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Fine Time To Take A Tea Break

, , , , | Healthy | July 24, 2022

I’m a nurse in a busy hospital ward. Each ward has a little kitchen where the tea trolley lives. Each one also has a fridge with basic supplies, including the meal replacement nutrient milkshake bottles that many patients are prescribed because many people in the hospital are a bit malnourished or struggle to eat full meals.

Despite these milkshakes being part of the normal running of the ward, they don’t get automatically restocked by our dedicated ward food staff. The nurses have to call the kitchen to request restocks.

The kitchen is notorious for not picking up the phone, and there is often very little time for us nurses to spend trying to call them.

Day 1: I notice our fridge is getting a little low on drinks. I try calling the kitchen. No one picks up. I don’t get another chance during my shift.

Day 2: Our fridge is really low on drinks. I have to steal a few from the next ward, but they are also running low. I call the kitchen repeatedly. It goes to voicemail every time.

Day 3: There are almost no drinks in the fridge. I dial the kitchen — voicemail. It’s near mealtime after all; they’re busy.

I call again. It doesn’t go through. I redial repeatedly. Nothing.

I call again an hour late. It’s picked up! There’s a voice on the other end, but they’re kind of quiet. I can only pick out a few words. What are they saying?

Voice: “Dignity… duty… respect… relationships…”

They had picked up the phone and left it off the hook, so the ringing wouldn’t disturb them getting a lecture on professionalism.

Meanwhile, our cupboards were bare.

I managed to get through and make a request at about 2:00 pm that day. I finished at 3:00 pm, and I’ve been off since, so who knows if the amount or type of what I requested even turned up with the dinner trolley.

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