The keys to get out to the Gazebo and smoking area are placed on a thick, long stick. There is also one that's shorter. Both have a lighter on one end, and the key on another.
The problem with the key is that someone is always taking it. Because management doesn't know how to deal with the problem, stealing the key compounds the problem, and lends a filthy smell of bad faith (which is fairly frequent around here.)
Maintenance staff usually have the key. It was after hours, but we found out that the Artist Known As Leimeister, a very talented painter, was still here. He was paged, and while my friend went to meet him at the access door, I finished talking to a staff member about what possibilities we could set up for the rest of the night, because the next day is The Great American Smoke Out, and I wanted to get my last cigarettes in. That particular staff person had no idea, except to page him, something the nurses wouldn't do.
So I joined my friend, who was already outside.
I said, "What did Leimeister say?"
"Nothing. He let me out."
"And what about tonight?"
"What about it?"
"Did you make arrangements for tonight," meaning, did he explain to Lee that he had the only key.
He looked puzzled.
I said, "You are a Republican, aren't you?
After a pause, I made clear that I wasn't talking about politics. I wanted to know if he had a party affiliation, that he was Republican.
"Why? How did you know?"
Now this is something I've learned from reading conservatives, and writing in Neo-Cons when only one person identified himself that way.
How did I know he was Republican?
My friend the Republican should have made some kind of arrangement with the Last Key-Holder. Instead, he though about that cigarette and his need for it, and forgot others would need the key, or that he would need the key.
Even worse, the entire administration here are all short term thinkers. This once was a hospice, and a home for people with dementia. That population could complain and demand justice in one minute, and completely forget. This top-heavy institution isn't used to younger people coming in for rehab, b/c we remember what was said and promised, and what wasn't done.
The younger ones can't be fixed with momentary bubble gum, a rubber band, and paper clips. So the managers here deal with short term solutions, and when it turns back on them, they don't understand why.
Even in the People's Republic of Massachusetts, conservative short term thinking is a problem.
Part I of a continuing series....