I’ve written before about receiving presents from service users and to be honest, it doesn’t happen very often anyway but yesterday it did.
I went to visit Mr F. I see him regularly as he has been having a pretty difficult time of things recently. When I visited him, I was expecting it to be a tough visit. He has a lot of anger about a lot of things, including the service that my team provides. I am the last in a line of care coordinators from our team. He has made a lot of complaints about us as a team and a department. I haven’t been working with him for too long.
It was a sunny day and he was sitting outside. He grabbed a chair for me to join him and I imparted the updates that I had been wanting to tell him about. Then he went inside and came out with a dusty, slightly soiled picture of a cat. He said to me ‘I know you are a cat lover, so you can have this’.
He has cats, often his cats approach me. I don’t flinch. I even forgo that one cardinal rule a colleague once imparted to me when I first started working in the borough about ‘not touching the pets’. I can’t help it. I do love cats. On one occasion, we even managed to complete an Attendance Allowance form with a cat sitting on it – writing delicately around the cat wherever possible. Being subjected to the snarls when we needed to gently push cat bottom out of the way to fill in the form under it.
So presenting the picture to me, he added for effect ‘It even has cat hairs on it’. And indeed it did. His cats like sitting on things. Especially papers.
I took it, saying that there were lots of cat lovers in our office and I’m sure it would give pleasure to us.
Perhaps I shouldn’t have but my immediate determination of the value of said picture was around the pennies.
But the sentiment was worth so much more. Especially with the cat hairs.