Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Conquering My Fear of Elevators, One Trip to Grady at a Time

Alternatively Titled: Have I Mentioned I Don't Like Elevators?

I woke up this morning and headed down to Grady for my immunization check (ie giving them lots of paperwork that lets them know I am properly immunized) and PPD (ie tuberculosis skin test).  When I went to Grady a few weeks ago to fill out some paperwork I had issues finding the visitor's parking deck and was flustered by the time I got there, so this morning I left myself plenty of time and had all of my paperwork in order so I would at least give the illusion that I was organized when I arrived.

I considered myself successful when I got downtown, found the parking garage (on the first try), parked and made my way to the chaplaincy offices on the 1st floor promptly at 10 a.m.  The administrator immediately sent me to the 15th floor for the health screening.  Her last words to me were, "I sent up the letter yesterday.  Don't let them tell you they don't have the letter.  They made someone come all the way back down here once.  But they have the letter, don't let them tell you they don't have the letter."

(Side note - I had no idea what letter she was talking about.)

So I get onto the elevator, hit the 15 button and say a little prayer.

I guess this is a good time to say that I'm terrified of elevators.  This fear is doubled when I am riding one alone (what if it stops and I am all alone and no one even knows I'm there?).  This fear is tripled when I am riding one that is really old and rickety (if old cars can break down, what makes you think an elevator won't do the same thing?).

I guess this is also a good time to say that the elevators at Grady Memorial Hospital aren't exactly top of the line.  The hospital is old, it has character and the elevators lurch every time they start and stop.

So I get to the 15th floor in one piece.  I head over to employee health services and they ask me if I have 'the letter'.

I was ready.  I knew this was coming.  I stood my ground.  "The letter was sent up yesterday," I assured them.

"Let me check my e-mail," the nurse told me.

"Okay, thank you," I replied politely.

30 seconds later, I heard, "Ma'am, we don't have the letter."

"But I was told it was already sent up," I started to plead.

"Well, ma'am I don't know what to tell you.  I would suggest you call the office you came from.  There is a phone right there."

"I don't know the office number, do you have a directory?" I squeaked out.


Okay, then.  Back down to the 1st floor I went.

I walked into the chaplaincy office and as soon as the administrator saw me, she exclaimed, "Don't tell me they didn't have 'the letter'!!"

"They didn't have 'the letter'," I stated calmly.

"Oh, I could have sworn [so and so] brought it up yesterday.  Okay, let me print another one."

At that point, I thought to myself, "Shouldn't she have just printed an extra in the off chance (given that it's happened before) that there was miscommunication and [so and so] didn't actually bring up 'the letter'?  But I kept my mouth shut.  And began to wish I hadn't left my coffee in the car.

I left the chaplaincy offices - with 'the letter' in hand - and headed back up to the 15th floor.  I filled out the paperwork and the nurse gave me a bill for the PPD.  I asked her if they accepted credit cards and she said, "Yes, but we don't do any billing up here.  You have to go the business office and pay before we can administer the PPD."

Okay, this is my favorite part of the story.  Guess where the business office is?  THE FIRST FLOOR.

So back down to the 1st floor I went.  I walked into the business office, made pleasant conversation with the cashier about the pictures of her children and grandchildren and walked back to the elevators.  Back to the 15th floor.

I guess I should also mention that these elevators aren't exactly moving at rocket speed.

So I land back on the 15th floor and back to the Employee Health for my PPD.  With the exception of some confusion over when I was actually supposed to actually fill out the paperwork (I am not even going to get into that, the whole conversation was more ridiculous than the 'the letter' fiasco), everything was smooth sailing from then on out.

I rode back down to the 1st floor and told the administrator I would see her on Friday.

What's that?  You ask.  Friday?

Oh yes - did I forget to mention that I have to go back on Friday to have the test read?

You better believe I will be bringing my own copy of 'the letter'.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my, that does not sound fun. I'm not a big fan of elevators either- I'm very claustrophobic. Whenever they are crowded I have to mentally prepare an escape route, haha!

    When do you start?


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