Social care in the community
Social care in the community

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Social care in the community

A home carer’s job

In this activity you explore what it’s like to be a home care worker and a user of home care services. You will observe visits by home care workers to four clients of the Cardiff-based agency, Somebody Cares.

Activity 2 The home carer’s job

Allow about 1 hour

Somebody Cares provided personal care, domestic help and support with the activities of daily life such as shopping. Since these videos were made, Somebody Cares was sold on to another company and then was shut down when the company reorganised

In this activity, think about the following questions.

  1. What does the home carer’s job involve?
  2. What skills does it take to do the job and manage relationships?

Task 1 Getting to know the case study

Start by familiarising yourself with the Somebody Cares case study in Video 1. Watch the whole case study right through, so that you get to know the people involved, including their different:

  • care needs
  • forms of support provided
  • domestic situations.
Download this video clip.
Skip transcript: Video 1 Somebody Cares case study

Transcript: Video 1 Somebody Cares case study

Kevin Madden
Good morning my dear.
Elvis Malcolm
Morning
June Hole
You alright?
Kevin Madden
You bet.
June Hole
Chair's over there.
Brian Hole
Sorry?
June Hole
Sling's over there.
Brian Hole
I went into the hospital in June, and come out in December. I went in with two gangrenous toes. So I come out with no toes, no legs. And it's called vasculitis, isn't it? When I was being discharged, the social worker up at the hospital, she wanted me to stay another week or a fortnight because she didn't have a care package in place. And my daughter knew of this company. And she phoned her, and she said, have you got any, you know, and they arranged it between them that way. So we went back to Social Services then. And they said, that's OK, carry on.
Elvis Malcolm
You have to know how to move him to and from - from chair to bed to chair. You just have to monitor how we move him. Or you put the strap on to get him in the chair. You have to make sure they're definitely accurate. [INAUDIBLE]
Kevin Madden:
[INAUDIBLE] Want to take it up? There we go. You're back. With Brian, obviously, he's an amputee, 'cos of gangrene. He can't do a lot for himself. So obviously, because he's a double-hander, June can't do it all her own. So the most important thing is get him out of the bed in the mornings, make sure he's up, dressed, ready for breakfast.
Elvis Malcolm
You try to make the client feel safe, and relating to them. When I'm washing him, if you notice, I tell him, yeah, I'm going to wash your face, stop me. You don't put up your hand like you might think, you know what I mean? So you tell him definitely. You talk him through it, so that's the situation.
Brian Hole
Not a very pretty sight, is it? It's getting all over the place.
It's Phillipe and Tiago, two brothers, Portuguese. They're very good. Obviously, you have two men, two ladies, or two girls, or one of each. But there's always - they won't do it one on their own. See, you're double handed with me. So they won't do a single-handed. So if nobody turns up, then they gotta wait and wait on them.
Elvis Malcolm
You going to stop me when the milk's enough?
June Hole
Yeah. You're spoiling him.

[Kevin talks to June in the background]

