hoists . . . and heists?

September 1, 2007

You never know what a day will bring.
This particular day brought the occasion for me to display my brute strength–or at least my brute stupidity . . .
One of our more vocal residents wheeled herself into the office shouting that somebody needed to get Mr. Williams off the ground. Now it is common knowledge around the facility that Mr. Williams is not the most sober of gentlemen, so I immediately suspected the cause for his prone position, My suspician proved correct. In this case, he could have actually harmed himself badly, as he was outside on a concrete patio at the time. But when I peered over him, he returned my gaze in an encouragingly coherent manner, glassy eyes and tell-tale breath notwithstanding. Mr Williams?, I began, Are you ok? “Well . . . I guess so,” was his reply. So, while a crowd of elderly men and women gathered around to comment on the daily state of Mr. Williams, I hoisted him back up onto the bench. A few more questions left me reasonably assured that he was unhurt, so I brought him some water and then returned inside. I had to laugh a bit later when the initial announcer of the situation came back to ask how Mr. Williams had gotten back up. I got him up, Miss June–he’s fine now. “What?!?,” she incredulously replied. “What about all the men out there?” They watched me, I told her, grinning.
Several hours later I was finishing up my distribution of the newsletter, walking down the hallway after exiting the stairwell. As I neared the office, I watched the almost comical scene of Mr. Williams’ slow roll from the wooden bench onto the floor. I was almost next to him by that point, so I could see that he was conscious as he fell. And I’m afraid I must admit that I was not too concerned as I watched: my intitial reaction was a bemused thought of Oh, so that’s how he did it the last time!.
Admittedly, this is NOT the way one should respond when watching an elderly gentleman fall–please do not take my admission as any sort of justification for my wrong response! But in this case, it turned out to be fine. He was still coherent–in an inebriated sort of way–and he let me hoist him back up again. While I did so, he apologized, saying he didn’t know what was wrong with him today. A coworker had come over by that point, and she rolled her eyes as he said this. I have had significantly fewer dealings with Mr. Williams than she has had; consequently, I still have a significantly greater level of patience remaining. We’ll see how long that lasts :-)

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