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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Do Buildings Have Feelings?

Posted Sunday, November 29, 2009, at 1:37 PM

Buildings don't have feelings but people do. Last blog concerned the move into the new hospital. It has been a rather interesting time from a people watching perspective. I didn't have the emotional attachment to the old hospital that some of my co-workers did. There is a great deal of emotion attached to that old building for many people in the community. Most of us realize hospitals see the happiest of times and the saddest of times for most folks.

As one of my co-workers stated - she was born in that hospital, her children and some of her grandchildren were born there. She lost her parents and other family members there. For her the bricks and mortar represented many of her more poignant life events. She has worked there for the past while as did another family member. While she was looking forward to the challenges of the new building she also knows her life won't be as tied to the new location for her.

I did ask the question more of less randomly of other co-workers who had many more years emotionally invested in their jobs. Some were more of less okay with the entire thing. They knew they had no control over any of it and they were going with the flow of things. One gal was really looking forward to it. Another was dreading it - almost painfully so.

I just kept telling folks - it felt like starting a whole new job - except you know everyone there. Silly comparison but when you start a new job - you have a new place to go to work. This fit that part even though it was much easier having familiar faces to deal with.

However by the end of week one, the pre-moving stress was replaced with just dang gone tired faces. One department was dealing with a new place, new schedule, new job descriptions as well as the expectation that they were supposed to dazzle all of the rest of the staff. They were all on 'change' overload and it would not surprise me - if a mutiny ensues. Mutiny meaning resignations in the coming weeks. Moving was stressful enough but this was too much for many of them. You could see it in their eyes and hear it in their voices - even the most chipper among them. I kept trying to utilize the Pollyanna attitude - give it time - everything will work out. But I have a sinking feeling that may not help.

Another aspect of moving was who was going to move the ghosts. Since I had started working at the old place, the ghosts were a topic was water cooler discussion. You know the discussions you have from the old timers trying to put the fear into the newbies. (Wink) Moving time came and it was a hot topic. Would the spirits go with us or were they trapped within the wall of the old place. A couple of the paramedics even kidding about going to the third floor and announcing they had the last 'bus' to the new hospital and all spirits could ride with no charge. Okay that is just slightly funny. There were claims of ghosts on the third floor. One was allegedly the ghost of a nun who served as a nurse and another was a tobacco smoking doctor of the past. What I will say is the old building is smoke free but there were times there was a heavy pipe tobacco smell in the halls. And for the record I was not by myself one morning and my co-worker smelled it too. You can read into that what you will. Haven't heard if they made the trip, though. (Wink)

Anyhow, most everyone is still getting settled. There were a few technical glitches they are still working out but for the most part, business carried on as usual. It had to - emotions and all.



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Betsy Coolidge
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