Elvis Malcolm
That's OK?
Brian Hole
That's OK, yeah.
June Hole
You should be so lucky.
Elvis Malcolm
That's luck.
Kevin Madden
And then his wife is available most of the day. She's got the wheelchair in the day. She's got the car outside, which transports him back and forth two times a week. He said, she'll take him to the hospital for dialysis and stuff. So that's June's role, if you like, as a wife. But in the meantime, she's at least two carers going in sorting the main, you know.
Ok, that's it.
June Hole
You'll be off?
Kevin Madden
Thank you. At the end of the day, the man appreciates everything you do. And everything's fine with him.
Clarice Jones
Hello, Liz.
Liz Randall
Morning.
Clarice Jones
Oh, you got your hair up. You have.
Liz Randall
Thank you.
Clarice Jones
I'm all right.
Liz Randall
Oh, good.
Clarice Jones
[INAUDIBLE]
Liz Randall
Excellent. [Laughs]
Clarice Jones
It is excellent, isn't it? Yes, because I thought I might be bad.
They say if you have carers to look after you in the mornings, then you stay out of a home. And that's the main thing, because I don't want to go in a home. So that's why I have them. And I like them. They tend to me very well, you know. So I'm comfortable with them. Yes.
Liz Randall
The care plan for Clarice is personal - helping her to wash, dress. She actually does her own breakfast - make a cup of coffee. She has that seven days a week, but just a morning call. She doesn't have evening care. As soon as she's up and dressed, then she sort of muddles on herself through the day. And she likes to do that, so that's why she only has morning care.
Clarice Jones
She comes an hour on Monday and gives me a bath. So that takes time. And Friday, I have a bath. And then Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, I have half an hour. And then I have an hour shopping on Wednesday.
If I want extra and I ring Tracy up, she will fix it up that one of them will push me in and give me an extra half an hour. Yes. Definitely so. If I'm really bad, you know, and I can't even go out there and make a sandwich or anything, she'll fix something up.
She really knows me. She knows everything that I want to do and every comfort. You know, and even to the shopping, she knows my shopping list better than I do, really.
Liz Randall
No rice pudding this week?
Clarice Jones
No, I got enough of that.
Liz Randall
You've got enough of that.
Clarice Jones
They took her off me for a little while in the summer, and I complained. I said, look, I'm paying for it, why can't I have who I choose? The one that replaced her was very nice, but she wasn't Liz. And the boss saw that I had her back. And that's much better now. I'm comfortable again now.
Liz Randall
She's a very nice lady. I'm quite fond of her, but it still has to stay professional. When I say goodbye to her, you know, I have no more contact with her ’til the following morning.
Clarice Jones
That'll be that, won't it?
Liz Randall
Okie cokie.
Clarice Jones
See you tomorrow then.
Liz Randall
Yeah
She probably thinks of me as her friend. And while I'm there, yes, although I'm caring for her, I am a friend as well. But that's where it stops. When I leave her house, I go on to do my next – wherever I'm going. And that's where it stops.
Bye.
Clarice Jones
By, dear. Bye.
Elvis Malcolm
The first time the company got Aerwyn, they sent out a guy there – and when they sent him there, Aerwyn never liked the guy. So I went. And the first day I went and I go in and I said, hello, hi. And he was like, hello, you want a cup of tea? So we sit down, we chat, play with his dog, and stuff like that.
Tutor
Since you're going to Dubai, why don't you put in Dubai and see what you can find out about that area?
Aerwyn Hall
Yeah.
Tutor
See if you can find some information for your holiday. You might find some places. So that's D-U-B..
Aerwyn Hall
Me and Elvis get on good. And we have a good laugh. And he likes his music, he does. I think it's all the rap music, so Elvis likes all that. So he puts the music up and he's all really happy. So my mum knows him as well, and he likes Millie a lot.
Tutor
– on the Google search. There we are.
Aerwyn Hall
Ooh.
Tutor
So it's telling you all about Dubai. So scroll down and you can have a look. You might even find your hotel on there, where you're going.
Elvis Malcolm
What's the name of it?
Aerwyn Hall
Well, no. We're not staying in the hotel. My cousin's got a house out there as well.
Tutor
Ooh, lovely.
Elvis Malcolm
He don't see me as his carer, he see me as his friend. So like him, I can't wear a uniform to be with him – he feel uncomfortable. If we go anywhere, he say, Elvis my friend, and things like that.
Aerwyn Hall
Oh, they've got horse racing there as well.
Elvis Malcolm
Yeah.
So it's like a work and a friendship relationship between me and him right there.
Aerwyn Hall
Oh, look at the buildings. Oh, look at the hotel.
It was Social Services that set it up. You know, to just take me out on a Monday and Wednesday, yeah. And I'm really enjoying it. I really like it, yeah.
I've got to take my phone oou there as well. Have to be – mobile phone.
He takes me to Snooker down at Penarth. And then I got a membership card. And I'm really – two hours I'm out with him, so we have three games of snooker on a Monday. And then I comes home and then I haves my lunch. Just put the telly on to see what's on telly.
Tutor
A well deserved break now, is it Aerwyn?
Aerwyn Hall
Yeah.
Tutor
There we go. That's 50 there. Have you got the change there?
Aerwyn Hall
All right. All right – 10, 20, 30, 40, 50.
Tutor
That's lovely. Thank you very much.
Aerwyn Hall
All right.
Tutor
That's lovely. OK.
Aerwyn Hall
Do you know, my mom told me a joke one day. It said, if I was to go out there, she said she would get a half a dozen camels coming back.
Elvis Malcolm
Your mum was going to sell you!
Aerwyn Hall
Sell me out there.
Elvis Malcolm
[INAUDIBLE]
Aerwyn Hall
Ah, it's funny, that one.
Elvis Malcolm
It's a close relationship, working with him, but you have to give him that friendship to make him comfortable. But on the other side, you know you're doing a job. So you know your limit. You know where to step over the line, or not to step over the line.
Snooker Monday, and then your gone.
Aerwyn Hall
Yeah, well, that's it. Yeah, snooker on Monday, and that's it.
Don
Hello Lyn, it's Don from VEST. How are you? All right?
Maria Williams
Hello.
Lyn Smith
Hiya. How are you? Nice to see you, Don
Don
And you, sweetheart. And you.
Lyn Smith
Yeah, I haven't seen you for a while.
Don
A couple of weeks.
Lyn Smith
Yeah.
Don
They're keeping us apart.
Lyn Smith
Yeah, that's it, because we have such a laugh when we're together.
Don
Indeed, we do.
Lyn Smith
Yeah.

