Many years ago, I moved from Big Town Vancouver to Small Town Sudbury. Different province, and different services for DeafBlind, it was my first contract with Intervenor Services.
With a Small Town, there was only two intervenors working with a small group of Deaf-Blind clients. One intervenor had many years of experience, she had good ASL skills and was well liked. The other intervenor was a recent hire, but he was a graduate of interpreting program in Sudbury.
I realize that, being small town, the intervenor in this story I’m about to tell can be easily determined, even if it happened 12 years ago. I just told you there were two intervenors. This person is probably on their way to retirement, so it matters not a lot. And, don’t worry, after the event, I did tell the boss. Who downplayed the situation, naturally.
Anyways, I was working at three different jobs (the only time I ever had three such jobs), and my wife was, maybe, 7 month pregnant with our first boy.
I booked an intervenor for a doctor appointment. It was not my usual day or time, but I really needed to see a doctor. Why and what for? Looking back, I can’t recall!
I had arranged with the intervenor to pick me up after my morning shift, and we would drive to the doctors, then he would drive me to my tutoring job. I worked in Four Corners (south end) area of Sudbury, and my Doctor and client was in New Sudbury (north end). A drive about 30 minutes or so.
The intervenor, I will call Kelly, because that is a gender neutral name, picked me up at the right time and place. As we left the parking lot I told Kelly that I changed my mind and did not want to see the doctor, instead we would go do some food shopping.
Kelly’s response was: “I cancelled a client to take you to see the doctor. Doctor appointments take priority. And you want to drop the doctor to go shopping?!”
I was taken aback, because I did not know that Kelly cancelled a client for me. So, with that in mind, decided to yes, go to the doctors. I mentioned I did not have an appointment and it was Walk-In.
Kelly’s response, again, was: “I cancelled a client for you to see a doctor.”
Kelly was not mad, just stating the facts. Of which, before then, I was not aware of.
When we arrived at the Doctors office, and registered, the receptionist told me it would be an hour before the doctor was available, at the least. There was about 11 people in front of me.
I believe Kelly did express frustration by mentioning that I should have made an appointment and, for the third time, that “I cancelled a client…”.
After about 10 minutes of waiting in a waiting room that had more friction than an elephant on a shag carpet, I decided and told Kelly, “To hell with this, I can’t even remember why I wanted to see the doctor. We are going shopping!”
Kelly: “Okay, there’s a NoFrills on the corner.”
Me: “I want to go to Food Basics.”
Now, we get to the part of the “Bad Shopping with Intervenor Experience.”
After getting out of the car and walked into the store, I got my cart, and so did Kelly! “I need to pick up a few things.” No asking me if they could, just decided to shop! I was a little put off, but still shopped.
I spotted some fruit that I wanted, and put it in the cart. Kelly zoomed by.
I decided to buy some chicken, I had to FLAG Kelly down like a cab in a rainstorm! “Is this chicken expired? What is the price?” With a two second glance at it, “No, $3.29,” swish. Kelly had zoomed off again.
I was dumbfound.
I bought a few other things, and each time I need visual information or prices or food quality, Kelly was not around and was doing own shopping!
When I went to the front of the store to check out, I was beyond frustration, Kelly finally caught up to me. Kelly’s decided to go first. And, then bagged a lot of meat for the BBQ. My stuff was next. I had to, you know, remind Kelly, who was chatting with the Cash person, “…How much…? …Total?” Kelly’s replies were like “I’ve got better things to do…” attitude.
Being a new user of Intervenor services, I was not sure if it was my place to, you know, tell Kelly “This is my time. You can do your own shopping later. You are working now.” I was not confident about confrontation.
It crossed my mind, sometime later, as I was writing long email to the boss, that it looks like Kelly had been doing this for quite a while. No one bothered to raise their voice.
After Kelly drove me to my tutoring job, and then I went home to my pregnant wife, and told her about this experience. She took the chicken and said that it had expired two days ago! And something else was also gone bad. I blamed Kelly because, they did not provide adequate visual information. Internally, I blamed myself for not being more assertive.
This was a learning experience!
After I complained to the boss, I am obviously not naming the agency, I never worked with Kelly again. Once I did spot Kelly, who quickly ducked out of the room, not wanting to talk to me.
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For reasons lost in the mists of time,