Several of the residents in that house could be quite challenging in various ways. I mentioned the young lady who I took to the centre in Sharnbrook. She was autistic and when she got up in the morning had a routine which you didn't dare to disrupt. She could be quite violent if provoked, so when she was taken anywhere in the bus it was advisable for her to be at the back and as far as possible away from the driver. In some cases she had to be transported with another carer to act as escort, but generally she was very good and I didn't see too many incidents.
Another male resident could also become quite challenging, which I saw one particular evening when I was on shift. We were on the point of serving up their evening meal and I was sent to his room to tell him that the meal was ready. I knocked on the door and I was then confronted by his with waving fists. I moved rapidly out of the way, as you can imagine, and he proceeded to run after me down stairs. I had to spend the rest of the shift hiding from him in the room provided for sleep-in staff and had to go home without him being aware, but the next time I was on shift with the manager of the house I was berated by her for not being on the 'floor' of the home for the remainder of the shift, but I wasn't putting myself in danger from being injured by this gentleman, regardless of what this woman had to say on the matter. How would she like to be injured, possibly permanently, but not keeping out of his way? I don't think she actually did any caring of any sort and managed to stay in her nice warm and comfortable office, cleverly avoiding the actual realities of caring for people with learning disabilities.
Another incident is brought to mind in the run-up to Christmas around 2003 or so. I was scheduled again for a shift at the Biggleswade house at a time when some of the residents were involved in a show that they had been rehearsing during some drama classes they had gone to at Oakley village hall. Several new members of staff had been taken on, including a young man who was supposed to be a senior support staff member. I was scheduled to drive the mini bus once more and this young man was supposed to be escort, as there was the distinct possibility of some sort of 'incident' between the residents during the journey across Bedfordshire. This young man arrived at the beginning of the shift and I was introduced to me, but on one exchange we had he was quite rude to me. There was something distinctly no quite right about him, his speech was slurred and he had a look of not being exactly engaged. He then sat down on an armchair at a bottle of vodka fell out from under his coat and onto the floor and rolled across the carpet. It was quite obvious that he was very much drunk, from drinking the aforementioned vodka. It was then that the rest of the staff and myself decided that he wasn't going to be a suitable escort on the journey to Oakley village hall. I think it may have been in his contract, as with most companies not just those in care, that the drinking of alcohol on duty was a sackable offence. The shift-leader decided that the situation was so serious that the area manager should be informed so a phone call was made and very quickly this young man appeared in the house and to keep the Christmas show from being put into total disarray without the attendance of the Biggleswade house residents, he came with us on the minibus as escort, but looking back I don't recall what happened to the drunk support worker, whether he came with us to Oakley, but I know he didn't survive as an employee at that home as he was sacked immediately. You need to have all your wits about you in care and the thought of him not being in complete control during that journey was not something I would wish to go through.
On arriving back in Biggleswade my problems didn't end, because where I had managed to park my car, in a carpark which belonged to some sort of hall, I soon discovered that I was blocked in. No amount of enquiries would discover whose cars were responsible, so I had to return to the house and spent the night sleeping on he lounge floor. Things were made worse still because it was a very stormy night with howling wind and rain pouring down. By the morning the weather had improved and I was able to drive home because the cars that had blocked mine in had gone, thank goodness. But the last day had certainly been an eventful one, not exactly helped by not being able to drive home as planned at the end of the shift.