Today in My History

2000:  MUST the Show Go On?
2001:  Butt Weary
2002:  "Follow Miss Baggy Butt"
2003:  Plateaus
2004:  Something's Gotta Give
2005:  Unconscious Mutterings
2006
Lunch with Alan Alda
2007 No Joy in Mudville
2008: Whole Lotta Shaking Goin' On
2009:  Getting Ready
2010:  The Skunk Train
2011:  San Diego
2012: What Time Is It?
2013: When an Internet Friend Dies
2014: PTSD
2015: Four Times a Year


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Updated: 7/28
"Cabaret"

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 Updated: 7/21
"With a Feather on My Nose"
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THE SQUARE ZEBRA

30 July 2016

I am very weird.  I've been weird for years and it never occurred to me how unusual this is until 4 o'clock this morning.  There is this irritating "thing" that I get from time to time, usually at night.  You know how you get an itch that you can't reach and how frustrating that is?  Well, I get an itch inside the heel of my foot. You can touch the spot on my foot where the itch is but because it's deep inside the flesh, you can't reach it to scratch it.  It sometimes happens during the day, but usually at night, as if some burrowing mosquito has made a nest inside my foot.  It's so bothersome that I can't get back to sleep and I usually end up and walking to stop the itch, but as soon as I get off my feet it comes back.  Fortunately it doesn't happen often, and it may last half an hour, or less, but I've been getting this off and on for literally years.

The weird thing is that I have always had the mental image of this itch spot as a square zebra.  I don't know why.  I guess it's because it usually comes in the middle of the night when my brain is weird anyway, but as I was walking around this morning in a moment of lucidity it suddenly hit me -- a square zebra???  Why in the world a square zebra?  I don't know, but the next time I get the itch, I have a name for it.

Yesterday was a Sutter Hospital day.  Pokemon-Go has become such a big deal that the hospital has seen fit to ban the game from the lobby.  This sign greets everyone as they enter the building.

Today was kind of an odd day.  I was scheduled to work my regular shift, from 12:30 to 4:30, but there was nobody scheduled for the morning so someone suggested I work mid-morning to mid-afternoon, which sounded fine to me.

I've only "opened" the information desk twice and had to check what the procedures were.  I got flowers out of the refrigerator and brought them, the wheelchair, the "finder binder," which holds all the information you could possibly need to work (or, I should say ALMOST all the information you could need, as I would soon discover), and the keys to unlock the desk.

I stopped in the volunteers' office to pick up the schedule, i.e., the list of everybody in the hospital that morning.  I am supposed to make a copy of it for the patient coordinator, but the copier would mot work for me, which was OK because I don't think there was a patient coordinator today anyway

Next, I got the desk all set up and fired up the computer.  Only the screen was locked.  I'd never seen that before.  You hit ctrl-alt-del and it brings up a box into which you enter a password, but I could not find the password anywhere.

The woman working the gift shop told me where to find the password and I did find three passwords, each crossed out and replaced by the next one, but I didn't find the current one and none of the crossed out passwords, of course, worked.

I called Dodie in Human Resources and he decided it was easier to come downstairs and unlock the screen than to explain to me what to do.  Only when he came down, it wouldn't unlock for him either and he also didn't know the password.

He finally got down on the floor and did what I assume was the equivalent of kick-starting it and, after awhile, the screen unlocked and I was in business.  I don't know how you lock the screen in the first place, so I was in no danger of accidentally doing that when I left.

It was a moderately busy day, with people asking where to find the bathroom, and how to get to such and such an office.  People are always so upset when they arrive, panting in the hospital only to be told that they want one of the two medical office buildings and that this is just the hospital.  It's not my fault if they fail to get instructions from their provider!

There was a big discussion going on at the desk between the administrator and three workmen.  They are in the process of replacing the floor all over the building and trying to figure out when to do it is tricky.  You can't get down to serious floor replacement business when there is a stream of foot traffic, so they do it at night, but apparently they have been doing it late into the night and the administrator was trying to beg them to please finish the noisy part of their work before 10 p.m. because patients had to SLEEP at night.  The workmen seemed not to understand that and kept arguing that that was the only time of day the work could be done.  I'm curious to find out what happened last night.  They were going to be working right outside the labor and delivery area where either women were trying to have babies, or trying to sleep after having had their babies.  It will be worse next week when they are working in the intensive care unit!

Around noon they delivered the newspapers.  I took one copy out so I could read my review of Cabaret and then took the rest upstairs to the nurses' station to pass out to the patients.

Dodie came by again, dressed as a hazard cone, apparently going around the hospital making sure people were careful around the construction.

Then there was...I guess you'd call it music...coming from the gift shop.  I got up to see what was going on and there were 3 guys standing there with a woman with an iPod on a table recording the ...uh... singing?  I don't have a clue what that was about.

We had two babies born while I was working (lullabye over the loudspeaker) and more than the usual number of dads and grandmas in the lobby with toddlers waiting for Mom to give birth.

About an hour before I was scheduled to leave, a frail woman carrying an oxygen unit staggered through the door and said she needed a wheelchair to get up to visit her husband, so I got her in the chair and wheeled her up to visit her husband.  We left the wheelchair in the hall and she said she would be leaving in about an hour and I reminded her I needed to have the wheelchair back before I left.

Naturally, an hour later it was not back.  I decided I'd just wait until she came downstairs because I really didn't want them to just "leave" the wheelchair out for the whole weekend.  It was also very hot outside (106) and I thought she might need someone to wheel her out to her car.  I didn't want her to have to try to deal with the heat.

30 minutes later and it STILL was not back, so I went upstairs an the wheelchair was gone.  I asked at the nurses' station and someone told me she had brought it down half an hour before.  she said she left it at the desk, but I had been sitting in the desk and never saw it.  Turns out she left it in the hall, on the far side of the desk, where I can't see it, and didn't tell me she was leaving it.  Grrrr.

So I packed up all the stuff to return to the auxiliary room.  It's not easy to steer a heavy wheelchair loaded with stuff and at the same time carry a tall heavy vase of flowers in water while you are trying to back through a door into the room.  I knocked over the vase and water went everywhere.  Naturally there was nothing heavier than Kleenex to clean it up.

I finally gathered my stuff and staggered out into the 106 degree heat and saw this big truck parked next to my car

He had left me about 15" between his car and my door, if that.  I never dreamed I could squeeze so tightly...and then once I finally shoehorned my BODY into the car, my foot was still outside and there was not enough room to drag the foot into the car because my damn foot is too long.  Oh how I wanted to key the side of his truck!!!!  But I didn't.  I wouldn't even have had to stretch my arm out  We were that close.

I was so discombobulated that I couldn't think of eating, so Walt warmed up something for himself  and I took a nap before we went to the theater.  I was so confused that I was sure I had left my cell phone at home...until it rang part way through Act 1.  I never do that.

All in all, this was not my best day...and it had to end with a long session with the square zebra.

 

PHOTO OF THE DAY

I can't believe I actually found a picture
of a square zebra
(not only that, it matches the background of the entry!)

 

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This is entry #5971