Monday, June 23, 2008

Rudee To The Rescue

Today was more like a Rudee needs to be rescued day, or how not to make a good impression your first day on the job.

Today was my first day of orientation on the actual job.  So that you aren't confused, last week was all corporate speak.  I'm already fluent in that language but was not allowed to clep out.  I had to take the classes just like everyone else.  So, today was the day for me to shine and show them what I'm bringing to the table.

I hooked up with my preceptor at 10 AM by telephone just to make sure she knew I'd be with her today.  She knew.  She said she'd call me back at 4 PM once our shift started.  She called a bit early but only to tell me nothing was shaking but keep the phone on and she'd let me know.  

At 8 PM, I got a little worried and gave her a ring.  Nope.  Nothing going on.  You can't rush these things you know.  I cleaned my kitchen.  Right after I was done bleaching the sinks (I love bleach), she called to let me know we had to go out to pronounce a death.  In the city.  On fireworks night when 500,000 other people are down there.  No problem.  I get on mapquest and print my directions and tell her I'll meet her there.  I make the 25 mile drive in record time.  To the wrong address.  Oh, I had the street right, but I was 10 miles away from them.  It seems I had not heard the first digit in the sequence of numbers.  Only in this city could you have 2 separate streets named the same.  One long continuous one I understand, but these were 2 different streets.  I had flashbacks to the last home care job I had where I had to flag down two transvestites to help me figure out where I was going.  That was the last time I asked women dressed better than me how to get anywhere.

Now mind you, I was a little nervous being in such a dicey area at 10:15 at night.  It looks a whole lot different in Detroit at night than it does during the day. But if I'd been there during the day, there was probably no way I'd come back at night. Alone. Lost.  I wasn't worried until I got stopped by the railroad crossing and sat there for 3 minutes with no train in sight.  I did the only courageous thing I could and crossed the tracks. I didn't say I was bright.

It was the deceased patient's family who gave me directions on how to find them.  Twice.  All I can tell you is hearing things like the Kentucky Fried Chicken will be on your left-that means you are going in the wrong direction.  You want to turn around and head north.  Huh?  Since I'm heading east, if I turn around, won't I be heading west and not north? What she meant after several times driving east and then west, was I should make a left at the KFC.  Are you following me here?  I was getting directions from a woman who was probably dressed better than me.

My last direction before I made it to their house was to make a right down their street.  Theirs would be the house with the porch light on.  I shit you not, when I made that turn, every single house on the block had their porch lights on.

Tomorrow, I'm gonna get me a GPS thingymabob.


Mrs. G. said...

You will not be sorry-these things have made my life SO much better.

laurie said...

heh--when we visit our friends chris and kathy, we know to turn left two streets after the dairy queen.

Rositta said...

Poor Rudee, I once got lost in downtown Detroit many years ago, very scary stuff. Yes, get a GPS, I wish they'd had those when I was still selling real estate, you have no idea how many times I got lost with new clients in the car. You will look back on it and laugh some day...ciao

The Rotten Correspondent said...

I could get lost in my very own living room. With the lights on. I need an implantable GPS.

I've been in Detroit after dark. Buy the GPS. Full price if you have to.

John Shepp said...

I found your blog from, hope you don't mind my comment. At least your patient was already dead. I have worked EMS in Detroit for many years, most of the time at night. Imagine not being able to find an address in highland park to treat and transport a GSW. I quickly learned to read road maps and follow house numbers. (GPS was not an option then). The side streets in detroit are very confusing. Try responding priority one to the riverfront during the fireworks. That was fun! Good luck in you navigation... Shepp

Lacy said...

I purchased a GPS for my husband for Fathers Day... he loves it. It's the best thing I've bought in years. And it saves on gas, too, no more back tracking and getting lost.

wildethymeknits said...

May I recommend a Zog! If ExpatOwl was here he'd set you up with one. Doing your job, you really need one. It'll be time and money well spent and will save you both in the long run.
Good luck in the new job. You're awesome - one of the unsung heroes! ;-)

Rudee said...

Thank you all for your words of encouragement and advice. Today, as I reflect, I still feel "called" to do this job and I don't think I'm hearing voices, although I had my doubts last night.

Lacy, what kind of GPS did you buy?

Expatkat: have you googled Zog? Strange things pop up. Is there a brand for this item? Can you email me info? rudeek45 at gmail dot com

And John, if I wore anything as old fashioned nursing cap, my hat would be off to you. Thanks for dropping by. So, you know kind of what I'm talking about with these neighborhoods, don't you?

I have no idea why i didn't think about the various zip codes I'd be visiting when I took this job. Just like I didn't think about the cost of gas right now either. Just jump right in....

Lacy said...

Hi Rudee,
I purchased a Garmin - it's the 'Nuvi 200W Series', very user friendly. I love that it talks to you and lets you know before you need to turn and even let's you know which lane to be in before you make that turn. Love it!

Rudee said...

Thank you Lacy.