Tag Archives: #Monday Peeve

From Practical Precautions To Paranoid Pandemonium

You do not need me to tell you that 2020 has been pandemonium…and it is not over yet. I have a feeling that this American election is going to mean that 2020 ends on a bang – not in a good way. What I mean by that is whatever the result is, there is going to be a lot of whinging.

Year 2020, Grass, Graphic, Nature

I did not start this post to talk about politics. Oh no. I felt I wanted to write a post for Paula Light’s MONDAY PEEVE (please don’t tell me it is not Monday, I am not in the mood). Yes, that’s right, it is one of those weeks. After being with my family and Jack I have come back to London in a flump. I am a bit of a grump because of feeling discombobulated by this year. But I am not the only one, and I do not want to have a general peeve about a situation we are all in.

Coronavirus, Quarantine, Mask, Covid-19This is a more specific peeve. I totally understand that we are still very much in that phase we need to STAY ALERT. I would only encourage everyone to take precautions, especially in line with local guidelines. I do believe that most people have tried to do their bit to observe guidelines that they can see our designed to protect. However, there have been lots of people with their own interpretation of what social distancing means. At times when people with different attitudes cross paths, conflicts can occur. I have seen it at work, patients yelling at each other, because one patient thinks some else was too close to them.

Here in London, it’s all a bit weird. Everyone seems to be either interpreting the “guidelines” differently (and I acknowledge with all the chopping and changing, not many are sure what the those guidelines are from day to day). but as far as it effects me, this is my day to day life now. As well as wearing PPE at work for many months, now I wear a facemask when I go shopping. That’s a legal requirement (as far as I understand) although some people have exemptions. I am still not using public transport on a regular basis, but recently I caught the tube to Euston Train Station, so of course I wore a facemask for the whole journey.

Girls, Women, Young, People, WearingAs far as I was aware, keeping a distance was still supposed to be very important. In the local shopping precinct there are arrows and signs asking people to observe a “one-way traffic” system. Do you think anyone follows the one-way system? Not when I am walking through the concourse.

I went into a shop recently where they have just installed self-service tills. Self-service tills have been around for years, and I often use them. However, even though I was the only person arriving at the tills, a member of staff still wanted to bound up to me, seize the two items I was purchasing from my hands and operate the self-service till for me. She was just inches away from me the whole time. Perhaps I look like someone who is incapable of operating a self-service till myself…I don’t know?

Tube, London, Underground, StationTo be honest, there are times when it is nearby impossible to keep a distance from other people here in London. I have not used public transport in a long time. I have been walking everywhere for months, but the pavements and supermarkets have been getting steadily busier. Everyday, I pass very close to people. I am sure we breath in the same air. I am not overly anxious. I have never been anxious for myself from the start of the …you know. My main concern was always eliminating ways I could become a vehicle for the virus because I was working with vulnerable patients.

As you know last week, I travelled up to the North of England. There was some even weirder weirdness than anything I have seen in London. Parts of the North have been under stricter social distancing these past few weeks because of a surge of cases. But I was travelling to Cheshire and so far, they have not had the stricter lockdown measures reinstalled. However, like the rest of the country, I expected to see facemasks and some social distancing in operation.

I was nervous about travelling across the country. But I had nothing to fear. Normally, I am thrilled to find an empty seat on a train from London to the North. But for an £11 ticket, on this occasion we had an entire carriage to ourselves. That’s right, there was nobody sitting in the same carriage as I was (except Jack of course). We still kept our facemasks on the whole time.

On the day we arrived the rain was absolutely teeming down. On arriving at the station up north, I wanted to use the Ladies. There was one of those yellow plastic display boards outside that said “CLEANER AT WORK” on one side and “CAUTION – WET FLOOR” on the other side. I presumed they had put it there because of the rain water all over the station platform. When I pushed the door open and walked in, there was only one free cubicle (I think there were six cubicles in total.) I was only surprised because since arriving on the platform I had only see three other passengers. On leaving the cubicle I washed my hands at the sink at the same time as two other women. We automatically spaced out across the bank of sink basins. A member of the station staff came in and started to clean the sinks at the same time as we were using them. She was standing right next to me while I was drying my hands. (This may not seem interesting, but wait for what happened on my return journey through the same station).

