This was a new site to Stephen and one that took its responsibilities seriously. He had completed all the on-line training and knew about the Safeguarding Adults Policy, hand hygiene, Risk Assessments, GDPR, being a Fire Marshal as well as how to recognise anaphylactic shock, so he had all the requisites the NHS deemed necessary to be a carpark marshal volunteer at a Vaccination Centre.
Being the repository of the sum of all human knowledge, he could wear a hi-vis jacket and point his arm to vacant bays with some authority. However, having never been inside the Vaccination Centre he didn’t have a clue what went on in there. That did not deter him from answering the questions the public asked him. What is the point in all those online certificates if at the first question he says;” I don’t know”? Stephen had a dentist with halitosis and he wasn’t going to be like him. So, he made up credible answers like: “they put it on a sugar-cube if you are scared of needles” or “of course it’s painful, you are being pierced with a big needle”.
Word must have got back to the volunteer coordinator who posted Stephen on ever more remote parts of the site which was vast, and to justify her decision she reinforced his importance by overstating the crucial strategic positioning of his skills to this particularly difficult and complex area of the car park and the unilateral decision making to appoint Stephen that task as though he was the only one who would fully comprehend its intricacies.
Needless to say, Stephen saw no-one all day. It was -2 degrees and he got no break from doing nothing. The caretaker on locking up the site found him and asked: “How long have you been standing there?”
(c) Steve Goodlad