Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Macdonalds Farm?

When i started work in this field, my boss used to tell me "Michelle, the main thing to remember is you need to build a repoire with these kids and their families. You can't do that with fancy clothes, jewellery and language they won't understand. These kids come from abused homes, it may be one of their parents that has abused them when you get the case. The kids are your clients, you work for them, you must make them feel comfortable and safe. Most of all, when those kids walk into the court room to give their evidence, they need to know your on their side."
Even though my boss has moved on, and i have filled his shoes, i am reminded every day of his advice and how correct he is.
I used to be a judgemental person, i'd have a box for everyone to slot into. I'd make rash generalisations, believe in sterotypical behaviours and have you generally summed up after 2 seconds of laying an eye on you! Thankfully, i grew up, hade a child and kept my big mouth shut and observed life for a while.
Sure, i make the odd wrong assumption, however the world is not as black and white as i once thought. Grey has taken over.
Yesterday, i visited a client. She has just turned 16 and lives at home with her mum and 2 sisters. I arrived on the verandah and was greeted by a large dog and a parrot! The mum let me inside her humble home, where i was greeted by 2 cats and another dog! I sat down and waited for my client to enter the room. I noticed 2 tropical fish tanks, the water was rather green, however i did see fish still swimming!
My client who was also heavily pregnant ( she had the baby today) came in the room. She is a pretty youg thing, articulate and well mannered. We chatted a while about the hearing and what would happen if she were to have the baby pre hearing. She then proceeded to take me into bedroom and show me her paintings......very impressive.
I sat with her and her mum and discussed her case, the types of questions the defence lawyer would ask her and her mother ( mum is a witness ). I felt something on my foot, i looked down, and here was a chicken! A real live chicken inside the house in the suburbs! The little bugger was pecking my foot! My client called the chook by name, and the next thing i knew....there were more! More of everything!! Kittens! 4 of them, another 3 cats that i had not seen, another LARGE dog! and, more chickens!!! A million critters all in my clients living room!
Now, whilst i still think it was hilarious, many would judge and ridicule...not me. I thought it was the funniest thing. All animals got along with each other, even the humans! Sure the place had more hair than i have on my arse, and it certainly would not be/is not, my lifestyle, clearly everyone was happy there!! More love came out of this home than many others i have been in.


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