Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Day Two: Oh Boy

There is one universally acknowledged concept and it doesn't matter where you live: senior citizens do not like change.

And they have no problem sharing that fact with you.

It's understandable.  My group has been displaced from their little home away from home.  No temporary site will even come close.  Add the fact that everything I'd told them about the building to comfort them and make it feel familiar backfired....all because the Boss decided to help by setting up a different parking space for them.  One in the opposite direction of where I'd insisted they'd be closer.  It was kind of her, and to be honest it is closer.  But the seniors felt betrayed because it wasn't what they EXPECTED.  Hard to sell change when the very first "Trust me, we can do this," looks like a lie. With no phone (still), I couldn't let them know ahead of time of the change.  No way to e-mail either.  Seems right now my computer only likes to e-mail people it knows...in the County system.  It mistrusts anything ending in yahoo, hotmail or gmail.

Old computers don't like change either, it seems.

I've cooked lunch for these folks once a week for 18 years.  Today, it felt like I was going into the kitchen for the first time because I had to use a gas stove. It, of course, cooked totally different than my old electric restaurant style stove at the Center.  Timing is everything.  And I've always had the food out on the buffet table at noon.  High noon.

Turns out the stove was the least of my problems.

No, it was the heating/cooling system which did me in.  I'd been back and forth through the building so many times, not counting extra trips to the kitchen to ensure I wasn't setting anything on fire, that I didn't realize how cool it was in the room.  The seniors did.  They began to complain.  Loudly.  I know how easily they get chilled and I have a couple who are 91 and 95...and refuse to take Flu Shots.  I would've gladly adjusted the temperature but ah...County buildings which are rented have actual LOCKS on the thermostat to keep temperatures from being changed.  Smart in theory.  Not so good today.  

I tried four different people for keys to that lock. Either the ones who might have a key had left or the ones still there didn't have one.  Nope, none in my new group of keys either.  So I wrapped one lady in my sweater and fixed everyone who was cold a cup of hot chocolate.

I knew their joy about the presence of an ice machine had evaporated.

During the final two games of Bingo, after the room had finally warmed up to a comfortable temperature, our new Office Manager came in and announced proudly,"I have the key!  How hot do you want it?"  Everyone giggled and I had to explain that the group would be leaving in 10 minutes.  However we thanked her for the effort. 

I see a new key in my future.

During the last game of Bingo, I felt a cool breeze.  I glanced around, knowing I'd shut every door which created a draft.  Puzzled, I looked at the group and said quietly,"Is it just me or did it suddenly get rather breezy?"  As they nodded in agreement, looking around the room, a loud rumble belched overhead.

It was the Air Conditioner turning on to cool off the room.

Ah, the sunny South.  Last week you needed the AC every day.  This week, you don't need it at all and the mornings are cool enough for a little heat.  Especially if you've had more than 70 birthdays.

In spite of the grumbling, we had a nice lunch, meaning I didn't burn anything.  Although the crowd wasn't as large as normal, they did promise to come back next week for lunch.  Especially now that they have their own parking lot.

As two who had done the most complaining hit the exit I heard this exchange.
"Personally I don't care for the place.  Lunch was good though."
"Oh, it wasn't all that bad.  Just needs a little heat."

I went back to my little office feeling vindicated.  For about two minutes, until one of my British ladies came by with her friend.  As they stepped into my new sanctuary, she very primly offered, "Oh my!  They've stuck you in a closet!"

Keep tapping friends.  Keep tapping.  Map, you can hum.  Maybe tomorrow I might even be able to hear you.  Did I mention my computer doesn't have speakers?

Ah, but I have an extra set at home.  Perhaps tomorrow they can join their new friend, the Telephone, on my desktop.


savannah said...

adversity makes us so much stronger, sugar! i think it's heat and humidity. or maybe, it's just us! ;) xoxoxox

p.s. i had to smile (even more) when your boss asked how hot do you want it?

mapstew said...

I'm having a calming drink(s) on your behalf right now!

Remember, everything is gonna be just fine! :¬)