Friday, January 25, 2008


I was speaking to this caregiver yesterday and today and realised again that there is an issue of trust. Caregivers don't trust officers and officers feel the same way about caregivers. Caregivers have had bad experiences with officers - and officers have had bad experiences with caregivers. Some caregivers have not had bad experiences themselves but have heard from other people that their officers were mean - so you start off with a mutual distrust.

Here's the thing I've noticed. Yes there are some really difficult officers - but there are also some really difficult feeders. The rest however are basically people who are trying to do their job. If you can work with them and show that you are trustworthy - and expect that same level of trust from them - they generally reciprocate.

I've noticed that in the areas where the cats are pretty safe, that the basis of most of them is a good working relationship with the TC or the officer in charge of whichever area this is in. It does not mean you have to be best friends - and after all, this is a working relationship, so a certain degree of formality should be there. Don't expect to have the officer's number as a matter of course for example unless they're comfortable giving it out - think of it this way, if you're working at a job, do you want someone to call you at home when you're watching television and trying to relax to ask you about some work related matter? Generally most people would not. If you do get the number, try not to call unnecessarily after office hours unless it is an emergency. Having said that, there are several people I know whose officers do give out their numbers because they are comfortable with them enough - and they know these residents won't abuse it.

I just saw an email that a caregiver sent to his MP - and in it, he specifically mentioned that he wanted to say that he had a good working relationship with his officer. I thought that was a very nice email to send. The MP wrote back to say he was glad that residents and the TC were working together. The officer will certainly be happy to have been acknowledged by a resident to the MP - and this will likely have a positive effect on their working relationship too.

If an officer is unprofessional, rude or basically unhelpful, then you should bring it up - but praise should also be given where praise is due.

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