Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Didi - a guest blogger. Part 2

We have had some real drama in the hotel this week. The Manager has been suspended to allow an investigation into his Gross Misconduct to be looked into. He had an enormous row with the Bar Manager (#3 in the hierarchy) and ended up hitting him. He then pushed past the Head Receptionist (#4 in the hierarchy) so violently that he knocked her over so that she cut her head on the corner of a table. It was very dramatic – luckily I was in bed at the time and missed all the excitement.

AaBbCc has been back in touch. He said that seeing his post made him sound childish so he phoned up his former foster parents and they had a lovely long chat. He and his girlfriend are going to see his former foster parents this month.

I phoned Wobbly to extract some news from her. She is one of the group of former foster children we know who live in the Blackpool area. Wobbly has stayed in touch her last set of foster parents but as far as she knows most of the other foster children who overlapped with her are not in touch with the foster parents. And Wobbly isn’t in contact with any of these other foster children either.

She says, “Thinking about it is seems fairly gross to share a house with another foster child for several years and then have nothing more to do with them ever again!!”

Didi (05.09.13)

I don't expect the guests have worked out that the hotel is rather like a drum of gunpowder at the moment. It just needs one spark and boom! The Manager is still suspended and the HR people from Head Office are trying to work out what went wrong, whose fault it was, who is going to have to take the blame and what is going to happen to them. As always happens some people take sides based on facts, some take sides out of friendship or loyalty and a few decide who is going to "win" before making any decision as to which side they will support. So where do I stand in all this? Surprisingly rather better than I first thought I might. The Head of HR is unquestionably a lesbian (trust me I can tell!) and she is 100% OK about Magda sharing my flat. So there isn't any ammunition to be fired against me on that basis. The Relief Manager sung my praises to the investigators and this has helped counteract the suspended Manager bad-mouthing most of the rest of his team. I think whatever happens the suspended manager cannot come back here but since I am far too young and inexperienced to even consider the top job there is no promotion opportunity whatever happens.

My Foster Parents have been a great support to me during the last couple of weeks. I have been on the phone to them twice a day most days and I always feel better after talking to them.

I have also being bullying the "Blackpool sisterhood" to talk about their time as fostered children. I must be losing my scariness factor because I haven't heard much juicy gossip from any of them. I will have to sharpen my pointed stick before I go up there in October!

A couple of weeks ago AaBbCc wrote "I used to go back sometimes for meals but for some reason finding youngsters I didn’t know in my house and in my bedroom used to upset me. I felt like I had been replaced like parts of a car after an MOT test. So I stopped going round so often and then stopped totally. I never told them how I felt which was stupid. But I made lots of stupid decisions from 18 to 21, like joining and leaving the Navy. I live on a boat, have a decent job and have sorted my life out so I feel quite pleased." He has asked me to make clearer that he didn't blame his foster parents for doing "1 in and 1 out". It is just that being the 1 going out can seem like rejection.

Finally for this weeks exciting episode there is Eve's Mother. There is a disconnect (an HR word I heard this week, several times) between what she says, what she means and what she does. Eve is quite close to telling her to sod off - although sod wasn't exactly the word she whispered down the phone (one of the babies was in earshot methinks).

Didi (10.09.13)

Perhaps it isn’t just a coincidence that Old Timer (in a letter) and my fostered friends from Blackpool (in a phone call) all used the word “rootless” to describe how they feel.

I find that I have strong links to my friends but no sense of belonging to any of the many places I have lived. For reason that some of you know it would not be sensible for me to visit where I was brought up. The few school friends from those days that I have kept in touch with use an email address that only they know and use. None of them know where I live now or what I’m doing with my life.

But being rootless isn’t just geographical. Many of the fostered adults I know have few photos of their childhood and the few photos they do have sometimes have no indication of who is on the photo or where it was taken. I have exactly three photos of my BF, but none of his brother (my uncle) or his parents (my paternal grandparents).

Life at the hotel is not going smoothly. Nobody ever comes out well of these sorts of gross-misconduct employment issues. For example I found that I was supposed to have an annual appraisal but the (former) Hotel Manager didn’t do it. I was also supposed to have some Professional Development Opportunities every year and these didn’t happen either. He never forwarded my requests to go on courses to Head Office and he would tell me that they had said no when the truth was that they had never even been asked.

The good news is that I will be able to go on a course very soon and of all the places in the world it might have been it is going to be at Blackpool and the Fylde College. Brilliant!

Didi (17.09.13)

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