Thursday, December 08, 2011

People Watching at the Kennestone Maze



Yesterday we took a relative to the Kennestone Hospital complex for a couple of routine visits, nothing serious.

I let them out and went to one of the parking decks entrances. There were two lanes going inside. You could choose either lane, drive up to a machine, press a button pull out a time stamped ticket and the gate would rise for you to drive on in.

The second car in front of me drove up to machine, pressed the button and nothing happened. More cars came in behind me. The lady kept pressing the button and the machine would not respond. Somebody in line behind me blew their horn impatiently. In my humble opinion, when someone impatient like that sounds off, it just adds to the pressure and does more harm than good.... or, in other words, ass-hole!

The horn blowing motivated an employee to walk hurriedly over to see what the problem was. He pressed the button and still, no reaction to the machine. He tried that several more times until he was convinced it was out of order. He motioned the car in front of me and me to move over to the right lane. While he was motioning the cars behind me to move over he put two orange rubber cones behind the car at the machine, meaning that lane was closed.

I wondered what about her? She is blocked in. She can't go forward because of the gate down and can't back up because of the cones.

As I was pulling up to the machine on the right side I saw the woman at the bad machine back up, and heard the crunching of the rubber cone and stopped. I went on in the parking lot, having no idea what the woman did about her predicament.

I went to the new section of Kennestone and everything had changed again. It looked like a completely different Kennestone Hospital. They just can’t help themselves. They are always changing, building up, building sideways, tearing down and redoing…every time I go there I have to relearn myself the layout.

I sat down in a little lobby-waiting area near the elevator to wait on Anna and our relative. I brought a book . I was there over an hour and only got a few pages read. The reason I couldn’t keep my eyes on the book is that I couldn’t keep my eyes off the people. Basically I suppose I am just too nosy.

Across from me two elderly men sat. I didn’t pay much attention to them until I saw one of them leave and come back with a cup of water and hand-held it for the other guy to drink from it. Then I noticed the one drinking had a bib on. I wonder if he was subject to drool and was he fully in charge of himself. Then I wonder what their relationship was: brothers? friends? church friends? neighbors? It was not for me to know, but I do know they man was caring, good for him!

One man walked up unsure of his steps, in my opinion, he just didn’t appear to know where he was going. There are two elevators. As he approached one elevator door was opened. He stood outside the opened door and was studying the button when the door shut. He pressed it and turned around to me and said, “I guess I wasn’t fast enough.”

I said, “The door was opened, all you had to do was step in.”

The other elevator door opened. Not noticing the other door was opened, he said, “You mean you don’t have to press the button if the elevator door is opened?” It was about time for the waiting elevator door to close.

I pointed at it and said that door is opened, get in! The door was closing. He reached out, which I’m surprised he knew to, and put his arm in and the door opened back up. He thanked me and got in.


About 5 or 10 minutes later he came out of the elevator with another man. The other man pointed to a door, and said, “You need to go through that door and into that building there.”

A lady came and sat down. After talking to her a few minutes she told me she worked a parking booth and was on her lunch break. I told her how confusing the new parking lot and the new buildings are to know how to get around. She very patiently explained the map of the parking lot and all and sure enough it worked when I left.


A bunch of nurses stepped out of the elevator, probably going to lunch, and a tall maintenance man was waiting for them to get out so he could get on. A very short nurse patted him and asked could he come up and fixed that “thing”. She said it with a wink, with her head turned away from her comrades. He looked about between 20 and 30 years older than she was. How does anything get done?


An old high school friend walked up. He was about to get on the elevator and we recognized each other and we gossiped a while.

When I left, I got and car and went through the same lane as the booth lady that helped me understand the traffic system controlled. We always use 30-visit parking passes and save a few bucks. By what I already told her, she knew where and when I used it last. She looked at the pass and said, “Who was it that marked this?”

I said I didn’t know his name.

She said, “Well, he used green ink, he shouldn’t have used green ink.” She told me not to worry, she would fix it. I thanked her.

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