My wife and I had to visit Mater Dei this morning. It wasn't a matter of choice..sometimes in life, one has to do what one has to do. And so this morning we did! I've been there about 4 times now since its' opening. Well, one time actually doesn't count. That's when my PDA informed me that I had an appointment on a particular day, only to find out that my appointment was actually on the following day!! It didn't dawn on me immediately either. I must have been there for nearly an hour before I realised the error. I never mentioned this to anyone before; my PDA is practically new and is liable to making such trivial mistakes. But in consolation, I did enjoy the coffee that two ladies were serving to the waiting patients!
So, this morning we were back there. This time on the date and time allocated to us. The place fascinates me. It is so huge, with corridors extending beyond one's vision. At one point, I remarked to my wife, who was running-in a new pair of shoes by the way, that the place resembled an airport rather than a hospital. So far, it is extremely well kept and we couldn't find anything to complain about, even if we wanted too, which of course we didn't.
All the nurses, doctors and personnel we met were admirably helpful, well mannered and help no end in making one feel very much at ease. But one particular thing kept surfacing every time we asked for directions. The personnel working at Mater Dei are either not familiar with the different departments or are too familiar and expect the patients to be too. At one time we asked for a particular room. Walk along the corridor, we were told, and turn right. We walk along the corridor and come against 6 doors, at least, on the right!! So we try them all...and then spend 15 minutes reversing our steps. On another occasion, we asked for another room and this time, the young nurse tells us to go through that door and turn left. We go through the door, turn left and we come up against a blank wall! Gee...we missed again!
But the classic one came from another helper who, when asked to show us to another room we needed to visit, told us to...again...walk along the corridor and at the end of it, take the door on the right. He gestured with his right hand, emulating a corner towards the right and this time, we felt confident that we were on the right track....literally! At the end of the never-ending corridor, we came across two doors in front, one to the left and another door back-tracking in line with the corridor we had just shuffled along! Nothing on the right! I know some people confuse their rights with their lefts, but when they say right and point to the right, then I do expect it to be right, not left!! Right?
This will not, in any way, minimise the good impression I have of the hospital staff. Having to cope with hundreds of people, all with different temperaments and attitudes, it is amazing how they still manage to keep a smile on their faces.
By the way, in case you are wondering, my wife's new pair of shoes were smoking by the time we got home!!