Their Ability To Read Has Signed Out

, , , , | Right | June 18, 2020

I work in an assisted-living facility. Two older women, probably in their sixties or seventies, come up to the front desk. They are well-dressed and both have their phones out, just putting them away, so I’m thinking they’re cool with technology, and they’re both speaking perfectly clear English to each other with no hint of an accent, so I’m not sensing a language barrier.

I greet them and they ask if they can visit a resident.

Me: ”Of course! I’ll just need both of you to sign in here.”

I indicate a large tablet computer.

Visitor #1: “Okay.”

She stares at the computer, which has two buttons on it that take up almost the entire screen, one saying “sign in,” the other “sign out,” and the top says, “Please choose one.”

Me: “You can start by tapping ‘sign in.’”

Visitor #1: “Oh… okay.”

She taps “sign in” and continues staring at the next screen which has three buttons, each a different category of visitor.

Visitor #1: “What do I do now?”

Me: “It depends! Are you a healthcare provider? A family member or friend?”

Visitor #1: “I’m a friend.”

She just looks at me expectantly.

Me: “Okay, then you’ll tap the middle button which says. ‘Family, Friend, or Volunteer.’”

She taps the correct button.

Visitor #1: “It says I need to enter my name. Should I do that?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am.”

She spends a good three minutes inputting her name.

Me: “Good, and now you’ll need to put in the last name of the person you’re visiting.”

She begins typing in the person’s full name.

Me: “No, I’m sorry, just the last name.”

I stare forlornly at the huge font that says, “Please type in resident’s LAST name.”

Visitor #1: “Oh… Okay… What now?”

Me: “Oh, it looks like there’s a C missing there; let me just fix that for you.”

I fix the spelling error.

Visitor #1: “Can I go now?”

She looks expectantly at me again.

Me: “Not yet. You just need to tap the name here—”

Visitor #1: “And now I’m done?”

Me: “One more step. Are you visiting anyone else?”

Visitor #1: “No, just my friend.”

Me: “Then tap ‘no’ where it says there…”

The name tag prints out and I hand it to her.

Visitor #1: “What is this?”

Me: “That’s a name tag that you’ll stick to your shirt there so we know that you’re a visitor when we see you.”

She sticks it to herself after a good minute of trying to peel the backing off.

Visitor #1: “Does she need to sign in, too?” *Indicates her friend*

Me: “Yes, ma’am, everyone who comes in needs a name tag.”

Visitor #1: “Oh, she can just wear mine.”

Me: “That’s… Then you wouldn’t have one.”

[Visitor #2], who has watched me walk her friend through the whole process step-by-step and is still staring at me expectantly now, steps forward.

Visitor #2: “What do I do?”

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