Firstly, if you missed How To Be A Carer Part 1, or have forgotten the key teachings, you are advised to read that before proceeding. Today’s lesson is focussing on communication; from the voice you use to the topics you talk about.
The voice you use
Baby talk to clients. No explanation needed here, it’s obvious right?!
The client doesn’t really have much of a life so you need to share the intimate details of yours, for example if your cousin’s neighbour’s dog has eloped, that is prime material. Your client would never forgive you if you didn’t share the juicy details!
Note: oversharing can extend to financial matters including the details of various relatives bank accounts. It’s not showing off, just teaching the client about life.
Moan all the time, particular loudly about the parts of the job you don’t like going for this client, they will stop asking you. Even better, moan about another client asking you to do a particularly awful task and really emphasise how dreadful l it was and how awful it was that the client asked you to do it. You see, this way, the client will know never to consider asking you to do it for them.
When it comes to moaning, don’t feel you need to hold back there are no topics which are off limit. Managers pissing you off, rotas not going in your favour, other clients etc are all acceptable things to moan to this client about. After all, if they weren’t there you wouldn’t have to be either. It’s really all their fault when it comes down to it.
How to avoid difficult or unpleasant tasks
In addition to moaning about tasks, for this client or any others, you’ve also got the ‘nervous breakdown’ and ‘I can’t do anything’ options to get you out of those tasks you just can’t be bothered with.
A couple of months in (not too early or it will be put down to nerves), in an outburst of emotion, declare to the client that they can’t understand what it’s like to be a carer, how scared you are of them and how hard it is for you. This display of unstable emotion will be enough to put them off any thoughts of criticising you and you can allude to it with a quavering lip or teary eye if they ask too much from you. They won’t want to push you, they may even see you are suffering and get you to put your feet up with a cup of tea.
In the very early hours of your client carer relationship, tell them repeatedly that you’re really crap at cooking, washing hair, cleaning etc then they’ll be so concerned with crap results, they won’t ask you to do it.
Don’t forget about yourself
Make sure when it comes to conversation, it’s all about you – how hard this is on you, how wonderful your family are, doesn’t matter what the subject is, it’s your job to get it back to being about you. It’s important to get things off your chest and let’s face it, it’s cheaper than counselling! It’s particularly pertinent that you do this with clients who have difficult lives. All they have to think about is themselves until you provide some relief in the form of your own (so much better) life.
It’s absolutely fine to pull faces behind the clients back, you’ve got to get the stress off your chest somehow! Other non verbal communication such as arms crossed and scowling is also allowed. After all, some of your clients might struggle with verbal communication – it’s all about equal opportunities.