[WHIRRING]

Maria Williams
Right, now then, let's have a look.
Lyn Smith
Oh, Maria's brilliant. She's very good. She's good company and she knows what she's doing.
She never rushes you, and she's always so - well, she's so jolly. And there's never enough that she won't do for you. She's so kind.
I think what I might do - I might try getting the still ones - the orange and peach. We've still got to find out where the air freshener is - and the milk. I can't find it now.
Maria Williams
I think it's down the other end, isn't it, Lyn?
Lyn Smith
Down that end?
Maria Williams
I think so.
Lyn Smith
Right.
I'm a free agent. I may be disabled, but I know exactly what I want. And I don't let anybody tell me what I've got to do or what I've got to buy. It's always up to me.
And all my carers know that, and they treat me as a human individual. They don't treat me as somebody with a disability.
And that's the other thing I like about Somebody Cares - you're not treated any different from anybody else.

[REGISTER BEEPING]

Lyn Smith
Right.
Cashier
Would you like some help with your packing?
Lyn Smith
Um, do we want help?
Maria Williams
Yeah.
Lyn Smith
Yes, please.
Cashier
Ok.
Maria Williams
Do you want to go down a bit further, Lyn?
Lyn Smith
In the mornings it's funded by the Social Services, but in the afternoons I get the Independent Living Fund.
And they fund most of it, but I have to fund for some of it myself, as well. I pay 75 pounds a week towards my afternoon care.
She's not a friend, she's a carer. That's the difference, because with a friend, you meet, and you go out, and you socialise after hours.
With Maria, everything's done within the hours, if you know what I mean. There's no - we're not allowed to communicate with them after work and stuff like that, so we don't.
Maria Williams
There we are.
Lyn Smith
Right, ok.
Maria Williams
You ok?
Lyn Smith
Yeah. Thank you.
Maria Williams
You keep everything professional. And everything is done, then, obviously by the book - even though with Lyn, you can have a laugh and a joke, and - it's a nice atmosphere.
Lyn Smith
As long as you've got the right agency and you've got the right carers, then you're all right.
And I - touch wood - I'm very, very lucky I've been able to manage with my own life.
And with the support of the carers, I've done really well.
End transcript: Video 1 Somebody Cares case study
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Now that you have viewed the whole case study, it’s time to focus in more closely.

Task 2 Focusing in on the job of home carer

Revisit each of the four cases in the video.

As you watch each one, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What work does the home carer do for the client?
  • What practical skills do they need?
  • How would you describe their attitude to the job?

Use the text boxes below each video to record your answers. While you are working on a case, use the menu at the bottom of the screen to pause the video. You will probably need to watch each case through more than once.

