11 May, 2010

The Hospital Next Door

Last Friday was my final official shift at what I now call the 'old' place. It was an awful day, very busy and punctuated by annoying events. By 11.50 I was ready to walk out and tell them to shove their cake up their arse. Some kind souls had organised a farewell lunch for me but no one thought to tell the relief nurse who hadn't bothered to see me to arrange my lunch break some 20 minutes after starting her shift. This is the first thing the relief nurse is supposed to do when she starts work. Silly me for thinking that on my last day the relief nurse would come and see me to arrange my lunch break. I finally got into the tearoom for the lunch but felt sick and could only manage a cup of tea. I watched the British election results coming in on the TV and felt lost. I couldn't remember the last time I'd felt so low.

The farewell tea party came and went, I was dragged in to a round of applause. The tearoom wasn't as tidy as I would have had it - in fact the first thing I saw on arrival was the cake box and a work surface strewn with the detritus of lunch - and I had to turn the television off myself before the boss made her somewhat dull and emotionless speech. I remained dry eyed throughout. I said some stuff, said thanks, said I'd had some difficult times and some good times and that I would miss some people very much. I said something funny and that was it. I cut into the cake and asked someone else to cut it into slices. I then had to ask for a piece as they'd started to pass it round without offering me the first slice.

I might be coming across all Miss Jean Brodie here but I think after 7 years the least I could expect is the offer of a lunch break, a tidy tearoom, no TV and first offer of the orange and poppyseed cake. I suppose what it made me realise is that either a) I care too much about little stuff or b) no one pays attention to detail like I do. In fairness, most people were wonderful. I was given lots of little presents. There were tears and they weren't all mine. Some people said some lovely things in private. I felt appreciated by the staff if not by management.

In all honesty I'm glad it was a crappy day because it made it a lot easier to walk out of there. I cleaned out my locker, handed back the key, put my shoes in a plastic bag and walked out of the door.

Today I started at The Hospital Next Door. I had a good nights sleep last night and woke up at 06.30 instead of the usual 05.45. I only started to get nervous as I approached my usual coffee shop. The owner wished me good luck as he handed over my caffeine fix and I walked in the usual hospital front door. Instead of turning right I turned left.

All in all it was a good day. I got there nice and early, had a guided tour, met far too many people, received lots of information, did some reading, had more coffee, sent some 'I miss you but I'm fine' emails to some ex colleagues and shuffled some papers. I also saw about eight of my old doctors, which was absolutely lovely. I'm sharing an office with two of the managers. No one was doing much talking - I was too busy reading - but then someone came to talk to me and I laughed quite loudly. I don't have a pretty laugh and I think I startled them. Anyway, it broke the ice. They told me the last girl didn't talk much. They'll be sorry. My favourite moment was when I asked them if they minded me bringing in my collection of fluffy toys and picture of cats in amusing poses. They'll be sorry.

Of course the irony is that The Hospital Next Door is no longer really The Hospital Next Door as the Old Place holds that title now. I've been surprised at how easy it's been to let go.

It's a big job and I've got a lot of work ahead of me.

I think it's going to be okay.

Now, bonus points to anyone who can tell which episode of a popular TV programme this post has made me want to watch?


Foodycat said...

I would have thought you'd default to Only Fools & Horses for the comfort!

Anyway, at least they didn't get you a walnut cake.

HH said...

Sounds like a mediocre last day and a very good first day. Hope it keeps going well if not better!!

mscrankypants said...

"The Hospital Next Door" would make a good reality TV show and the opening sequence could be your morning conversation with the barista. I hope it's all going well.

SSS said...

Thanks, everyone. No one has picked the TV show. I think the winning answer will come from deepest darkest Essex.