Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Getting the Message Loud and Clear

As I've mentioned before, I work as a Registered Dietitian in an acute care psychiatric hospital.  One of my many duties is to offer group nutrition classes in each of the four units each week.

Over the course of my teaching, I have often encouraged my patients to take advantage of the public library system, for all the right reasons.  It's a clean, quiet place to go that allows free Internet access. Today, the Holy One Above decided it was time for that to change.

On my way home I decided to drop by the library to pick up a book I had on hold.  While close to my house, it's a library I rarely use, and haven't been in for a while.  So I thought it was strange when I entered the building to find myself confronted by a sign saying it was illegal for anyone to harass the staff.

How weird is that?  Real weird, considering it didn't take more than 5 minutes for me to understand what that was all about.  As I waited in line to check out, I watched a young man talk on and on about how the Reference Librarian refused to speak to him, and how all he wanted to do was communicate and she wouldn't communicate.

Everyone else in line, and even the Librarian herself, was trying to ignore him, but he wouldn't stop.  And he wouldn't move.  He stood by the entrance/exit talking to the Librarian who had to be a good 20 feet away.

People like to talk about their "Aha" moment.  This was my "Oh no" moment.  I squinted my eyes to get a good look at him - he definitely could have been one of my patients, although he didn't look familiar.  But he sure acted familiar.  I noticed the It would have been best for all if she had.

Next time I get around to teaching a group at my facility, I won't be advising anyone to check out their local library.  In fact, I may limit my advise to telling them all to stay home.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

One More Embarrassing Moment

I took a break from my clinical job today to attend a training session on preparing the dietary portion of my psych hospital for government surveyors.  The class started at 8:30 and the warning was ominous: if you are late, the fine is $100 and you won't be allowed into class.

Which translates to me becoming a frantic lunatic on the freeway, nee parking lot this morning as I scrambled to make the 15 minute drive in 30 minutes (if you've ever driven in rush hour anywhere, you know what I mean).

I had just about made it to the LA-USC Medical Center Patient Services structure (it's more than a building - it's a block long statement) when I ran head-on into the Sheriff Department's security check-point.  That meant lining up all my bags (I could win big prizes on Let's Make A Deal with the crap in my purse alone) on the conveyor belt, and stepping through the metal detector.

Yes, it went off. And yes, they had to wand me.  But that was nothing compared to the "knife" they said was in my purse.

Okay, what is it with men.  I have a purse and a bag (think shopping bag, only fashionable), and the cop couldn't determine from the screen which one I had to dump out?  I ended up dumping out both, which cost me time and my happy countenance, which I knew I'd need to get through the day.  

Happy that they couldn't find the knife (although they did get a glimpse of my personal life), they let me go, although I didn't know where I was and how to get there.  The kindest nurse (Eliyahu HaNavi dressed as a black woman) ever saw my look of distress and led me halfway through the hospital to the meeting room, which I nearly refused to leave for fear of getting lost (I was gonna hold "it" in all day).  

Just another adventure with G-d at my side.  Hopefully, next time, He'll drive.