Bonnie Support Services

Bonnie Support Services

Human Excel Sheets

A colleague and I recently discussed how we often function as human Excel sheets.

Microsoft describes Excel spreadsheets as follows:

“Excel is an incredibly powerful tool for deriving meaning from vast amounts of data. It also works well for simple calculations and tracking almost any kind of information. The key to unlocking all that potential is the grid of cells. Cells can contain numbers, text, or formulas. You put data in your cells and group them in rows and columns. This allows you to add up your data, sort and filter it, put it in tables, and create great-looking charts”.

Similarly, we collect, collate, and maintain information. We not only store data but also input and apply it to everyday life. It is a complex system, and we are often required to extract information without formulas at any given time, especially when we work at Bonnie’s.

A day of tracking looks like this: how many referrals we received today, who will work with the new family and whether we have the capacity to do so, what is happening with our current clients and if any urgent concerns need immediate attention, who is moving out, who is moving in, whether rooms are ready, and how many sets of linen need to be put on beds, whether the removalist will be late, whether a woman moving out needs help with moving, what applications and support letters need to be completed today, who called during on-call last night and needs a response now, whether our outreach partners working out of our office are being looked after and if clients are here for their appointments, whether childcare is booked for groups and if the childcare worker is sick – which staff member will need to look after the children, who is at court, and who is preparing for court, who is making a statement at the police station, and who is waiting at the police station, who is at the hospital, and who can stay late. All this and more is happening simultaneously, and all decisions are made before 10 am.

When we operate from constantly assessing risk, we are sometimes beyond an Excel sheet.

So, what happens when life and work take a toll, and the computer says, “NO!”?

Well, we have each other!

We work here as a team, and we are all interconnected. We rely on each other for everything and anything. From going out to do welfare checks to joint worker collaboration to support a family to safety planning as a team for clients and ourselves. The safety risk assessment we make every day when we turn up to work is not just for our clients but also for ourselves. We, too, want to be safe to support more women and children. That is why we have each other to help. To share hard days and good days, accept failures, and celebrate good news.

Together, we are an Excel Workbook, and we are glad to be together.

Written by An, Bonnie Support Services

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