Once upon a time, in the Castle Vista, the dining room, which was the pride and joy of the owners as it overlooked Central Park, had chairs and tables that made it simple for Beck to get up from.
Then they decided, of all the things they could spend money on: a real gym, more space for PT and OT, decent food, trained waitresses, etc. they would replace the chairs and tables so that the shining dining room would be even more impressive.
So the chairs they picked were heavy, with seats that were about two inches lower than the previous chairs. The tables weighed a ton, were bigger, and made it difficult for crippled people to get to their seats.
However, no matter the complaints, things were controlled by the top blue shirts, and they wanted a showcase for prospective customers.
Beck was sitting, as usual opposite the giant Reuben who complained from day one about not having a place to put his long legs.
Beck found that unless he brought some sort of pillow with him for the seat he couldn’t stand up at the end of the meal.
He brought the pillow up on his rollater, and generally could stand up. But there’s a pivot point in getting up, they call it “nose over toes” and it works, but you have to be able to have two or three fee in front of you to get the pivot point, and Beck was squeezed in.
So he began arriving in the dining room with his rollater, which he could always get up from, and this caused havoc with the blue shirts. They all told him it wasn’t safe. Although residents sat in the hallway for half an hour at a time for each meal in their rollaters and nobody complained about that.
So it just escalated and escalated.
First Vera complained. You can’t bring that wheeler in here! It isn’t safe.
Then when I wouldn’t budge, she called Constantino (the so-called manager of the dining room) to have a talk with me. He too said that he was only there to help me. If I wanted to use the rollater, it was okay with him.
And then the artillery stepped in and the top blue shirt and head of nursing met me leaving the dining palace and both told me I couldn’t use the rollater in the dining room.
But amongst the gibberish they spouted, the head of the blue shirts said what I knew was coming: “If we let you use the wheeler, then everyone will want to.”
And that would cut the job load of the blue shirts in half. They spent most of their time either checking off who went to each meal (the castle is reimbursed by meal served); and the other half parking rollers before each meal, and bringing them back in after the dining has ended.
On top of that, you don’t want to show perspective clients that the people here are ill. This is luxurious living at it’s most, uhm, luxurious.
So Beck stayed awake that night and decided to not go to meals except to sit in the hallway and get food to go, which many people did.
Truth is, nobody really enjoyed eating in the place. The view was boring after the first few days. The soup alternated between fantastic, and incredibly peppery (depending on who made it).
Most of what you got was starch, and not much of it.
When I finished drinking my coffee yesterday, there was a clop of coagulated coffee grinds at the bottom of the cup. I showed it to Vera and even she made a face.
And that’s just the beginning of the story…