This evening, I attended an interview and selection evening for The Samaritans. These two events are normally separated, but circumstances dictated that in my case, they were back to back. The interview was about an hour, the selection evening, about two and a half hours. The interview itself was good – I felt so anyway. By now, I’ve gained quite a bit of knowledge into what Samaritans is all about, and this helped me understand it personally. Some fairly searching questions. Some fairly deep place discussion.
The selection evening was quite intense – some fairly hard to answer questions. Several concepts were introduced to us in various formats and we (as a group) has to discuss. Part of it I think was for them to have a look at us. I could be wrong but I think they were looking around to make sure we were mainly open minded and non judgemental.
The weakness for me – and this could well be a contributing factor to me being deemed as a non suitable (I find out in the next few days) – could be that I’m a natural ‘fixer’. I see a problem and I immediately start looking for solutions. I want to lead a bad situation to a good place, my instincts tell me to direct a problem towards an remedy. This is not what being a Samaritan is about. It’s about being compassionate and actively listening, as far as I can tell so far. Skills that I believe I do possess though, I think if I do get the gig, I’ll have to bolster these bits and tone down the troubleshooting. There’s guidance on signposting to other charities, but that’s not the point.
Things I learned; Every caller is supposed to be asked if they are having suicidal thoughts or have contemplated committing suicide. Every call is not a suicide case. I knew the latter, but the first part – that’s going to be a hard one to slip into conversation.
I’ve got a fair bit of training ahead of me if I do get the gig. 40+ hours I think – then around 10 shifts on probation. I do want to be a Samaritan though and whilst I’ve already signed a document saying I will not disclose the specifics of calls, I’m going to document my involvement and progress here. If I do make any progress that is.