Tuesday, April 18, 2017


It was my day to work at the hospital information desk and when I got there I was surprised to see that there had been changes.

In the past the desk stood alone, opposite the front door, where people walking in could see it immediately.  The security guards had their own desk across the room outside the door to the birthing center, so that if someone wanted to visit a patient and her baby, the guards would question them and then unlock the door and let them in.

Now someone had decided we should share a desk, so the information desk was expanded and a space for the guards was added.

Before I went to Sutter, I stopped off at Atria to visit my mother.  I was feeling guilty for not bringing her here for Easter, because of the rain.  It was 11 when I got there and she was in bed, which seems to be a daily thing.  She was very sleepy and disoriented (not surprising...I'd have been disoriented if my deep sleep had been interrupted).  I only had a brief time to stay with her, and it seemed there wasn't going to be time to get her up and get her "with it" again.  I figured I would just leave and let her go back to sleep.

That meant I had an hour to kill before my time slot at the information desk began, so I went to the hospital cafeteria and got myself a slice of pizza and a large glass of water.  I settled myself into a table and then realized I had not brought my water with me (it is too convoluted to try to carry a heavy purse, a plate of food that easily slides around and could fall on the floor, a glass of liquid, and my cane).  I got the water, returned to the table and immediately spilled the water all over the place.

Ice water and ice cubes went everywhere and my pizza was now ice cold.  The cafeteria "napkins" have the consistency of thick Kleenex and were essentially useless.  I reported the spill and someone came to sweep the ice cubes under the table, to let them melt into the rug and wiped up (most of) the water.

I finished my lunch and went to relieve the person at the information desk.  It didn't take long for me to realize that I hated the new set up.  I felt totally useless.  For one thing, there was a rotating number of security guards working at their computer, all of whom kept their back turned and didn't even acknowledge my existence.

There is a fair sized group of congenial guards who have all worked together for a long time.  I had been aware of the groups that had a good time visiting with each other at the old security desk by the birthing center.  Now they all gathered around the information desk and visited all afternoon.
When someone came in the front door wanting to know where to find such and such a thing, they asked the security guard, since I was pretty much hidden behind the group of people standing in a circle around the security computer.  So any information that was given out today was given out by the security people and I wondered what I was even doing there.

The day dragged on and on since there was nothing for me to do but sit there and stare at the back of the guy sharing a desk with me.  I left my shift wondering if I still wanted to continue volunteering there or not, since it seems to have become a superfluous job.

I came home exhausted from doing nothing all day and went to sleep much earlier than usual since I couldn't keep my eyes opened.


MaryAnn said...

You have my sympathy. I volunteered at a museum for 5 years and left as the new administrator changed things a bit too much for me.

Bev Sykes said...

Somehow as a VOLUNTEER you have the leeway of quitting when things get uncomfortable.