The next day brought a visit from Aysa with a copy of Michelle's ruling. Everyone knew the ombudsman's ruling would be in my favor, but the wording was going to be pivotal. Bless her heart, Michelle gave me all the room I needed to be a legal case against corporate/Oakhaven. I was quite happy. For the first time in weeks, I might add.
Michelle deemed the effort to discharge me was improper. Corporate/Oakhaven's claim their providing amenities, such real (Wi Fi and a baseball) and others fabricated (boom box, CD, books on tape, etc) counted as all reasonable steps to satisfy my needs, and, since I was not satisfied, should be discharged. However, none of that fits within the description of services provided by a skilled nursing facility. The feeding tube does, and all parties agreed the nightly tube feedings were successfully maintaining my weight. So all parties were satisfied with the skilled nursing care being provided. No one addressed the bizarre personal attacks about alleged coded messages on Facebook or supposedly projecting “hatred for [my] sister who abandoned [me] into Brock. Everyone wanted the claims swept under the rug. Except me, but what could I do? Well other than sue for slander and/or defamation? The ruling acknowledged, in spite of all this, I had agreed to leave because of the toxic environment, which I supposed addressed the bizarre personal attacks without mentioning them.
Turnabout is fair play. It was arguable corporate/Oakhaven had violated the agreement by failing to provide a non-abusive environment. A hefty paper trail of their abusive behavior towards me existed from DHEC. The possibilities for slander and/or defamation cases were self-evident. The ruling left me with much freedom to pursue legal actions for the abuses I had suffered.
After Aysa left, I took the ruling in search of Victoria. She seemed to be the only Oakhaven management type who did not recoil from me like a vampire from garlic. Failing that, I was going to go to Marlie's office. She would know where Victoria was. In keeping with my bad luck, I encountered Paulette first. I suspected a coin flip determined how she acted towards me on any given day. Some days, I was scum of the earth who ruined her promising career. Other days, we were bosom buddies. Today the coin must have landed the later side up.
“Are you looking for me?” she asked as she stepped out her doorway at the same time I passed it.
The answer was no, but she could find Victoria as fast as Marlie could, so okay. She needed a witness. I suggested Victoria. Paulette insisted on Edna, but fortune smiled on m and Victoria appeared first. Paulette read the ruling with an interest that made clear she liked being part of a drama from which she was otherwise excluded As I sat in front of her desk, it dawned on me there was no reason for Paulette to read the ruling other than to satisfy personal curiosity. She handed it off to Victoria who took less time to absorb it all. As luck would have it Brock passed by the office door on her way down the hall. Victoria went trotting after her with the ruling.
“I've read it,” Brock tersely responded.
Sure enough, she had. I had not bothered to look at the date. Brock had been sent the letter on Monday. There was a confidentiality clause. I suppose that meant this was our little secret unless I let it be known. She was not happy to see I had not kept it between us. Then again, Brock was never really happy about anything. I am sure a failed attempt to improperly discharge a resident she despised is a special instance.
Victoria handed the ruling back to me. “it doesn't say anything new.”
“No,” I said. “But it is now in black and white you all were in the wrong. In other words...I won.”
“We're not against you, Jamie,” Victoria said.
“Could have fooled me. Spying on me. Accusing me of making coded death threats. Putting me one on one for no reason. Accusing me projecting alleged hatred for my sister onto Brock. Whose butt did you pull that out of?”
I noticed Paulette flinch ever so slightly. I am not certain if it was because I had suggested before she might have told Brock that or out of guilt for actually having done so. The matter was still murky at the time. Still, it was interesting to see her body language.
“You're never going to be happy here, Jamie,” Victoria said.
“It's a nursing home. No one is happy to be here! Besides, your job is not to keep me happy. T is to keep me healthy. Now, if you would just act like professionals and do that.”
It was clear from both Brock and Victoria's demeanor they knew they had blown it with the improper discharge. If I changed my mind and backed out of the agreement to leave, the law was on my side. Their desperation was amusing. Only an idiot would stay at any Wilson Senior Care facility, much less Oakhaven specifically, after the mistreatment I had received, but since they dreaded the prospect of being stuck with me that much, it was fun to tease the prospect of a slam dunk appeal of the discharge. But the weekend brought a visitation to a couple assisted living facilities and a perspective altering turn of events.