Mollycoddling the Feckless

Mollycoddling the Feckless

12.99

Alistair Findlay

ISBN: 9781913025076

Binding: paperback

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Back cover text:

My mother, ninety-three,
blames me and my kind
for mollycoddling the feckless.

Alistair Findlay has written the first ever memoir of a career in Scottish social work. He reflects on the changing landscape of the profession since he entered it in 1970 in a memoir that is thoughtful, progressive, humane – and funny. He conveys how he and his fellow workers shared friendship and banter in work that can be hard and thankless but also hugely rewarding and worthwhile.

Everyone knows what a teacher or a doctor does because everyone has met one. Very few people meet social workers. Your chances of meeting a social worker increase the poorer you are; the more jobless; the more deprived the area you reside in… Frontline social workers can flit in the blink of an eye from the ordered calm of a courtroom to absurdist Beckett-like dialogues with psychotic individuals to struggles with distraught mothers – one wielding a claw-hammer on a tenement landing, as happened to me.


Reviews:

Alistair Findlay’s inability to be mealy-mouthed is both admirable and shocking. Jen Hadfield

Findlay gives the feel of social work. He conveys it sweat, its smell, its reality… Bob Holden


Extracts:

Frontline social workers can flit in the blink of an eye from the ordered calm of a courtroom to absurdist Beckett-like dialogues with psychotic individuals to struggles with distraught mothers – for example, one wielding a claw-hammer on a tenement landing, as happened to me.

This creature was a middle-class snob who saw themselves as above the common herd of both clients and other social workers. Exuding an air of ennui and superiority bordering on contempt, X read The Scotsman sat at a desk every morning, all morning, and then snuck off from work early by going on late visits, for which they could claim overtime. They routinely took extended lunch breaks and opted out of difficult visits by visiting people not needing them but which still let them claim mileage, overtime and so on. In short, X was a supercilious knobhead who coolly took every advantage of the openly trusting professional environment of the times, to everyone’s detriment, not least the people they were meant to be helping.


Read a Q&A with Alistair in The Scotsman

Read Jen Hadfield’s review of Dancing with Big Eunice

Listen to Alastair talk about the book and watch Alistair read poems from Dancing with Big Eunice below