Day to day musings of a cat minder/ sitter in North Tyneside and Newcastle upon Tyne . For details of services go to http://www.catminders.biz

Welcome to CatMinders

Welcome to CatMinders

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Risk Assessment Thoughts for the Day ?



I rarely talk about my Day Job here , unless it sends me to exotic locations , this year Cardiff and Atlanta no less .


But these last three days have been such fun . I've been on a rare training event where I've been a participant rather than a trainer ( Bliss ) , it was held in a fairly exotic location ( Ha ! ) , the hotel overlooking the much vaunted Angel of the North and for once I cannot resist writing about at least one aspect of it .


With the focus on Risk Assessment , and let's face it , what isn't these days , risk assessment being the words you hear whenever you close your eyes and just let your mind drift in any given situation . Even this morning as I took Alice down the hundred or so steps to the beach at King Edward's Bay there was a slip of paper floating on the wind and as it settled on the top step and I picked it up to dispose of it , glancing at it as it was handwritten and I began to convince myself it may be a lost love letter or suicide note (why am I obsessed with the notion of suicide at the beach these days ? ) I noted the words L and D ... Learning and Development I assume and underneath in Bold Print "Risk Assessment" . Even on the beach people are risk assessing ... there is no escape .


And indeed as we hopped about on the rocks thinking our thoughts about how far in the tide was and how the beach this morning was very very small ,and Alice was assessing how she could winkle a biscuit from my new coat with the zip up pockets , a massive wave smashed down in front of us and Alice and I ran for our lives and just managed to escape being pulled back into the sea off the rocks and into God knows what oblivion awaits ........ its so easy to forgot just how strong that seventh wave can be and how poweful a force the ocean is when you are thinking about the day ahead and the sea looks reasonably calm . My heart was pounding and Alice was running like Ive never seen it before .

I digress ...

Risk Assessment . Its never far away , and maybe never should be . So , these last three days we are being trained by two great people from Wisconsin and part of what they're teaching us involves an emphasis on how the Deviant Male , in the institution where they work, views women, including the view that its completely acceptable simply to say to a woman as a dating line " well how about a sh*g then ? " rather than as you or I might consider , " would you fancy a drink later in the bar ? " or whatever . The trainer is speaking to the room with his back to a series of tables behind him where lunch has been served and just as he comes out with this line , in walk two young waitresses , unseen by him , to collect the coffee pots , and you can picture the scene , the words " How about etc " are uttered just as the young women are behind him , only he is still unaware of their presence , and they keep right on walking , straight faced ,whilst the rest of us giggle nervously but feel not ok as they disappear behind the flip chart stands . The following day the trainer is in full flow describing another of his charges and comes out with the line " these guys believe all women are money grabbing b*tches , deceitful , lying and out to get them " and again the waitresses have walked in just as he says " all women .. " . I note this time the women put down their pots and walk out again and are quickly replaced by male staff . What of course we dont know is that because of the course content the hotel have been pre-alerted and later I over-hear one of the trainers chatting to the waitresses and the young women laugh as they say they approached the room with caution trying to guage what is being talked about before they walked in . And now in writing this I am mighty frustrated by Blogger . For some reason it won't allow me to make paragraphs or separate out lines of text . Pah and double pah . Anyway it was funny at the time . Maybe you had to be there . I'm glad I was . And I'm glad I didn't get sucked into the sea this morning and lived to tell the tale , though it was a close call , probably in retrospect would have been more of a drenching than a drowning .

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