Today in My History

2000:  AIDS Day
2001:  Pornography and Other Imponderables
2002:  Brown Paper Packages Tied up with Strings
2003:  Detours and Fears
2004:  Let There Be Peace on Earth
Looking for Christmas
2006 A Christmas Meme
2007:  Cousins Night

2008:  Who Am I?
2009:  Unexpected Fun
2010:  Cold Turkey is a Bitch
2011:  The Lunch that Almost Wasn't
2012: Sunday Stealing
2013:  Sunday Stealing
Lightning Does Not Strike Twice

Our Christmas Letter, 2015

Bitter Hack
Updated: 12/6
"Miracle On 34th St: The Musical"

Books Read in 2015
 Updated: 10/24
"Darkest Fears"

Mirror Site for RSS Feed:
Airy Persiflage

The New Brasilian in my life
(his video is here)

The Philosophy of Juice & Crackers

The story of Delicate Pooh

The story of the Pinata Group

Who IS this Gilbert person anyway?

mail to Walt

mail to Bev  


9 December 2015

No, I'm not going to start "My Day at Sutter" now.  For one thing I work intermittently, and probably just 2 days a month for now.  For another, there isn't that much to report.  But today was my Day #2 on my own at the information desk and I'm still settling in, so it might be interesting to report how things are going.

I actually ran into someone I know when entering the hospital.  It was one of the nurse practitioners from Women's Health.  We had an awkward hug...she was carrying her lunch and a drink and I was in a hurry to get in the door, but it was so nice to see a familiar face, however briefly

First of all, this is the information desk.

Where the greeting cards are is across the hall from the gift shop (where apparently all of us volunteers spend too much money) and off to the left behind the Christmas tree is the door to the birthing center.  I'm that close to newborn babies and that always makes me happy.  (No births today, music playing over the loudspeaker).

Decorating the Christmas tree took a good hour or more, while I watched in amazement as this woman turned a simple tree into a work of art.

The first thing I did when I got in was to check to see if they had fixed my computer access.  They had not.  But I had very carefully taken good notes the last time I talked with the computer people and so was able to get hold of a guy who knows the Epic program.  I was able to give him the incident report number from 2 weeks ago. He logged into my computer from his office in Sacramento and looked around at my problem.  Turns out I did have access, but the drop down menu was hidden.  He reformatted it for me and voila!  I was in business.

(Note that I brought my Kindle with me!)

The first person to stop at the desk wanted to know where a patient was.  With my new access, I was able to check the people in the hospital beds but I didn't see her name.  I asked if maybe she could call the patient on a cell phone and find out where she is.  "She's dying," she whispered to me as she bent over the desk.  Oops. I called the operator to see if she could find out where the patient was and discovered she was in the ER.  I sent the woman off to, I assumed, say goodbye to her friend.  Another woman came about half an hour later, also looking for the same patient and I sent her off to the ER too.

There wasn't a lot that happened, mostly people wanting to know how to find their friends who were in the hospital.  At one point I had a nice chat with another volunteer, who is the wife of one of Walt's co-workers, and I have known her for many years.  Turns out she is one of the volunteers who takes blood pressures once or twice a month and when I told her of my time with Dr. G and taking BPs there, she said she would put me on the on-call list if they ever needed someone else to help.  It should be easier than with Dr. G, since BPs are now all done with machines and don't rely on possible operator error.

The volunteer in the gift shop was in a bit of a panic because the tape was running out on her credit card machine and she was afraid she would not be able to make charge transactions.  She had already called two other head honcho volunteers and called a third from my desk but had not reached anybody.  I told her I might be able to help, as I change rolls of tape in the Logos credit card machine.  She was dubious because they had been under strict orders not to try to change the tape, but it's so simple Brianna could do it, and I had her up and running again in seconds (I also showed her how to do it in case she's in that position again).

When the tree was finished and they had packed up all the boxes and stuff, the decorator left and her assistant (who I found out was her mother) was getting ready to leave.  I complimented her on her cute earrings, which were of a dog with a Santa hat.  I said she must love dogs.  Well...that started a 30 minute monologue about her experience with dogs, her two husbands, her family problems, her time with Sutter (nearly 20 years) and scuttlebutt about lots of things that have happened with the hospital over the years.

At one point she asked me if I had been told it was OK to wear red.  I was in my dog print shirt, which matches the nice dog paw print lanyard that Ashley made for me.  I told her nobody had said anything to me about a dress code.

Well, it turns out that those of us who wear vests instead of shirts (I'm too big for a shirt) are supposed to wear white only under our vests.  Apparently there was a big brouhaha awhile ago and a new volunteer ended up quitting over the ruling because she didn't like to wear white and only wore pink.  After that, the woman with whom I was speaking said she thinks they eventually changed the rule so that you could wear pastels, but definitely not red.

So once again, I had gotten myself in trouble, though not really since there was nobody official to talk with me.  Last time I forgot and wore my Birkenstocks when I had been told that you can't wear open toed shoes in the hospital.

Next time I'll have to find myself some nice pastel colored shirt, but I'm afraid the only one I own is from our family reunion, with the family crest an a bloody dagger on it.  I'm not sure how that is going to fly with the powers that be.

Toward the end of my shift, the woman from earlier came by and I asked how her friend was.  She cheerily told me they were discharging her to home and that Hospice would take over, so I guess she wasn't dying -- yet -- after all.  Oddly enough, I had assumed she was an old woman, but when I checked my master list I found out that at 57, she was one of the youngest patients in the hospital today.

It was, all things considered, a good day. I think I'm going to like this job.  I work 2 days in January, so it's not very stressful or time-consuming!



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