I Got 99 Problems, And… We Should Really Get Out Of Here

, , , , , | Working | March 18, 2020

About ten years ago, I worked in a nursing home. The building was old and while we waited for the new build to start, there wasn’t much money spent on repairs. Needless to say, the old building had some “problems.”

Problem 1: I was working with an intern who had just started. She was unaware of some of the issues we had to deal within the building. She and I walked into a small room where a resident was sleeping. She had thrown up and the room was really smelly. While I grabbed towels and water, the intern tried to open the window. 

When I realised this I yelled, “NO, DON’T! It’ll…”

Then, there was an almighty crash and the sound of glass breaking into thousands of pieces. The intern was standing near the space where the window was, still holding on to the latch.

“…fall out,” I finished.

The window wasn’t to be opened anymore, as staff knew the hinges were so rusted the window would drop out. It had to be replaced, as it was a tad cold in a bedroom without a window. But the smell was gone!

Problem 2: I was working the nightshift and doing my rounds. I was just walking along the third floor hallway when I suddenly heard the elevator arriving. The doors opened and I had a serious jumpscare, as the elevator should stay on the ground floor with the doors open all night. Nobody was supposed to use the elevator at night.

The doors opened and I could see nobody in the elevator at all. The doors closed and I heard it travelling up to the top floor where it opened again and closed. It then went down again and opened and closed again. This apparently happened every night around 3:00 am. The elevator would travel up and stop at every floor, and when it reached the top floor it would travel down, again stopping at every floor. Nobody knew why, not even the technicians who had been called a couple of times, but they couldn’t locate the problem. We called it the elevator ghost.

Problem 3: One wing had sunscreens which were all attached to each other. That is, there was only one button which controlled all sunscreens on that wing. If you wanted to pull them out — or in — you needed to look outside first to see if anyone had their door open. If so, it needed to be closed first. One of my coworkers forgot to check and took out two doors. Both got torn from the hinges and had to be fixed. The boss wasn’t best pleased.

Problem 4: We were having a fire drill and one of our residents had to be “evacuated” from his room. As the “fire” was further down the hall, we got him to the top of the hall, only to realise the evacuation chair was missing. Someone thought it wasn’t needed and had had it removed. As it was a drill, we joked with the resident — a relatively young guy — about throwing him off the stairs. The fire department just carried him down, but a new chair was needed in order to pass the drill.

There are quite a few more stories; some deserve their own story completely.

Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head

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Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head…

, , , , , | Working | March 18, 2020

About ten years ago I worked in a nursing home located in a very old building, in desperate need of a new building. The build finally started and problems to the old building were patched up, not fixed.

I was working a night shift with a coworker when, around 2:00 am, a long-awaited thunderstorm arrived. We made a bet where we would have to mop up water, as the roof was leaking. Up until that night, it wasn’t too bad, just a bit of a nuisance. That night, it changed.

We made our way to the top floor where we didn’t find any water. So, we went down to the main hall, which was a more recent addition to the building. We found a giant puddle near the bar area and started mopping it up. The rain intensified and it was pouring down quite badly. From the window, we couldn’t see a thing other than rain.

At around 2:20 am, I got a call from a resident up on the top floor. At first, I heard nothing but water gushing. Then I heard this:

“Please… I’m drowning!”

I could hear the anxiety in her voice, so my coworker and I rushed up to the top floor and into her apartment. We found the resident in bed, scooted as far as she could to the left. Keep in mind that this resident couldn’t move without help, so this must have been a massive feat for her.

Water was literally pouring down into her bed. Everything was soaked, including our resident. My coworker and I moved the bed away from the water as quickly as we could. Half the ceiling had collapsed onto the bed, miraculously missing her head. The other half was hanging by a thread. My coworker ran to turn off the electricity as water was gushing out of the sockets and from the lamps. In the living room, the ceiling hadn’t yet collapsed, but the weight of the water was very visible. We managed to get our resident out of her room before the whole ceiling collapsed. My coworker made a bed for her in another room, which would be occupied the next morning, and I moved the resident to a shower room to get a nice hot shower.

The resident said to me, “Well… I bet you didn’t expect that when I called.”

“No, not really,” I replied. “I thought you were joking about drowning.”

“I wasn’t.”

“No, I know now. But I’m glad you didn’t drown in your bed.”

Then, the resident laughed and said, “That would’ve made a nice headline. Woman drowns in bed.”

“I wouldn’t have had a clue how to tell that to your children,” I told her, also laughing.

