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Behind the Red Tape
I walk into a dull colored room, walls painted eggshell, furniture that you would see in a waiting room, because it is a waiting room. So many places to sit, I wonder why there were so many different options of chairs; couches and high tops, benches and plain old folding chairs, even a wheelchair down the hall. I hope this place is a little more awesome than it looks. It wasn’t a bad look though, it was comfortable. All around, I looked for something out of place: a bright color or out-there decor, this floor had no reason for loud decor. It was a place of utmost comfort. As I walked down the reception, through to the back of the room, I saw a large set of double doors with no handles. What kind of door doesn’t have handles? I was stunned for a moment. A clean lady, dressed in blue, smelling of mint and washed linen nonchalantly walks by, with her badge, her work ID, and scans it to get through to the fortress on the other side.
I had an ID of my own, with my face and name on it. It made me feel important, I had something in common with the mint scented lady, I too was here to make the world a better place. I was ready . I turn through the doors, I wait, anticipate. My attention to detail heightens as I look for clues as to what my future may hold. It smelled of.. nothing. It was a clean sort of nothing, you are not overwhelmed by the heavy scent of chemicals, rather the type of clean you feel when you are outside, on a snowy day surrounded by the whitest kind of snow. Smelling the air and feeling clean and comfortable. And to be fair this place was pretty cold.
I pick up my ID and place it over the sensor. The doors slowly but surely came to open just for me, at my command. It felt like I was thrown into 3022. Why would these doors not have handles, this can’t be practical. I wait for these cyber-doors as they actively open up my new adventure. This was my new future. I am just dying to see what is behind these doors.
Oh. A storage room.
Well, maybe this is gonna be fun. This is still my thing and I knew I was going to have to try all of it, right? I can file, I do that already… I like it well enough! I walk through the gates that are making up my future. I turn to see two men. Brian and George. Both with masks, seated with the same color uniform, in front of computers. They looked off put, did no one tell them I was coming here? To start my adventure? Brian gets up, sort of reluctantly, asks me if I am lost or looking for my mom…
What a slap in the face, seriously?
I wore my best, most professional getup for him to ask me if I was lost? As if I was some silly, bread and butter 12 year old. No sir, I am not lost.
“N-no sir,I’m a volunteer! I am supposed to be here, I was told I’d be helping with the filing?”
Brian, looked at me like he felt sorry for me, “Aw, poor you. Dawn stuck you in the supply chain? She must’ve been in a bad mood.” I stand there with my mouth hanging open. I could’ve caught a fly in there. How could Brian say that? Did he not know I was going to be amazing here and that this, the supply chain, was the new chapter I have ever so graciously been awaiting?
“Oh come on Brian, maybe this is exactly where I need to be! I am here to help regardless. Grateful to have the opportunity at all sir.”
Now Brian was confused, he seemed confused at my rather chipper demeanor. The supply room resembled a dungeon. Silver metal wrapping, almost engulfing the rows and rows of filing cabinets. They were in a maze-like array that was thoroughly dissected to be just how Brian likes it. To the point and practical. Even with the many turns you could take, it stayed an organized haven in his mind. Each cabinet is occupied by a letter. This was Brian’s department. He owned the supply room and it was his. He said he never gets volunteers in his department because they always forget to send one down to him.
He stood there, not a thought behind his eyes. He had no idea what to do with me. An eager, yet clueless being that has greeted his presence. He didn’t need the help, he had set up this procedure and for years, it’s been the perfect stock room.
Then, he got up, and took me for a tour of the facility. No, not the supply room, but the whole facility. Where I expect my future will happen. Everything is opened through my ID. Well… almost everything. I can’t get into a few nooks of the vicinity. There’s a handful of areas divided off with red tape that Brian says he can’t even pass through, I guess the owner of the supply chain wasn’t as almighty as he seemed. The red tape was an ongoing thought in my head, it lingered like the mint scented lady did.
And all the red tape made me wonder, who was allowed past it? Who was eligible to see healing in its purest form, what qualifies you for that? A doctorate in medicine, I guess.
So there we were, the two of us, running around the place testing my badge to see what else it would and wouldn’t work on, both giddy like kindergartners with excitement. Me, because I had a cool picture of myself that could open doors, and Brian because he had just come across someone who had even less authority than he did. Through the cafe, the staff lounge, the triage center and through the reception, we were just enjoying life outside of the stone cold prison they called the supply chain. I had only experienced the place for maybe 5 minutes, while my new friend had been keeper of the dungeons for 6-7 years now. He seemed, sort of rejuvenated, having another person who shared his eagerness to work in the depths of such a big place.
Many would much rather be out and about, traveling through the whole place like Brian and I did that day. Many would rather not spend their time in the dungeon. But that’s sometimes the only thing we have. The stone cold abyss in which our comforts lie, the depths of our insecurities. Brian, though he wishes he had access through the red tape, loves his little supply chain prison. He knows it needs him. He was gracious enough to grant me a piece of his chain. Although I can’t wait for my future free of the dungeon, I am glad I get the experience of what it’s like down here. Because when I get to go up and experience life changing things, I will know what’s going on behind the red tape.
I walk into a dull colored room, walls painted eggshell, furniture that you would see in a waiting room, because it is a waiting room. So many places to sit, I wonder why there were so many different options of chairs; couches and high tops, benches and plain old folding chairs, even a wheelchair down the hall. I hope this place is a little more interesting than it looks. It wasn’t a bad look though, it was comfortable. Comfortable like any other hospital you visit. Riddled with dozens of employees. Surgeons, nurses, technicians, supervisors and volunteers. Welcome to HonorHealth Hospital, Honor Above All. Wow, am I ready to start my future here.
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