He drives all the way to Lunenburg once a month to visit his oldest client. It’s a required visit—paperwork exchange, residential inspection, general well-being check—but he never feels like it’s just another business obligation. The old guy’s almost 85 and reminds him of the grandfathers he never met. The old guy’s home provider always makes him feel welcome, too, not like just some Agency slug that comes to collect the paperwork and check out her housekeeping.
It wasn’t always like that, though. When he first got the case, the home provider—the Agency calls them Shared Living Providers (SLPs)—never had her red homebook ready, never completed the tracking sheets documenting the old guy’s community access program. She’d always treated the old guy like family and didn’t feel the need to record his daily activities or prove that the taxpayers’ dollars were being wisely spent. It had taken almost a year for her to come around, to recognize that the formality of meds charts and tracking sheets was as big a pain in the ass for him as it was for her. Eventually, when she noticed that he always got it out of the way as quickly as possible then sat around a while longer just to shoot the breeze, ask about her kids and talk about their vacation plans, the redbook and the paperwork became less of an obstacle and their relationship improved immeasurably.
And as much as he now looked forward to his monthly visits as a legitimate afternoon furlough from the office (he always scheduled it for three o’clock so he’d have to be on the road by ten) he especially liked that it afforded him the opportunity to stop for lunch at The Mooselook. Even though he only had a chance to stop there once per month, he’d become enough of a regular that Janey never had to bring him a menu; just came over to his booth to ask if he’d being having his usual—Sluggerburger, medium rare, no lettuce.
He’s an avid journal keeper, and always spends as much time writing as eating. A few visits back, he wrote about Janey and her apple crisp. He went home after visiting the old guy and printed it out, sent it off to the restaurant anonymously, and posted a copy on his blog. The next time he came in, all the servers—none of them named Janey—came over to his table to tell him they’d figured out it was him that had written it, Googled his name from the credit card receipt and seen the blog. Even the cook came out to thank him for the free publicity.
He always arrives at the old guy’s place well-fed, but he never turns down the offered coffee. Coffee’s always good after a nice apple crisp, and sharing it with an SLP keeps the paperwork in order.