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What to do when you don’t know what to do

What to do when you don’t know what to do

Damien arrived for his scheduled shift and Jane is from Norway. Jane likes to greet her visitors with a European kiss and this means she will kiss each cheek. Jane uses her hands to hold faces while she does this.

the team working with Jane acknowledge this is Jane’s character and appreciates the meaning of the welcome.

Damien unfortunately is not a person who is used to showing affection. in his culture, affection is something that you do not demonstrate in the workplace. Damien has increasingly started to feel uncomfortable with this greeting. Damien is unaware that all the people supporting Jane are greeted the same way. as Damien and the other workers cover the 24 hours of the day, they rarely see each other. they have access to the case notes from each day, however, this does not allow for the opportunity to debrief with each other the different aspects of the workplace that they may not understand. for Damien he feels that kissing hello is something that makes him feel uncomfortable. Jane has not altered how she greets people in the time Damien has been working with her. the way Damien currently feels is a build-up over time.

we don’t know if there is a problem if you don’t tell us. when you tell us, we can work together to address any concerns before they become a problem.

If you are thinking about something that doesn’t feel right 3 minutes later-discuss with the client if possible. in normal interactions, it is appropriate to reflect on conversations and what occurs. what is not normal is to have lingering thoughts about something that does not feel ok. often when we can discuss it in the moment it allows both the receiver of the information/behaviour and the transmitter to consider what has occurred and to take steps to address it. action: Damien tells Jane that he enjoys working with her but doesn’t like to kiss people hello. they discuss this and Jane, when she becomes aware of how Damien feels, agrees she will greet him with a hello.


Damien says nothing and goes about his shift and then leaves for home, ruminating on how uncomfortable Jane makes him feel. Damien likes working with the team but does not see anyone.

Damien goes home and is still thinking about Jane and her greeting when he is making the family dinner.

Action: Damien calls Huma

OR Alternatively, Damien takes no action and continues to ruminate 3 hours later- if something from work is on your mind three hours after your shift has ended discuss it with your shift supervisor by contacting us here.

Damien calls Huma and discusses his concern. Huma and Damien discuss the activities and Damien explains it’s only the greetings that make him uncomfortable. Damien and Huma discuss the different cultural standards and how in Europe they are more a tactile community and greet people this way. Damien gains insight into the motive of the behaviour. and this helps him understand.

Huma now is aware that Damien is sensitive to tactile greetings and can support the client to understand this also.

OR Damien can do nothing and ruminate. this then creates a barrier for Damien. he is becoming anxious, unable to sleep and is not willing to work with Jane any longer.

Damien finally messages Huma and requests to be removed. Damien finally reaches out for support and can begin to unpack how he is feeling.

The rules of three - Mental Health