A Capital Demand

entry picture

 

Jobs in your area! Do YOU want to care?

We have vacancies everywhere, quality assured,

person-centred care and support.

 

Take your pick, we will fit you in. Fair pay,

hours that you want to work, and holidays.

We’re flexible, adaptable, you’re able and available.

 

Great! And they’ve promised me

hours in my area. I won’t have to travel too far.

Sign here………………………………..

 

No you can’t work there. Jobs in your area?

Don’t you want to care?

We’re a fair employer. 50p more

than the minimum wage.

Holidays?

Yes, they’re unpaid.

 

You buy a bus pass.

Bus is delayed.

It only takes cash, doesn’t take the pass,

and if you don’t catch this, you’ll be late. 

So the price of the pass is a waste,

and you won’t get paid for the 45-minute-long wait.

 

Jobs in your area! Do YOU want to care?

We have vacancies everywhere.

Take Your Pick.

Not there.  

 

Joe’s safe’s empty. Who’s got the key?

Never mind that, rat-a-tat-tat, hurry up,

wake him up, make tea, change the bed,

then a ten minute form-fill.

What happened to his other pills?

Get him into bed,

tucked up, 6pm.

A childhood bedtime for old grown men.

Don’t worry. Just care.

 

Jobs in your area! Don’t you want to work

for a minimum wage? Ungrateful.

 

Kate’s in a rage.

A dozen eggs dashed on her kitchen floor,

one smashed teacup, the dog’s gone spare,

blood everywhere

and a tiny time-slot to take care:

 

hoover mop brush clean calm cook dust hush the dog

and put a wash on.

 

Try to tempt Kate to eat tea.

Not hungry.

Leave her a butty that you know she won’t eat.

Out the front door

for a 20 minute unpaid walk to the next.

 

It gets cancelled.

There’s a 90 minute gap.

No point going home, costs too much.

 

So a 90 minute gap spent sat on a bench,

watching nothing but the time,

‘cause at 9pm sharp you’re off to Arthur’s

to shower, shave, wipe his arse,

and try to keep his dignity intact.

 

He never stops apologising all the way through,

his poor bent body doesn’t work the way it used to.

He tells you all about it and your bus time comes

 

then goes,

‘cause his list of reminiscences grows and grows.

He’s not seen anybody all this week,

so when he starts to speak,

you haven’t got the heart to leave him be

all alone, in his one-room

four-wall cell of a home.

 

Jobs in your area! Don’t you want to care?

We have vacancies everywhere.

You can’t work there.

They died.

 

Ida needs an ambulance.

Not very well.

Blood sugar’s loopy, feeling very funny.

Paramedics help, they treat her every Monday.

She’s lucky this time, but your cortisol’s high,

and you’re living on adrenaline again.

 

We’ll send you a roster, text on a Sunday,

ring in your free time, stress guaranteed,

and if you don’t speak now, you’ll be in trouble.

Try to eke a living on a 6 hour week,

less bus fare.

 

Care and support.

Jobs in your area, quality assured.

Stop crying. Just care.

Wear a tiny little badge,

a gift from Matt,

with a capital demand

to

CARE.

 

◄ With Reasonable Force

Comments

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Trevor Alexander

Thu 10th Jun 2021 21:00

Care workers really do get the shitty end of the stick, as you say so eloquently.

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Laura Taylor

Thu 10th Jun 2021 10:58

Hey, thanks everyone, appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.

I've changed the title now, remembered I already had one titled 'Care' in my last book. Have also edited the ending - wasn't quite happy with it.

I thought working conditions in call centres were bad. They're like a holiday compared to care work. It's a sad sick depressing industry, and one which we are all likely to be needing at some point, for our family and/or ourselves. It's an absolute disgrace, and needs properly nationalising.

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raypool

Wed 9th Jun 2021 22:00

Great writing and gritty sensitivity, a case surely made against the system as it stands. I'm glad I strayed onsite after a long break!

Ray.

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Stephen Atkinson

Wed 9th Jun 2021 18:12

A superbly observed piece. Very well written 🌈

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Stephen Gospage

Wed 9th Jun 2021 16:58

Thank you for this wonderful poem, Laura. It needed writing.

My mother and my Mother-in-law had to rely on the care system for years and this rings so true. Most of the carers do a great job in difficult circumstances and with terrible conditions. It still makes me angry.

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Laura Taylor

Wed 9th Jun 2021 12:40

Ah, thanks very much Greg. Been meaning to write one about care for ages now, but pandemical stuff took over. There is a slight crossover though, re that insulting badge.

Ta 😃 Will have a look around, see what's occurring 😃

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Greg Freeman

Wed 9th Jun 2021 12:07

Great stuff, Laura. A cold dose of reality, written about and with care. Very good to see you back here.

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