Sunday, 25 July 2010

How much is too much?

Being on the front line is both rewarding and challenging. At times the challenge can go too far. When a client is verbally or physically abusive, where do we draw the line?
How do we protect ourselves emotionally and physically, while continuing to provide a service to our clients?

1 comment:

  1. I have worked in a variety of settings and all of these have had differing attitudes as to what is acceptable. I have been threatened and shouted at more times than I care to remember, but only once has a client chased me down the road with intent.
    I have always worked on the premise that as long as I am safe (physically) then I can carry on with my job. I have never been attacked, however several of my colleagues have not been so lucky.
    My aim has always been to show by clients respect and generally this has been reciprocated. Working in a supportive team and having a good manager goes a long way to enable me to protect myself emotionally. Over the years I have thought that some kind of self defence class would have been good, but the legal ramifications of actually using this against a client has meant that no manager has ever wanted to commit to this. So I have to rely on a good co-worker when on outreach, well researched areas (scoping out during daylight) and if available a vehicle.