It's been over 24 hours since my last post, and that was intentional. I felt that I needed to take a breathe and see if I can hold back how I felt, just to see if it brought a more rational post. I'm not sure it will do such a thing, but I do know that it will certainly be descriptive.
Thursday was a awful day in terms of moods and work, intertwinning to make a shit day for me. I was ok going into work, almost looking forward to the group, even if it meant doing something I'd never done before. Then it ended!!! I got into work and said my hello's, and was just about to make a drink, when I find out I can't I've got to go and collect the children, no one had told me I was escorting, good start. We got to the first child, someone whom I've known for years and they were fine at first, but after collecting the second child they started to kick off. Nothing major in that, but I've never known them to do that and in such a way. I know I had my hair pulled, and was scratched and hit, but it wasn't major in that she did any damage to herself or the other children. I wasn't helped by the driver who had little idea of (a) where he was going or (b) what to do. Once we got back to base I had to struggle to get the children off the bus and into base. Thankfully I did manage towards the end to get some help, from my colleague.
Once inside, we were trying to sort things out, but we eneded up one volunteer down, as her bus was late, due to a breakdown. Nice of them to let us know as we were planning around having her there. It doesn't make things easier when you are one down and have more dependant children than normal. I say normal, it's normal for this group, but not for others. In a later trip to the park all 5 were in wheelchairs, and not push chairs. Still things were just sorting themselves out, when one of my other colleagues phones in sick for the day, which wouldn't be a problem, but they had a group later on Thursday and of course the person who has more hours toil than most, who is constantly being asked to reduce there hours is again asked to cover..... That's fine, but it made Thursday into a 12 hour working day, and then I've got today (Saturday) which is a 6 hour day. That's 18 hours in two days, after I've got my 4.25 hours on Monday and of course my normal hours on a Tues and Wed. Oh did I say my normal working hours for the week is 21.
I take on the extra group as it isn't too much of a problem to me, or shouldn't be, but of course right now other things jump into this to make it all a problem. I've got a 1 to 1 from 3.30 for a couple of hours, and later in the day I'm asked to drive the mini bus to collect the group for tonight starting at 5pm. I'm sure you can work out something here, in that a clash of times was going to take place. I wouldn't mind, but they normally have a hired bus and driver for this group, but as I was available and the bus was free they cancelled with him. They hadn't thought the situation through had they... It was left to me to explain to them what was going on, and to come up with the solution that I'd cut short my 1 to 1, which wasn't what I wanted especially as it was the last time I was going have this person on a 1 to 1 basis, as he joins my group next week.
During this time the group is running ok, nothing spetacular, but it's working. The child that was kicking off earlier continued to do so, and the volunteer arrived well over an hour late. We had lunch, and started to change everyone, when the next problem arose. This brought of course more complications than just a problem for the group, but it was just one of those things, but as my current mental state is fragile, it was another push towards the barrier's. Once we got out of the project for a walk things started to settle down. We got back and then got all the children away and I had to go back and tidy up what mess we'd created. All well and good, but I had around 5 minutes before I had to start considering what to do with my 1 to 1. I also needed information with regards the pick ups for the group and what we were going to do. We had planned bowling, but in keeping with the day when we phoned to book we couldn't get in anywhere.
So whilst that was starting to play on me, I had to dash down to collect my 1 to 1, and then explain to mum that I'd be home a bit earlier with him, due to the group. Mum to be fair was very understanding and we quickly made a get away and went back to the project. I wasn't going to be unfair on the child and take them to a park, when we had so little time. Back at the project though, I could do some planning towards the evenning group, as well as let the child play or do what they wanted. Again this was ok, till I find out that hardly anything had been done in terms of planning for the other group, and it was now becoming dangerously close to pushing me over the edge. I had to get the 1 to 1 back, but I was going to use the bus to take him home and then of course use that to pick up the other group, kill two birds with one stone. That was the planned agreed with, but did it happen? No, I had no escort for the bus, and thus I had to go and drop my 1 to 1 off in my car, half an hour later than intended and then of course when I get back to the project having picked up one of the group, I find that the escort that normally comes has phoned in to say she can't make it.
So it's someone who I know, but isn't on the group with me. This sort of makes things a little bit hit and miss for those on the bus as they don't know what's going on and keep pushing the buttons in me which will lead to the meltdown. By this point I'm trying not to care about anything, as anything has gone wrong today, my priority is the children, but only to the point of safety. I was on the edge and whilst I knew it would make me work really well, it isn't always the best way or fairest way to work. By the time we got back to the project to pick up those group members who aren't picked up and the volunteers, I wanted to snap at someone, but I couldn't could I!! Still things even on the way down to the intended activity wasn't smooth.
