came the P.C …ditto ….as it hit the workplace the 2 became combined …not only had they become useful to us but for employers to use as a ‘monitoring’ tool and the game commenced …throwing at us ‘targets’ to meet and ever shifting and increasing the threshold …almost as tho they were the ‘end product’ or ‘outcome’ in themselves ….many went under ….many cheated to stay in the game ….and the rest of us ….somehow ….continue to get by …..just ….by the skin of our teeth
Now we have laptops and tablets …..we are ‘agile workers’ contactable 24/7 ….no longer do we have offices but instead check into ‘hubs’ ……bumping into colleagues like ships that pass in the night
And the LATEST piece of kit …..(which I am attending training for and issued with next week ) is the ‘lone worker device’
Yep ….at first we all thought …’Ooooooh that’s a good idea ….thought it’s a nice addition to our current ‘lone worker policy’ which has done us well thus far.
You see we’re out there in the community knocking on doors of pretty vulnerable people and sometimes in risky situations
Thing is rather than double up ….our office ( and sometimes other agencies) being aware we are going into a dodgy situation and using a code on our mobile phone ( which I have NEVER had to use thank goodness) we are now expected to take this device with us …..but ALL THE TIME …not just on ‘dodgy’ visits
We are apparantly supposed to press this button and speak to a bod at some call centre somewhere to give them details of EVERY SINGLE VISIT IN THE COMMUNITY WE MAKE ….checking in with the call centre when we get there and checking out when we leave.
Thing is …we do LOADS of visits in a day …sometimes back and forth taking folk to various appointments or meeting them where needs must …sometimes in cafes or on park benches for example ….do YOU know the postcode of your local park???? And where is the privacy re information …for the service user AND us….who ARE these people in the call centre??? ….it’s a private agency for sure …one of these that the government has bought in like they did ATOS to strike folk off their disability benefit.
And we’ve had to fill in these forms giving our full description including height, weight, eye color, any distinguishing features etc and details of our cars ….what’s THAT for??? …is it so they can identify our dead body??? …and if so …it doesn’t give you much faith that this device is going to be much good as a ‘safety device’ with a protocol of ‘action to be taken’ if the emergency code is stated
Hmmmmm no ….I said a while ago that our service had been cut so much it no longer felt safe because it is now nothing more than a ‘crisis service’ …. at the time I was thinking of safety for the service user ….but I now feel …cutting back our current lone worker policy and REPLACING with a device!!! …..which is linked to a privately funded call centre ( how much is THAT costing I wonder???) ….is also potentially placing us as workers at unnecessary risk …..and in more ways than one
Hmmmmm I guess it’s a case of watch this space
Or ….maybe it’s a case of YOU are being watched my dear …am I getting paranoid?:D:D