Download this video clip.
Skip transcript: Video 2 Case 1: Kevin and Elvis visit Brian

Transcript: Video 2 Case 1: Kevin and Elvis visit Brian

[ELVIS AND KEVIN SPEAK QUIETLY]

[DOORBELL RINGS]

Kevin Madden
Good morning my dear.
Elvis Malcolm
Morning
June Hole
You alright?
Kevin Madden
You bet.
June Hole
Chair's over there.
Brian Hole
Sorry?
June Hole
Sling's over there.
Brian Hole
I went into the hospital in June, and come out in December. I went in with two gangrenous toes. So I come out with no toes, no legs. And it's called vasculitis, isn't it? When I was being discharged, the social worker up at the hospital, she wanted me to stay another week or a fortnight because she didn't have a care package in place. And my daughter knew of this company. And she phoned her, and she said, have you got any, you know, and they arranged it between them that way. So we went back to Social Services then. And they said, that's OK, carry on.
Elvis Malcolm
You have to know how to move him to and from - from chair to bed to chair. You just have to monitor how we move him. Or you put the strap on to get him in the chair. You have to make sure they're definitely accurate. [INAUDIBLE]
Kevin Madden:
[INAUDIBLE] Want to take it up? There we go. You're back. With Brian, obviously, he's an amputee, 'cos of gangrene. He can't do a lot for himself. So obviously, because he's a double-hander, June can't do it all her own. So the most important thing is get him out of the bed in the mornings, make sure he's up, dressed, ready for breakfast.
Elvis Malcolm
You try to make the client feel safe, and relating to them. When I'm washing him, if you notice, I tell him, yeah, I'm going to wash your face, stop me. You don't put up your hand like you might think, you know what I mean? So you tell him definitely. You talk him through it, so that's the situation.
Brian Hole
Not a very pretty sight, is it? It's getting all over the place.
It's Phillipe and Tiago, two brothers, Portuguese. They're very good. Obviously, you have two men, two ladies, or two girls, or one of each. But there's always - they won't do it one on their own. See, you're double handed with me. So they won't do a single-handed. So if nobody turns up, then they gotta wait and wait on them.
Elvis Malcolm
You going to stop me when the milk's enough?
June Hole
Yeah. You're spoiling him.

[Kevin talks to June in the background]

Elvis Malcolm
That's OK?
Brian Hole
That's OK, yeah.
June Hole
You should be so lucky.
Elvis Malcolm
That's luck.
Kevin Madden
And then his wife is available most of the day. She's got the wheelchair in the day. She's got the car outside, which transports him back and forth two times a week. He said, she'll take him to the hospital for dialysis and stuff. So that's June's role, if you like, as a wife. But in the meantime, she's at least two carers going in sorting the main, you know.
Ok, that's it.
June Hole
You'll be off?
Kevin Madden
Thank you. At the end of the day, the man appreciates everything you do. And everything's fine with him.
End transcript: Video 2 Case 1: Kevin and Elvis visit Brian
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Skip transcript: Video 3 Case 2: Liz visits Clarice

Transcript: Video 3 Case 2: Liz visits Clarice

Clarice Jones
Hello, Liz.
Liz Randall
Morning.
Clarice Jones
Oh, you got your hair up. You have.
Liz Randall
Thank you.
Clarice Jones
I'm all right.
Liz Randall
Oh, good.
Clarice Jones
[INAUDIBLE]
Liz Randall
Excellent. [Laughs]
Clarice Jones
It is excellent, isn't it? Yes, because I thought I might be bad.
They say if you have carers to look after you in the mornings, then you stay out of a home. And that's the main thing, because I don't want to go in a home. So that's why I have them. And I like them. They tend to me very well, you know. So I'm comfortable with them. Yes.
Liz Randall
The care plan for Clarice is personal - helping her to wash, dress. She actually does her own breakfast - make a cup of coffee. She has that seven days a week, but just a morning call. She doesn't have evening care. As soon as she's up and dressed, then she sort of muddles on herself through the day. And she likes to do that, so that's why she only has morning care.
Clarice Jones
She comes an hour on Monday and gives me a bath. So that takes time. And Friday, I have a bath. And then Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, I have half an hour. And then I have an hour shopping on Wednesday.
If I want extra and I ring Tracy up, she will fix it up that one of them will push me in and give me an extra half an hour. Yes. Definitely so. If I'm really bad, you know, and I can't even go out there and make a sandwich or anything, she'll fix something up.
She really knows me. She knows everything that I want to do and every comfort. You know, and even to the shopping, she knows my shopping list better than I do, really.
Liz Randall
No rice pudding this week?
Clarice Jones
No, I got enough of that.
Liz Randall
You've got enough of that.
Clarice Jones
They took her off me for a little while in the summer, and I complained. I said, look, I'm paying for it, why can't I have who I choose? The one that replaced her was very nice, but she wasn't Liz. And the boss saw that I had her back. And that's much better now. I'm comfortable again now.
Liz Randall
She's a very nice lady. I'm quite fond of her, but it still has to stay professional. When I say goodbye to her, you know, I have no more contact with her ’til the following morning.
Clarice Jones
That'll be that, won't it?
Liz Randall
Okie cokie.
Clarice Jones
See you tomorrow then.
Liz Randall
Yeah
She probably thinks of me as her friend. And while I'm there, yes, although I'm caring for her, I am a friend as well. But that's where it stops. When I leave her house, I go on to do my next – wherever I'm going. And that's where it stops.
Bye.
Clarice Jones
By, dear. Bye.
End transcript: Video 3 Case 2: Liz visits Clarice
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Skip transcript: Video 4 Case 3: Elvis goes with Aerwyn to his class