Jack and I made our way up to the barriers to exit the station and bundle into the car of one of my relatives (who does not like mobile phones) waiting to collect us. I have been to that station many times and that is always the way out of the station. But the barriers would not open for us. I looked for a member of staff. There were three of them huddled together, not wearing facemasks. When I tried to tell them the barriers were not opening, the guy I spoke to looked at me as if I was in idiot. He told me that we had to walk to the opposite side of the station to leave.

Woman, Platform, Waiting, Train, TracksSo we traipsed through the empty railway station and left on the opposite side of the station. We then walked around the station in the pouring rain. The rain had been very heavy so the pavements were flooded with several inches of water, we had to walk into the road (which was a national speed limit A-road, but fortunately pretty quiet at the time we were rumbling along with our suitcases). I did have an umbrella, which Jack held over us to keep the rain out of our faces, but by the time we made it to the front of the station where the car was waiting for us, we were soaked and our suitcases were soaked.

I was upset when we reached the home of the family members we were staying with. The anniversary card and gift I had bought were soaked through. My shoes and clothes were wet too. That’s what happens when instead of being allowed to walk through a barrier inside the station, you are made to walk around the station in heavy rain. It made me disgruntled. In London a simple cordon ensures a one-way flow of traffic in some rather cramped stations, or else there is no one-way system. Here we were up north at a large airy station with hardly any passengers to be seen and we were given a drenching by a monsoon shower to welcome us.

Bunting, Flags, Blowing, Breeze, WindAnyway…I had a fantastic time with my relatives and tried to forget the bleak arrival. Eventually, we had had to tear ourselves away from the family and make our return journey to London. This time, we were able to pass through those barriers at the front of the station with ease. I was hoping things would be simpler on our return journey. But I had not reckoned with what would happen when I wanted to use the Ladies toilets again before we boarded the train.

I arrived at the Ladies toilets to find the same yellow caution sign outside the toilets. I pushed the door open and went in. This time there was nobody else inside. I chose a cubicle and went in. After around half a minute I could hear a woman’s voice speaking to somebody else. I was inside the cubicle, so I was not sure what was going on but I heard the woman saying, “You’ll have to wait, I need to go in first. Just wait here until I tell you you can come in“. I did not hear the reply from the other woman, but then the first voice said, “That’s what the sign is there for“.

Wc, Toilet, Purely, Public ToiletWell, by this stage I was almost ready to leave the cubicle. I waved my hand across the sensor to trigger the flush mechanism. I could hear the same voice calling out, “Just stay there. I can’t have anyone near me. I’ll tell you when you when I’m finished”.

I opened the cubicle door and recognising the same little lady who had cleaned the sinks the day I arrived, I walked past her and went to use the sink at the opposite side. She then started to yell at me, “I told you to stay where you are. Are you deaf or something? I can’t have anyone near me when I am working. We are supposed to be keeping at least two metres away (I was around four metres away from her at this point, still wearing my facemask). You were supposed to stay in the cubicle until I have cleaned the rest of the toilets and sinks. I will tell you when you are allowed to leave“.

I am so glad the facemask was hiding my expression. Genuinely I did not realize she was addressing me. She could have perhaps knocked on the door of the cubicle to make me realize that she was telling me to stay inside the cubicle. I was bewildered by what she said to me, especially as several days earlier she had decided to stand next to me and clean the sinks at the same time as three of us were trying to wash our hands and make out way out onto the platform.

Washing Hands, Wash Your Hands, HygieneAlready in the process of washing my hands, I paused, and then replied, “Why don’t I just finish off and get out of your way?” I held my hands under the heated air dryer. I could hear her mumbling but could not make out her words. Once the dryer had stopped, I indicated that I would pass to make my exit. She said to me, “Why can’t you just follow the rules? Haven’t you heard of coronavirus?” I was baffled. I was truly baffled. By this point I was ticked off. Falling back on what is normally a reminder to other people that I have been in the trenches during this pandemic, I said, “I work for the NHS“. She said “You should know better!

I just made my way out, wondering when it became so stressful to use the Ladies toilets at a railway station. I am not surprised the travel industry is in a pickle. We have all had to adapt to what has been asked of us (which is important). For the most part people are doing what they have been asked. But then we venture out away from home and find a whole other set of rules.

Upset, Sad, Confused, Figurine, UnhappyOr perhaps not. Perhaps there is not another set of rules at all. Perhaps we are just coming across people at different ends of the spectrum. The spectrum that starts with people who don’t seem to care at all…has a middle zone of people taking sensible precautionary practical measures to protect themselves and other people…and at the other end has people who seem paranoid and pedantic.

