Sunday, September 05, 2004


When people come to the hostel we get them to fill in loads of forms and ask them lots of extremely nosey questions. Like:

What is your date of birth?
What is your national insurance number?
Have you ever been convicted of a crime?
Are you an arsonist?
Do you use recreational drugs?

Sometimes they lie about the last three.

Questions I have occasionally asked in the course of my job:

When did you last have a bath/ shower?
Have you been shoplifting today?

That first one is a toucher. It is actually only safe to ask it of someone who is visibly a dirty witch with a circle of bluebottles flying round her head. Anyone else would be deeply insulted.

The shoplifting one can only be asked of someone who has previously admitted to engaging in this hobby.

These deeply inquisitive questions can open up a dialogue. And a dialogue starts the support part of the job.

No comments: