Better Together – Doug & Poli

SIL Participant Doug with Support Poli


There’s time for laughs and life lessons when it comes to this dynamic duo! SIL Participant Doug and Lifestyle Mentor Polikalepo (nickname Poli) met through DSA and their joint love of loud music, cars and mischief has quickly blossomed into a great working relationship and friendship.

Doug: We met in 2020 when Poli started working with me during Covid-19 lockdowns. There were a fair few staff changes around then, and because of that, a spot opened here for him.

I’ve always thought he was funny, right from the start.

Poli is a bit of a character, I can admit that. That’s what anyone would say about him.

We are always having a laugh and playing jokes on each other.

I’d say we have a fair bit in common, we both love loud music and cars. We love all cars, but I think trucks and utes are the best.

We like any music played loudly, it could be anything, just blast it! We’ve even listened to jazz like that before and had a good laugh about it after. I’m not really a morning person, so once Poli got creative and sat outside my door playing our loud music to lure me out. It was an unusual method, but it worked – I got up and out of bed!

When I want to play a practical joke, I will quietly creep downstairs in the morning when I know Poli isn’t paying attention and scare him. To get me back, during the day, if there is ever a quite moment, he will return the favour and hide behind a door and jump out when I’m walking past. We both just find that type of thing so funny.

Looking into the future I would like to do more stuff, more than I used to. I am doing that now, so I really want to keep learning and being handy. I also want a new job. I’ve been looking and I’ve actually just gotten one, but I haven’t started yet.

Polikalepo: I met Doug a couple of years ago when I started taking shifts where he lives. The thing about Doug is, he’s such a hard worker! He’s often doing things around the house, or cleaning one of the cars, or helping someone.

A few weeks ago, he noticed someone out the front of the house with a flat tyre. He stopped what he was doing and went and helped them straight away. He changed the tyre for the woman driving the car, then and there. Just so she could go and enjoy the rest of her day. That’s classic Doug.

I would say we’ve had our ups and downs – but mostly ups. He says I’m a character, I think he’s one too. We have great banter, he’s good to be around because we can have a laugh. We even have our own inside jokes – he really gets my sense of humour.

He’s also taught me patience and how to care for someone unconditionally. I’ve learnt so much about work-ethic from him. Seeing how he serves other people is a great example for everyone. Examples like him helping that woman with a flat tyre – putting yourself out in a way that serves someone else is very admirable.

We like to give each other a hard time, sometimes early in the day I’ll be in the office doing emails or work on the computer and when Doug wakes up, he sneaks down the stairs and startles me on purpose. He gets me every time! And it makes us both laugh so hard.

In the future, I hope that Doug is happy. I want him to do the things he enjoys and for him to have a steady income that supports his lifestyle. Down the track, I would really like him to find a partner and settle down. He doesn’t talk about that often, but I know it’s something he wants as well.

I’ve just found out his gotten a new job. I’m not sure of the details but that’s great news and will set him up to achieve what he wants!

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