Monday, 14 September 2015

Illiterate rudeness from high places

My disabled sister lives in sheltered accomodation. Thre is a communal "lounge" where the residents can get together for coffee, meetings etc. This used to be comfortable and reasonably homely. But no more. This room has now been done up, and is utterly hideous (I hope to obtain a photo for the next instalment of this rant). But even worse, the furniture has been arranged in a way that is neither social nor practical for the residents. They asked the manager to complain to the council about this, and she received the following bewildering and rather rude reply:
 
The furniture was made bespokely for the lounge. It will not fit any other way than the existing layout. The lounge is where it is now for practical reasons (accommodating more tenants). The old style whilst maybe suiting a few tenants was not condusive in a health and safety aspect.
 
Aside from the extraordinary use of English, this missive shows a flagrant disregard for the comfort of people for whom this is their only home. The writer of the letter even told one man (who said that it wasn't possible to have a nap in the chairs, which are small and hard and low-backed) that "if he wanted to go to sleep, he should go back to his own room" .
 
My sister is furious and frustrated by all this. So am I. And my blog is the best and least harmful place to express my feelings. Sorry about that.

14 comments:

  1. If IDS had his way they would be sitting on the floor. I'm surprised that they aren't grateful for chairs, lucky to have them in this day and age.
    I think another letter to the Times is required.
    Take some video, it has more impact than stills.
    The letter is a classic, I hope it was written as a joke but suspect the author has just decided to reinvent English; like what I do in a bespokely way.

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    1. I think video would be too depressing, Adrian.

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  2. That's a shame. Have to say I've seen quite a few hospital waiting rooms and similar places which really make me wonder what (or who) on earth they were thinking of when they furnished them. Much too often certainly not the special needs of the people who actually have to spend a lot of time there.

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    1. I think someone was having a bad dream when they 'designed' this, DT.

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  3. The home in which my Mother lived out her last years with severe Parkinsons, had no problem allowing us to purchase a specialized comfortable chair for her. It stayed in the living room for her use and after she died, we asked if anyone else could use it. They were pleased to pass it along to another gentleman in need. They still call it "Carmen's chair".
    I hope you can go higher up the food chain, using your words and your indoor voice and teach them the meaning of :unacceptable.

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    1. I've been up the food chain, ER, and plan to revisit, with photos (the top of the chain have no idea what this looks like).

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  4. You'd think if the furniture was made 'bespokely' the needs and wishes of its users would have been taken into account.

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    1. Not if you came across the woman in charge, Patsy. Sadly.

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  5. So sorry to hear this. It must be really frustrating when something like this happens without consultation with the residents. All you can do is complain to the highest level; maybe her local MP could take it up.

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    1. I'm taking it up with the association that organises this kind of accomodation, Maggie. But I don't think they'll do anything.

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  6. It's disgraceful, Frances, cruel even. I hope you can take it further xx

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    1. I plan to do just that, Teresa. Thank you.

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  7. I read this last night and was completely stunned. Obviously there was no consultation which was, I would have thought, a sensible approach for many reasons not least of which is that people affected feel that they have some control of their lives (although I accept from many consultations I have undertaken that it can occasionally cause more problems than it solves). However this sounds just so hideously uncaring that someone should be held to account. Which is, of course, more easily said than done.

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    1. Re your last sentence, Graham, I am rapidly finding this to be all too true.

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