Transcript: Video 4 Case 3: Elvis goes with Aerwyn to his class

Elvis Malcolm
The first time the company got Aerwyn, they sent out a guy there – and when they sent him there, Aerwyn never liked the guy. So I went. And the first day I went and I go in and I said, hello, hi. And he was like, hello, you want a cup of tea? So we sit down, we chat, play with his dog, and stuff like that.
Tutor
Since you're going to Dubai, why don't you put in Dubai and see what you can find out about that area?
Aerwyn Hall
Yeah.
Tutor
See if you can find some information for your holiday. You might find some places. So that's D-U-B..
Aerwyn Hall
Me and Elvis get on good. And we have a good laugh. And he likes his music, he does. I think it's all the rap music, so Elvis likes all that. So he puts the music up and he's all really happy. So my mum knows him as well, and he likes Millie a lot.
Tutor
– on the Google search. There we are.
Aerwyn Hall
Ooh.
Tutor
So it's telling you all about Dubai. So scroll down and you can have a look. You might even find your hotel on there, where you're going.
Elvis Malcolm
What's the name of it?
Aerwyn Hall
Well, no. We're not staying in the hotel. My cousin's got a house out there as well.
Tutor
Ooh, lovely.
Elvis Malcolm
He don't see me as his carer, he see me as his friend. So like him, I can't wear a uniform to be with him – he feel uncomfortable. If we go anywhere, he say, Elvis my friend, and things like that.
Aerwyn Hall
Oh, they've got horse racing there as well.
Elvis Malcolm
Yeah.
So it's like a work and a friendship relationship between me and him right there.
Aerwyn Hall
Oh, look at the buildings. Oh, look at the hotel.
It was Social Services that set it up. You know, to just take me out on a Monday and Wednesday, yeah. And I'm really enjoying it. I really like it, yeah.
I've got to take my phone oou there as well. Have to be – mobile phone.
He takes me to Snooker down at Penarth. And then I got a membership card. And I'm really – two hours I'm out with him, so we have three games of snooker on a Monday. And then I comes home and then I haves my lunch. Just put the telly on to see what's on telly.
Tutor
A well deserved break now, is it Aerwyn?
Aerwyn Hall
Yeah.
Tutor
There we go. That's 50 there. Have you got the change there?
Aerwyn Hall
All right. All right – 10, 20, 30, 40, 50.
Tutor
That's lovely. Thank you very much.
Aerwyn Hall
All right.
Tutor
That's lovely. OK.
Aerwyn Hall
Do you know, my mom told me a joke one day. It said, if I was to go out there, she said she would get a half a dozen camels coming back.
Elvis Malcolm
Your mum was going to sell you!
Aerwyn Hall
Sell me out there.
Elvis Malcolm
[INAUDIBLE]
Aerwyn Hall
Ah, it's funny, that one.
Elvis Malcolm
It's a close relationship, working with him, but you have to give him that friendship to make him comfortable. But on the other side, you know you're doing a job. So you know your limit. You know where to step over the line, or not to step over the line.
Snooker Monday, and then your gone.
Aerwyn Hall
Yeah, well, that's it. Yeah, snooker on Monday, and that's it.
End transcript: Video 4 Case 3: Elvis goes with Aerwyn to his class
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Skip transcript: Video 5 Case 4: Maria goes shopping with Lyn

