I was very grateful for pirates yesterday.
It was my afternoon at the hospital and I had brought along my Kindle to continue reading the book I had been reading the last time I worked. This is a book written by a friend of mine. He has written several books and I am embarrassed to admit I had not read any of them. I finally read one a few months back and it was OK, but I had some complaints, mostly that there were so many characters that it was like reading an American version of "The Brother Karamazov" and I couldn't keep them all straight. This resulted in my not really caring about any of them and since the action that kept you reading didn't happen until about 2/3 of the way into the narrative, the only reason I kept reading was to see if it would ever happen at all.
But I heard his latest novel is getting some "buzz" and so I decided I would read that, and it is on my Kindle, though I am finding that I am having the same complaints I had about the last one about this one too. When you have several families and each family has several children and you write about each of the children, it's nearly impossible to keep them all straight.
But nevertheless, I am plowing through it.
At some point, I hit something, I don't know what, on the Kindle and it jumped back to the beginning of the book. No problem; I would just go to the last page read, only it didn't know the last page read. No problem. I would go to the table of contents and see if I could guesstimate where I was. No table of contents. I stymied until I remembered that I had read a particularly delicious quote while reading and had marked it so I could find it again. It was "there were enough peg legs in town back then you'd think the town was a retirement home for pirates." That tickled me, so I did a search for bookmarks I'd made and voila! I was back to where I left off, just a few pages later.
More than one way to skin a cat.
So I was able to continue reading the book as I worked at the Information desk yesterday afternoon. As usual, it was mostly uneventful, with a couple of moments of business.
Two women came to the desk. As usual they were late for their 1 p.m. appointment, arriving t 1:15 with no idea of where to go. They were there for a birthing class, mother and daughter, neither of whom spoke English.
I checked with the birthing center, but there was no class going on. I called information who had no information about a birthing class. I called Women's Health (my old office) and got caught in voice mail hell, the end of which was "leave a message and we'll return your call." I tried calling the clinic, which is a separate office on the other side of the parking lot. I didn't want to send them over there, with the pregnant lady in such shape. But there, too, the best I got was a voice mail telling me to either call 911 or leave a message.
Then I checked their referral slip and saw that they had been referred from the mother's OB in Woodland, so I called THAT office. The phone was answered by another recording, this one telling me that just by virtue of my calling that number, I had won a special vacation somewhere and the guy went on for so long explaining what I had won that I hung up.
At some point a woman came along who spoke Spanish, so at least she could interpret. We finally decided to send them to the clinic after all, since that seemed the most logical thing to do and off they waddled across the parking lot.
I immediately went to the iPhone App store and downloaded Duolingo, determined to try and learn a little Spanish!
Then along came a guy from some Latin country who explained that his wife had finished her courses in pharmacology and was looking for an internship with a pharmacy. I explained that we didn't do internship and that our pharmacy was very small, but he was adamant that he wanted his wife to have an internship and he wasn't interested in her going to Sacramento, where she would be more likely to find an internship, but wanted it HERE. He asked "How many patients do you have -- a couple of thousand?" I told him that if we were full, we had 50 and suggested to him that he go to the med school at the university. He wanted to know if there was a hospital at the university and I explained that their hospital was in Sacramento, which brought us back to his insistence that she had to do her internship in Davis, despite the fact that there was no facility for her.
Finally, in desperation, I checked the phone number for Sutter's pharmacy and gave that to him and sent him on his way. I'd love to know what he was told when he called.
At night we went to see a production of a Neil Simon play. We are going to see God of Carnage tonight, another comedy. "Two comedies and a funeral," Walt quipped, since we are going to a memorial service on Sunday.
We sat at a table with a nice couple. Walt introduced himself to the man and explained to me that he had been his boss. Turns out Richard Rominger served for eight years as the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Agriculture under Bill Clinton so technically he was Walt's boss, several steps up, and that explained why he didn't have a clue who Walt was.
We settled in to enjoy the play, Rumors, which I have since read is one of Simon's funniest comedies, so I'm thinking maybe it wasn't a very good production since all four of us were ready to leave at intermission. I thought it would be an easy review to write, but it's not going to be. This is a company that gives the term "amateur" its true meaning, people doing it for the love of it in a tiny town so I always try to be more gentle with their reviews. As I said, this one is going to be tricky.