Lone Working

I was on a course today delivered in partnership with the Suzy Lamplugh Trust which looked at some of the principles and methods you can use to be mindful of your personal safety when working on your own. It was nothing to do with self defence, but was aimed at provoking thought and preparation in processes, awareness, and communication within an organisation and between colleagues.

I found it useful, and in parts challenging. Some of that challenge was to my perception and assumptions, and some of it came from the memories it evoked of past events. What was, to my mind, more interesting though was the defensiveness that some of my co-attendees exhibited around personal responsibility.

There was anger at the way some information had been hurriedly rolled out about changes in procedures – but it felt misdirected at the person delivering the course who was from a third party – and I had to bite my tongue a few times as I recalled working in the first years after my degree in a very rough estate on my own, including carrying cash to the bank on foot and regularly ejecting armed youths from the premises.

I have had to remind myself that everyone has different stressors and thresholds, and that I can’t measure their fears against my experiences and outlook.

I may still have rolled my eyes mentally a few times, but I am determined to be as positive and constructive manager of people through it all as I can.

I shall no doubt continue to work on my response to people not taking responsibility for their own safety in therapy.

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