1800's Farmhouse where I grew up

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Parking Gestapo

My time is limited for visiting with my ailing mother.  Circumstances have changed dramatically since she was in her own home. At that time I had a key, and could come unannounced, staying over if need be. The nursing home still advertises a facility where loved ones can visit at any time...day or night.  The web site, nor any printed information, don't seem to have (but perhaps should) the fine print that gives exclusions to this offer. 
Arriving at my usual time to see Mom recently, I was flagged down in the parking lot before I even had an opportunity to look for a parking space. Lowering my window, the receptionist-turned-parking-gestapo barked at me, "You can't double park!"  I wasn't even aware all the spaces were filled at that point, and felt almost violated by the brusque treatment.  Thankfully, another visitor was departing as I was biting my tongue, holding in the response I would have liked to share. Suuuuureee I can come ANYTIME....as long as there's parking! In a discussion with the facility administrator just a short week before this incident, I was instructed to come see him if there was no parking available. Apparently he forgot to mention I'd have to come see him about there being no parking when there WAS parking. Ridiculous right?
After parking, I headed for the main entrance, biting back a giggle at the receptionist being wind-blown and aggravated. There was a lot of that going around that day.  I am certain her job description does not include parking attendant, and her treatment of visitors was tempered by this fact. It was also only about 32 degrees outside that day.
Once inside, breathing a sigh of relief, I was able to greet Mom, grab her a snack, and we headed to our usual hangout in the sunroom. Or so I thought. The door was closed, but opened as if by magic as I approached to reveal a meeting in full swing.  The sunroom is advertised as an amenity for residents, but on that day was being used for training sessions. I was told it would be free the next hour, so I bit my tongue again....a little harder this time....to wait it out.
Unfortunately, the information I had been given was again incorrect. A second hour of training sessions were to start.  At this point I felt compelled to file a grievance.  I am truly not an unreasonable person.  I definitely don't like to make waves.  Over the past 5 years, though, I have learned the true lesson of the squeaky wheel, and went ahead with my complaint.  Mom and I had only an abbreviated visit as there was nowhere to sit quietly with her. This made me more sad than angry, and feeling emotional, I fled the building before tears overtook me.
A few days later I was approached by the unit director with the training staff in tow.  I received an apology and the promise that future training sessions would not be held in the residents common areas.  I appreciated this gesture, but feel the need to insure it is followed in the months and years to come.
Petty? Perhaps.  When there are individuals who cannot speak for themselves, someone needs to speak up. And for Mom I would do anything, because family is everything.
By the way, turns out there was no parking due to the ill planned, timed, and improperly located training sessions. Imagine that.
A warm country hug to all,
Lisa <3

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