Transcript: Video 5 Case 4: Maria goes shopping with Lyn

Don
Hello Lyn, it's Don from VEST. How are you? All right?
Maria Williams
Hello.
Lyn Smith
Hiya. How are you? Nice to see you, Don
Don
And you, sweetheart. And you.
Lyn Smith
Yeah, I haven't seen you for a while.
Don
A couple of weeks.
Lyn Smith
Yeah.
Don
They're keeping us apart.
Lyn Smith
Yeah, that's it, because we have such a laugh when we're together.
Don
Indeed, we do.
Lyn Smith
Yeah.

[WHIRRING]

Maria Williams
Right, now then, let's have a look.
Lyn Smith
Oh, Maria's brilliant. She's very good. She's good company and she knows what she's doing.
She never rushes you, and she's always so - well, she's so jolly. And there's never enough that she won't do for you. She's so kind.
I think what I might do - I might try getting the still ones - the orange and peach. We've still got to find out where the air freshener is - and the milk. I can't find it now.
Maria Williams
I think it's down the other end, isn't it, Lyn?
Lyn Smith
Down that end?
Maria Williams
I think so.
Lyn Smith
Right.
I'm a free agent. I may be disabled, but I know exactly what I want. And I don't let anybody tell me what I've got to do or what I've got to buy. It's always up to me.
And all my carers know that, and they treat me as a human individual. They don't treat me as somebody with a disability.
And that's the other thing I like about Somebody Cares - you're not treated any different from anybody else.

[REGISTER BEEPING]

Lyn Smith
Right.
Cashier
Would you like some help with your packing?
Lyn Smith
Um, do we want help?
Maria Williams
Yeah.
Lyn Smith
Yes, please.
Cashier
Ok.
Maria Williams
Do you want to go down a bit further, Lyn?
Lyn Smith
In the mornings it's funded by the Social Services, but in the afternoons I get the Independent Living Fund.
And they fund most of it, but I have to fund for some of it myself, as well. I pay 75 pounds a week towards my afternoon care.
She's not a friend, she's a carer. That's the difference, because with a friend, you meet, and you go out, and you socialise after hours.
With Maria, everything's done within the hours, if you know what I mean. There's no - we're not allowed to communicate with them after work and stuff like that, so we don't.
Maria Williams
There we are.
Lyn Smith
Right, ok.
Maria Williams
You ok?
Lyn Smith
Yeah. Thank you.
Maria Williams
You keep everything professional. And everything is done, then, obviously by the book - even though with Lyn, you can have a laugh and a joke, and - it's a nice atmosphere.
Lyn Smith
As long as you've got the right agency and you've got the right carers, then you're all right.
And I - touch wood - I'm very, very lucky I've been able to manage with my own life.
And with the support of the carers, I've done really well.
End transcript: Video 5 Case 4: Maria goes shopping with Lyn
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Discussion

Here are our thoughts. Again, don’t worry if they are different from yours.

Table 2

Elvis and Kevin with Brian Liz with Clarice Elvis with Aerwyn Maria with Lyn
What work do they do for the client? Move Brian with hoist, wash and dress him, prepare breakfast Make bed, help wash and dress, bath twice a week, shopping Accompany Aerwyn to computer class and snooker Accompany Lyn and help with shopping as directed
What practical skills do they need? Use hoist, help Brian to feel safe as they wash him, basic cooking, health and safety knowledge Domestic skills, social skills Social skills, keeping Aerwyn company, supporting him without taking over Mainly social skills
How would you describe their attitude to the job? Very professional, but also friendly, see themselves as supporting June’s carer role, with defined roles and responsibilities Ready to be flexible and friendly, but also very professional and clear about boundary between work and friendship Ready to be flexible (e.g. abandons uniform at Aerwyn’s request), but clear about boundary between work and friendship Maria carefully follows Lyn’s instructions, they have a cup of coffee together, but both know it is a working relationship
K101_2

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