Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Lifelines

       The first Monday of 2015 finally arrived. My nerves were becoming frayed over the constant scrutiny of the sitters. While I was still mostly in the dark about the case corporate/Oakhaven had built against me, I knew it had to be flimsy. They needed me to act out in order to prove I was a threat, and they meant for the constant pressure to compel me to snap. Heeding Dr. Hiatt's advice to act normal, I managed. But the management types I had to deal with were making it tough.
       Case in point—Victoria. Shortly after breakfast, I was leaning against the door frame talking to my sitter, Ticia, when Victoria stopped to ask how I was. I cordially told her I was fine, but I could not hide the chill in my attitude. The chill became frostier in a heartbeat.
       “Did Courtney come visit you this weekend?” she asked.
       “I am not inviting Courtney here under the circumstances,' I said.
      “What circumstances? You don't have to have a chaperon?” she said.
       I had to resist a double take. Was she serious? Dear Lord, I thought she was. I extended my left arm like some game show beauty showing off a new car to wards the sitter. Ticia squirmed a bit, but never said a word. She flt awkward in the first place because she did not believe I needed a sitter. My gesture was not helping hr feel any more at ease.
       “They remove a chaperon for the duration of a friendly visit and put one on me 24/7 instead just to show me they could.”
       “We're not out to get you, Jamie,” Victoria assured.
       “Then why were you asking around to find out how I knew about the written statements you had secretly gathered?”
       “I assume someone had a guilty conscience,” she said.
      “Now why would someone have one of those?' I quipped. The chill melted into dripping sarcasm. Yes, that is a pained metaphor.
       It is another matter of being unable to reveal a source in order to preserve his or her continued association with Oakhaven, but I had been given a heads up corporate had put pressure on Victoria to find out how I knew about the statements they had been hoarding. While it is acceptable for them to take statements about my conversations in public area, they were not allowed to hoard them in order to build a case against me for discharge, which is what they were doing. I inadvertently made them show their hand early. The sitters were the result. Well, the only readily apparent result at the moment.
       Victoria awkwardly drifted off shortly thereafter. I went back into my room to plop on the bed for a while. It did not take to long for Paulette to arrive. She had Edna in tow. You may recall Edna served as the witness for my first meeting with Sonya, then said she was not paying attention when I subsequently called Sonya out on her lie on the origin of the “compromise” being offered over Courtney’s visit. Corporate/management did not want an objective witness, and Edna was a team player down to the bone. Paulette was now required to have a witness anytime she dealt with me. She and I were irritated by Edna's presence for a different reason. Edna was oblivious as far as I could tell. If I did not know better, I would have thought she was singing the 'Donuts, Go Nuts” song in her head.
       Paulette came by to tell me she had contacted Dr. Hiatt after we last spoke on Thursday. He wrote a letter t presumably Brock in which he stated, in his professional opinion, I had neither aggressive, nor suicidal intentions. This was a good point. Then he added the suggestion I should instead be utilized as an adviser as o how well residents' needs are being met. Since the only opinion Brock cared for was her own, this was a bad thing to say. He concluded by stating he was more concerned with the damage they could do to me more than any damage they feared I might do to them. If a compromise could not be reached, then I should leave the facility. The letter's intention was to have the sitter's removed and open a dialogue between corporate/Oakhaven and me. The powers that be ignored those two points, and declared Dr. Hiatt advised a discharge. It is as close as they ever came to respecting his opinion, so D- for effort. Mainly because I do not want them to repeat the class.
       The sitters obviously were not going anywhere. I had reached a dead end now with options other than the ombudsman, whom I had yet to even meet. It was time to point out that circumstance needed to change.
       “I still have not seen the ombudsman. You are required to produce her when I ask. I asked thirteen days ago,” I told Paulette.
       “Well, we called her,' Paulette yelled at me. Yes, yelled. She had not learned a thing.
       But I had learned o things. One, Edna did not see it happen even though it could have curled her hair by the close proximity she was to Paulette, and two, I still needed to keep calm. I held my hands out, palms, in a halting gesture.
       “Fine, fine. I am not going to let you provoke me,' I said.
       "I'm not trying to provoke you,” Paulette said.
       We did not exchange much else of substance during the few minutes left in our meeting. It was not warm in the slightest. In fact, after she and Edna left, I realized the latter had never said a word the entire time.
       Fortunately, it appeared Paulette went back to her office and contacted the ombudsman again to remind her I wanted to see her. The ombudsman, Michelle, sent the assistant ombudsman Aysa (pronounced like Asia) to visit me. I liked her immediately.
       "We've read the reports they filed regarding their investigation,' she told me. “We don't believe a word of it.”
       “'You probably should not. Everything I said was accurate,” I said.
       “Michelle excited to meet you. She read through your letter and remarked 'this guy's got a law background.'”
       “Regent University School of Law, Class of 2004.”
      “We don't often get someone w can give us as much detail as you did. You've done just about all our work for us. But have set up a meeting for Wednesday morning at ten AM. Michelle and I will come by about an hour before then to go over some things.”
       “I am allowed into this meeting, yes/”
       “Yes. Just keep cool until then. We're on your side.”
      “Oh, good,” I said with a genuine relief. “I have been in this all alone.”
       Aysa and I chatted personally for a few minutes. After she let, I felt genuinely good about things. Having powerful allies was the first positive thing to happen to me in three weeks of turmoil. I had hoped the day would end on a high note. But I underestimated corporate/Oakhaven penchant for underhanded tactics. The day was not going to end well.
       If you did not get the song reference above:



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