“Ladies and gentlemen: thank you all for coming here tonight. As you know, we are going through tough and challenging times. It is at times like these that we must all work as a team, providing care, compassion and understanding for those that we support: those ladies and gentlemen that benefit so much from the care and consideration we can provide for them. Over the past few weeks we have been in contact with as many of our ‘customers’ as possible, seeking their advice, and their feelings, toward the service we provide.
He paused – then continued..
“I am pleased, though not surprised, that the feedback was extremely positive throughout.
He paused again..
“Now, during this whole exercise, we also asked our ‘customers’ if they had a favourite carer – one who made them feel wanted and also went that ‘extra mile’, or maybe more, for them. They were asked to rate them on a scale of one to ten – with ten being the top notch. We asked that they kept this all quiet for a while.
“Without letting on about this enquiry, we also asked our staff to, anonymously, rank their colleagues. I suspect you all remember this”
Ian could hear some groans and mutterings from the listeners. He had thrown his form in the bin as a waste of time and an infringement of privacy, and it sounded as if others had too.
Sir William went on: “These were all passed to an independent firm many miles from here. They were asked to analyse the information and report back to me. They were, like me, impressed by the responses overall. There were a few elements that would benefit from attention and we shall be addressing these in the coming days. Overall, though, the view of our customers was that we – you – do an excellent job. I, and the board, thank you all most sincerely.”
He and the board members behind him stood and applauded – and the audience joined in. Alongside Freda, Ian gave a huge sigh of boredom and turned to leave. Freda was still standing in his way.
As the applause died away Sir William continued: “We also asked the company to analyse the feedback from our staff. This data they then merged with our customer feedback. With this they were able to tell us who was voted the best carer in our area by our customers and by our staff – your colleagues. We also asked them for a consolidated analysis. We received all three,”
“Oh, for heaven’s sake,” Ian murmured. “I’ve had enough of this.” Again he found Freda in his way and he was tempted to push her to one side.
In the background he heard Sir William announce that…
“The winner on all three counts is” …. as he paused Ian again tried to get past Freda but this time she was positive in stopping him as Sir William continued…
“Mr Ian Brockett’
The hall exploded into cheers, clapping and whistles of delight. Ian froze and then headed for the door. Freda made sure she was in his way.
“Ian, wait.” She put her hand on his shoulder, then wrapped her arms around him. “This is for you – and the way you bring life and happiness into the world of so many people. Let’s go and say thank you for all those that recognise the tremendous job you do to help those less fortunate than ourselves.”
With her arm round his shoulder she led him through the cheering and clapping colleagues to the dais where Sir William waited to meet him.