We got her into bed and checked all five other rooms on the top floor. No water was found in any of the other rooms, although we didn’t turn on the electricity on the top floor that night. We did call the fire department to check the roof and we called our boss, who wasn’t pleased we called her at 3:00 or 4:00 am, though she was glad the resident was okay. The fire department found a large hole in the roof, just above the resident’s room. It took two weeks before the resident could return to her room.

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If Parenting Is A Sliding Scale Then He’s Drowning At The Bottom

, , , , , | Right | March 15, 2020

I have worked as a lifeguard over the summer for several years. One part of the pool is a water slide. The rules for the slide are that people have to be over 42 inches and must be able to swim on their own. One lifeguard is always at the bottom of the slide just in case, but we aren’t allowed to catch kids. They have to be able to get out on their own.

One day, there’s a dad with his three kids at the pool. I am working the slide, and I chat some with the very polite dad as his kids climb up the stairs to the slide. His youngest son is terrified, but he eventually ends up going down. He panics at the bottom, though, and starts drowning. I immediately scoop him up and help him up the stairs.

Normally, we would tell them they can’t go down anymore because of the rules, but I don’t say anything because I don’t know if he can swim and he just got scared. The kid goes back up, still scared, but not as much. I end up having to save him a second time.

I tell the dad, “Hey, your son needs to be able to swim on his own for this ride. He can go again a third time, but if I have to save him, he won’t be able to go down anymore.”

The dad blows up. He starts cussing at me and telling me I’m not doing my job correctly, and meanwhile, his kid is going down the slide for a third time. I am ignoring the dad at this point, and I scoop up the kid who is drowning for the third time in a row. The dad starts yelling at his kid, too.

He says, “You’re gonna have to handle your own s*** because she doesn’t give a f*** about you!”

I just kind of stare at him, like, yeah, I just saved your drowning six-year-old son, but I don’t care at all? The guy ends up going to my managers about it, who tell him I did exactly what I was supposed to. Good times.

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Moms Know How To Play It Cool

, , , , | Related | February 29, 2020

When my brother was in high school, his best friend couldn’t have matches or a lighter in his hands without using them on anything at hand. He always made sure he had either one with him to experiment with when he was bored.

His sixteenth birthday party took place in a wooden shed (!) and my mother denied my brother permission to go. Some serious rows, tantrums, and name-calling followed, but my mother put her foot down. When asked for a reason, she told him that for sure the fire brigade would be involved and she wanted him to be safe and well. Being sixteen, my brother didn’t see the danger and my mother was wise enough to make sure he was otherwise occupied the day of the party.

The day after the party, a school day, my brother came home to tell us that the shed had burned down, and he asked my mother how she knew that would happen. He never admitted it, but in the end, he was glad he wasn’t there for the fireworks.

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At Least There’s Water In There

, , , , | Learning | February 27, 2020

I’m attending a summer camp for high school students hosted at a university. Since few students stay on campus over the summer, we’re given rooms in an empty dorm. The bathrooms are shared, and each one has toilet and shower stalls in it. One day, I’m taking a shower. No one else is in the bathroom until my friend comes in.

“[My Name]? Is that you?”

“Yeah. I’m almost done.”

“Oh, my God, you’re in so much trouble!”

“What? Why?”

“For skipping the fire drill!”

“What fire drill?”

“Uh, the one that just happened? You know, flashy lights, loud alarm, all that? [Camp Director] is furious you didn’t show up.”

“I didn’t hear anything!”


After I dry off and dress, my friend brings me to the camp director, who is, in fact, furious. She thinks I pretended not to hear the fire alarm so I wouldn’t have to go outside in a towel, but I insist that I really couldn’t hear it. Eventually, I convince her to see for herself. Someone turns the fire alarm back on, and I go back to the bathroom with her and two counselors.

Camp Director:
“If you’re lying, I will be calling your parents immediately to discuss whether you can continue attending camp.”

“I couldn’t hear it, I swear!”

Camp Director:
“We’ll see about that.”

We reach the bathroom, go inside, and close the door. The sound of the alarm all but disappears.

Counselor #1:
“Well, you can still hear it a little…”

[Counselor #2] walks into a shower stall and turns on the water. The alarm becomes completely inaudible, and the camp director’s eyes bug out in anger that is, thankfully, not directed toward me.

Camp Director:
“Excuse me. It seems I need to go yell at someone.”

From what I heard, she did go yell at some administrator from the university over putting her students’ lives — and their own — in danger. The bathroom doors in the dorm were immediately propped open with strict instructions not to close them until the situation was addressed. The next day, the university “addressed the situation” by removing the doors entirely.

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