Dangerous People

21 May 2012, 14:21

“There are some very dangerous people in this ward, so please pay attention, as you are a new face to these people.”

Anxious to do my new job properly, I made a mental note to pay attention to Dr Soames, the psychiatrist in charge, as he showed me the ropes. I half listened to him ramble on as I tried to remember what we discussed at the interview, about the delicate balance between boundaries, and open lines of communication we had to have with the people here.

“… One word about the man walking up towards us in the corridor. He is extremely dangerous, watch out for him. You see, he is one of these people who cannot talk, but is likely to strike out at any minute.”

Curious, I looked to see who Dr Soames was talking about. Ah, I recognised him, David, one of the guys at the Deaf Club where I attended my sign classes about twenty years ago. He smiled when he saw me. I was amazed he still recognised me. He raised in arm in greeting. Just as I was about to greet him back, Dr Soames interjected.

“You see, he ALWAYS does that! Every day without fail. We have been discussing ways and means to get him to stop that.”

“He was just saying hello.”

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