It had been agreed to go to the Laser tag/zone area, the group were looking forward to it. So off I headed towards the Trafford Centre, where I know they have the set up. My colleague then asks why I'm going that way? as they were expecting me to go to the zone at the bowling ally, so a quick route change and then phone call to the place to find out if it's booked out reveals that the zone at the bowling ally has been closed for at least a year. So with a bit of luck we hadn't gone too far off route to the original destination, but it added some time onto our journey. Once at the Trafford Centre it was up to the cinema as that's where the Laserzone is. I get up there with the forward runners in the group, and go and talk at the reception desk, and guess what the current game is playing and the next one doesn't start for around 25 minutes which is fine, but then the game itself is 25 minutes and by this point we'd have to be leaving the that would make us late.
So with little time to do anything we all turn around and go down to the eating area and go and buy some chips or burgers for the children. This though leads to problems as my colleague go's off ahead of me, and by the time I reach the bottom of the escalators I find 2 of our children waiting. Now I presummed after asking them that my colleague had left them to go and collect the food, so we sat down and waited. A voluneteer and myself with 3 teenagers. We were happily settled when my colleague phones me, to ask where we are, as they are seated around the corner, but hadn't gone and collected the food, had been waiting for us to arrive at there table. Another push towards insanity I guess, but it's something that I was expecting. So we sat and ordered the food and that went down well.
As we prepared to leave, another little problem, I'd lost the keys to the minibus!!! How could I do such a thing? I had them, it wasn't as if I would have dropped them. So as the part of the group headed out of the building, others were left, not knowing what was happening. So off I go sending them back and a dash back up to the laserzone, to see if the key's are up there. They are not, but a phone call to customer services reveals that they have been handed in. So I rush down to them, collect the keys and rush out... Could anything else happen to make things even worse? Well we'll see. I get back to the project and just as we are about to move on out, two of the teenagers on the bus declare they need the toilet, so a quick stop and unload gets them out and into the project for the toilet, and then we are off. No real problems on the drop off, but it's all time consuming. By the time I'm back at the project, there is no one in sight, and so once I'd shut the building down once more and left it was close to 9pm.
I was hungry, tired and very peeved off by this point. I however had more to come. I had a little fuel in the tank, but I'd also not eaten. So I was going to get a takeaway, but I needed some money out of the bank. I headed off, concerned about the petrol, but more worried about what I was going to eat. I know what you are all thinking, but just wait on before you find out what is going to happen. Well I got to the bank, and hey I was refused money out..... I had no money, which was just about all I could take, so I got in the car and drove home. I made it home with the little fuel, but no money, still hungry and very tired. So after making some tea I get a phone call from my work colleague. Things were ok, but she wanted to talk about something that had happened earlier that week. I wanted to know, but two things weren't helping. One was my hunger, and the second was the line was poor that I had difficulty understanding what was said.
Bed was the most welcome place for me later on, and it became home for the night.
Yesterday was a better day by far, though I wasn't in work, does that suggest anything? It was pay day, so I wasn't too worried about the financial problem of the previous night, but early in the morning I fueled the car up, went to the doctors to make an appointment for Monday and then off to my mum's. I grabbed a shower there before my neice came around. I had arranged the previous day with my mum and then my sister who spilt the beans with my neice to go ice skating. I hadn't been for ages and I knew my niece hadn't been since she was around 3 or4 when I last tried to take her. Once at the rink she hauled herself around on the boards and even though she didn't fall she still was very unhappy. She claimed she couldn't skate or even stand, and yet we'd seen a little boy fall at least 10 times in the space of 10 yards. It was the typical comical stuff.
By the time we were leaving the ice, she was gaining the confidence to skate and do so quite well to be honest. The one thing though that I do notice with my neice and it's something I've just thought of. Most of the things she enjoys, she's had coaching in, i.e. trampolining, guitar, swimming. She's never really had any coaching in skating and that's probably the reason as to why she's not confident and why she was so unhappy with her performance. So perhaps when the new rink in Altrincham is open, we can try to arrange something. I'm sure that she'd enjoy herself.
From the rink, we did a bit of shopping before going for lunch at Burger King. I was very suprised that I ordered a burger from here, and my staple diet from these sort of places are veggie burgers, but you know what I really enjoyed the burger for a change. It was a shock, but I'm not going to make a habbit of of it. I do much prefer the veggie options. So a drive home saw both my mum and neice fall asleep in the car, which made the trip back a chilled out drive as I didn't want to tear up the roads and find myself getting worked up. As we got home both my mum and neice promptly sat down and rested.
It was the perfect antidote to the previous day and meant that my frustration had time to settle and then be purged from my body. That isn't to say that if my doctor suggests AD's and or time off work with Stress and depression on Monday I won't take it. I've got to do something or else I'll jump off the edge that I was place upon on Thursday. Oh and as a side note, I'm driving the bus today, which isn't a suprise, though I shouldn't be doing so. As it's me though, this is the second time I've had to drive for this group, I knew it would happen. I'm not going cast any sort of rumours towards those who organise these groups, but I seem to drive most times that I'm on them, when it was due to my own misfortune years back that staff was told they wouldn't be asked to drive and be in charge of the groups. Of course those that created that rule have left, and we are back to square one. Just something else to keep me on the edge.