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Thursday, 10 May 2018

Watch out! - for the little things

I’m into week three of my induction period after joining an NHS acute trust. These days we’re all in a uniform of some kind or mufti; a big change since I was last working in such an environment is being bare below the elbows. Brought in as we became more conscious of infection risks ties have largely gone too.
So after several decades of wearing a wrist watch that habit has had to change too. “You can get the time from your phone” I hear you exclaim; but I’ve worn a wrist watch for much longer that digital timepieces were available, when analogue meant winding up the watch or clock yourself. And to get time from the phone meant dialling the speaking clock.

Why is this worthy of mention? The watch I’ve worn for some years now belonged to my late dad, and it was given to him after many years work as a teacher and head teacher in inner London. It’s served as a reminder of his commitment to education and those in his care; whose learning and development were so important.

It’s also reminded me of him as a person and father and of his love of public service and doing good things through that service. It’s been a little disconcerting not to have it handy to refer to. It’s meant I’ve had to develop a new ‘check my phone for the time’ thing though I still go to my wrist and wonder why there’s a gap. It’s made me reflect on loss and grief; another step away from him. It’s chipped at the inspiration the watch has provided as well as a sense of time. I always like to be just a little early and a watch is a quick way to check times progress. Now I have to rely on my phone, or the occasional wall clock, to be sure I’m timely.

Not having the watch has been a distinct loss that I wanted to mark through speaking up about it; it’s about the difference little things can mean to people. This was emphasised to me again this week listening to Chris Pointon speak about Dr Kate Granger and the build up and progress of the #HelloMyNameIs campaign. Do look the campaign up if you’ve not heard of it; even if you know about it, remember little things when left out or ignored can have an impact much bigger than we can ever realise.

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