City Adventures

September 19, 2012

Whew is it Wednesday already?

Monday we FINALLY made it to the hospital for name badges and the drug screen.  As our previous meetings with the orientation department have gone, this one was chaotic as well.  I showed up 15 minutes early just in time to see the first group leaving and almost got lost trying to figure out where they went.  For some ill-conceived reason, they decided to shepherd us all into the front main lobby and then were absolutely bamboozled when we weren’t quiet after we’d been sitting there for over an hour.  Well, there are 50 of us students and they were taking 2 at a time.  No joke.  Sat there for almost 2 hours before I decided to be a selfish b___h and race up when “I need another male and a female” was called.

Once we got back to human resources, I figured out what the hold-up was; we sat in an office, were “witnessed” signing our drug screening consent forms, then got chewed out because we didn’t have copies of our drivers’ license in our folders.  The actual copying of our licenses took 30 seconds, but we needed a 10-minute lecture on how we were unprepared (in actuality, no one ever told us we needed a copy, just to bring them).  Next we were ushered to another room in HR where our pictures were taken.  Rather than reposition the camera, they decided to have everyone squat awkwardly so that our face would be centered in the picture.  We then had to sign a computer pad so that our signature would appear on our name badge.  While we were standing there, our badges printed out but we weren’t allowed to take them.

Our next stop was the hospital’s laboratory.  We arrived to find techs standing in the hallway rudely questioning students about their paperwork and why certain parts weren’t initialed–again, no instructions on when/how we were supposed to do this but we were certainly the ones in the wrong.  Then we were handed an open cup with a thermometer strip on the side, pointed around a corner and down a hallway, and told to bring the cup back filled past the line.  There was, however, no lid on the cup, so not wanting to splash anyone on the way back to the lab, I did my best to cover the sides and top with toilet paper.  The tech took the cup from me and was appalled; just imagine what it would have been like had I eaten asparagus…

With the drug test behind me, I could now attend to my missed calls/texts which happened, naturally, as I was in HR and couldn’t answer my phone.  One of the other students had told our preceptor about us having to show up to the hospital to be tested and instead of making us rush to the other hospital to catch the end of rounds at his office, he gave us the day off–AWESOME!  The other call was my ISP–they were at my building for the 8 millionth time to try to get my internet installed.  I was able to get in touch with the tech before he left, then called the office to let him into the building.  I felt relieved at the near miss, so I decided to stop at Starbucks and get the office-worker who had let the repairman in the building a treat.  About that time, fellow MUA rotation buddy called and wanted to know if I wanted to go to lunch.  Heck yea!

She swung by Starbucks, picked me up and we ran back to my apartment.  The previous week, we’d noticed that one of the kids in our rotation had this nifty folding clipboard that fit in the pocket of his white coat; he didn’t have to carry anything extraneous during patient visits–we had to have one, so I’d ordered us a couple and they had arrived.  She parked, we delivered the Starbucks goodies, graciously thanked the staff member, picked up the clipboards from the package room, then went upstairs to my apartment to drop off other perishables from Starbucks.  We open the door to find the ISP guy and the maintenance tech scratching their heads, staring at my modem.  Not wanting to stick around, the ISP guy said it couldn’t be fixed, that an “outside contractor” would have to come by, but that he’d be by today and I wouldn’t have to schedule a subsequent appointment.  Um, ok.  Even more skeptical at this point that I would get internet.  Oh well, who cares.  Put my stuff down and MUA rotation buddy and I were off to…India Town (!) for lunch.  Did I mention she has a convertible?

We went to a restaurant called Tiffin which had a yummy lunch buffet.  It was soooo tasty, especially compared to the place we went in Hyde Park for lunch the other day.  Didn’t really think about it then, but ate vegetarian–the yellow dal, aloo, bhindi, and paneer mutter were my favorites.  And it was my first naan since Indian Summer!  Then, of course, there was gulab jamun and rice pudding for desert.  I ate until I had to waddle out of there.  Since India Town was so far away and a treat, we decided to savor the afternoon and wander through the stores while we were there.

We headed back for the South side, but decided to stop at Sam’s Club and Walmart on the way to pick up a few essentials.  Low and behold, I got home to find the most beautiful row of green dots I’ve ever seen in my life–I HAD INTERNET!Alas, I was so tired from the whirlwind day, I took a shower and went straight to bed without savoring any net time.

During this rotation, we get Tuesdays off, so it was very nice to sleep in and recover yesterday.  My only chore was to go to the local post office (I knew we had passed one on the way home) and pick up a book of stamps.  After a trip to the gym, I looked up the post office on my phone and saw that it was only 0.6 miles away–shoot I could walk that!  Uh oh, I shouldn’t have walked that.  I was very fearful that I was going to get mugged during that walk.  It was not down a good street, and when I finally made it to the post office, like the Popeye’s by the hospital, the postal workers were sitting behind bullet-proof glass.  Oh dear.  I kept my head down, got my stamps, and walked back on the other side of the road, hoping that it would be better and would have less people loitering.  Less people, more run-down buildings.  I think I’ll get stamps somewhere else next time.

Feeling hungry, creeped out, but still not like cooking, I decided I had a hankering for Panera.  Once again, I got on my phone to see where the closest one was–8 MILES?!  Are you kidding?  Screw it.  Want Panera, have nothing else to do, so I started walking.  The trip started out with the same 0.6 mile Westward walk that I do to catch the bus to the hospital off of the closest main thoroughfare, except that this time I caught an “express” bus heading North, to the city.  How foreign and exciting!  45 minutes later, I was dropped off at the last stop, in a place that looked like it could be a New York City backdrop.Lots of buildings, people in suits, shops, cafes–it was AWESOME!  My phone told me to walk 0.6 miles in a Southwest direction and I came upon this mall-ish looking place.  There was a Marshall’s, a DSW shoes, a Whole Foods, and a PANERA!  How cool!  Was definitely not expecting a Whole Foods, so I went inside to stock up on some groceries.  (A good tip for people new to traveling on foot in a big city–get one of those cloth reusable shopping bags and stick it in your purse–it rolls up into nothing–you never know when you’ll need it but it comes in really handy when you do need it!)

Headed to Panera next and was reunited with a breadbowl of French onion soup.  Mmmm.  Given that it was a chilly day, it was PERFECT!  Savored the atmosphere then picked up a loaf of my favorite tomato basil bread and started walking back towards the cityscape.  0.6 miles North, I picked up another “express” bus that was headed back to my part of town.  It did get quite crowded, but dropped me off at the same spot, 0.6 miles from my apartment, that I started from.  At this point it was dark and I felt very uneasy about walking back to my apartment alone, but I kept to the residential streets and walked as quickly as possible.  I heaved a sign of relief when I got inside the gates of my building.  Yet another tiring day of travel to the city, but again, so much fun!  Can’t wait to go back!

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