My perfect storm of a week

129bThis is the light shining through at the end of the storm.

It’s been one of those weeks.

I still have some churches to blog about but I’m going to do those is a separate post. First I’m going to rant about my week, less because I think it’s interesting and more because I find it cathartic (sorry).

We had an upgrade of our editorial systems this week. It did not go well.

Because of a change in the operations a lot more traffic was being put through the six servers we use for our operations and they crashed, all of them, several times. Without going into too much detail, that meant reporters could not write stories, photographers could not upload pictures, my production team could not produce pages and adverts could not be placed in publications.

This does not make the production of newspapers easy.

And the system went down across the country.

At the peak of the problem on Wednesday afternoon, I was trying to keep up with three group chats on my computer with techies from Glasgow to Moscow explaining in non-layman’s terms that I struggled to understand what was going on. It was at this point Gorgeous Daughter No 1 rang.

She has recently quit her job to follow her dream of becoming a nurse. She is enrolled on an access to nursing course from September and plans to finance herself by working as a care assistant in sheltered accommodation for the elderly. She has done a couple of training sessions and was starting on some shadow shifts.

She called, in floods of tears, worried she may have done the wrong thing. Her shift had been chaotic, half the 24 residents had had the sickness and diarrhea bug currently going around and, on top of that, despite the fact she hadn’t finished her training, she had been coerced into working nightshift Friday night.

Daughters always take priority over work, whatever the crisis is, so we talked for a while until she was happier and then I got back to work.

The huge problems at work meant we nearly lost some publications this week but we got there by the skin of our teeth and the superhuman efforts of the people I work with who really pulled out all the stops.

But it did mean two 16 hour days and they take their toll these days – I was definitely feeling old!

Back to GD1 and she was absolutely terrified about working the nightshift on Friday. I’m not sure I have seen her so upset. She had completed two of the four shadow shifts she was meant to do as part of her training and none of the night shadow shifts; and three of her class-based training sessions had also not been completed because when she got to them, they had been cancelled without anyone telling her.

But she did not want to let down the one other person working that night or the elderly residents who all suffer from dementia. So she went, and I was extremely proud of her.

The shift actually went ok and the woman she was working with was extremely nice, she said.

But – and this is a big but – the only other member of staff had never worked a nightshift before either! This unit, housing 24 vulnerable people with dementia, left two inexperienced staff, one of whom was only half trained, in control for 10 hours on Friday night.

I am outraged.

And this isn’t a dodgy, flea-bitten care home. This is an enormously expensive care home where relatives pay an absolute fortune to ensure their loved ones get the best care possible.

I am disgusted with them.

They put their clients and my daughter and the other young woman working Friday night at huge risk. Thankfully nothing untoward happened, but it could have done.

I think my daughter has now decided this is not the type of organisation she wants to work for, and I wholeheartedly agree.

Now they say things come in threes and the third thing was my camera. Repair quote = £360!!! I nearly fell off my chair. So I think I have decided that rather than pay it, I shall replace it with something reconditioned that will have a full guarantee.

So that was my week. Tiredness and stress kicked in towards the end of the week but, after GD 1 returned unscathed from nightshift yesterday morning, a Saturday evening filled with the Eurovision Song Contest (which I love for its general awfulness) and a decent night’s sleep, the sun is shining through again.

Rant over :) I feel better now.



  1. It all sounds horrendous, from work to nursing home to camera bill ugh !!!

  2. Hi Dory, nice to be here, been awhile! Rants are healthy things, what a week! The situation with health care facilities are the same here (with many) and it is so very sad that it has come to this. I agree with you and your daughter re: that organization. Sorry about the camera, that sucks and your work scenerio also, hoping your weekend will be relaxing, and uplifting with more excellent photo taking adventures, sending hugs and love to you and yours (a big one to daughter no.1, for a really tough week – take care of you, Penny xx

    • Hi Penny, so nice to hear from you. Gorgeous Daughter No 1 is now training with a care agency that seems to have much higher standards and is looking after elderly people in their own homes :) I hope you and the family are well. Love to all :)

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