I empathise with all sorts of business and retailers who are trying to get the balance right between “customer service” and keeping staff and customers safe. But even when you have to ask a customer to observe a rule, there is a polite way to do it. Frankly, I thought that the member of the station staff cleaning was rather rude. However, she obviously thought I was inconsiderate. Somedays I do not know what to make of it. I am going to draw a line and put it behind me because I don’t feel bad.

Corona, Mask Duty, Protective MaskJust like the vast majority of people, I have made many sacrifices as was asked of me, including holidays, social gatherings and freedom to do as I please. I have worked overtime for months. The first time I have seen my family since December and it was a great week. I wear a facemask all day at work and whenever asked to do so. I keep a distance wherever possible. I have even gone the extra mile and stopped using the communal kettle and microwave at work, I always take a flask and a salad for lunch. I know that I have been taking sensible, reasonable, practical precautions and have completely changed my lifestyle because I care about interrupting the spread of a virus that threatens precious older and vulnerable people. So I am not going to let one station employee belittle me and label me inconsiderate.

I am just going to hope that she does not use that rather questionable term “…are you deaf?” towards any other passengers. If she does, I think she is going to get herself into trouble.

I Need A Hug

Paula Light, the creator of Light Motifs II hosts the MONDAY PEEVE (I know it is Thursday today) and invites us all to join along as you can see from this week’s post below:

https://lightmotifs.wordpress.com/2020/05/18/the-monday-peeve-36/

Well, it’s double trouble from me this week. last night, I published the first part of my peeve. This is to explain what else has been eating at me.

Rough, Day, Hard, Tired, Dirty, WomanOk…I will tell you. I am working at least six days a week. On top of that, I have been enrolled on a course because I have started to do work I am not technically qualified for. Some of my colleagues are on furlough. They made the right decision for them. I am working extra hours, as my other colleagues at work are. But we are tired.

We are working hard. It’s not just the physical work and the long hours that are tiring. We are hearing all the stress and anxiety from our patients and their families. I am sending money to family who have lost work during recent weeks. I am very happy to do that. I am doing my bit to support and encourage everyone I know. I am helping my landlords with grocery shopping (have been doing so for weeks), gardening and lots of other domestic tasks. In addition I have my own housework and laundry to keep up with. I have also managed to finish my Annabelle Riley series and seen the third and final part published (yay!!!)

But with all this…the truth is, I am tired. My longed for holiday to Australia is not going to happen. My boyfriend is in Africa having the time of his life. I have not had a hug from anyone in over three months 😦

iedfljbhvdThere was a mistake at work. It didn’t involve a life or injury to anybody. It’s a case of money down the drain. It involved stock and the loss of money. There was no dishonesty involved. In truth the responsibility for the mistake is split. It happened on a day I was not at work. But the next day it was brought to my attention. I did not understand that at that point I could have done something about it. I had so much other work thrown at me, so I didn’t think to worry myself about something that happened on a day I was cleaning and ironing.

I am annoyed at myself that after all the weeks of hard work and going the extra mile day after day, I came home completely deflated. I was sobbing because I didn’t understand that I could have prevented the loss of all that money. If I had understood what to do, I could have done something about it. Now we all look like idiots. But we are so busy. So we have bled a lot of money. The main cause was computers. Computers automatically creating invoices based in inaccurate stock levels.

Woman, Girl, Sadness, I Feel Sorry ForBut the point is, I am annoyed because after all the good good good things I have done with care and a smile on my face and a heart of love…all I felt was deflation on discovering that we just bled a small fortune. I wanted to cry. I did cry. Why is it, that even when you have done so much to help others with the best of motives, something falls through the net and when you realize all you can think about is the mistake, the missed opportunity.

I don’t like it, but my teenage sweetheart’s father always used to say:

YOU ARE ONLY AS GOOD AS YOUR LAST MISTAKE

…in other words, that is all our mind can think about sometimes. My heart is so heavy and I feel so deflated, that despite all the hard work and wonderful cooperative spirit at work, we bled all that money…partly because we are all so busy and so tired and because technology is not reliable.

I need a hug!

There Is No Golden Ticket

Paula Light, the creator of Light Motifs II hosts the MONDAY PEEVE (I know it is Wednesday today) and invites us all to join along as you can see from this week’s post below:

https://lightmotifs.wordpress.com/2020/05/18/the-monday-peeve-36/

Angry, Serious, Woman, Lady, DepressionWell, my peeve is not a specific thing. It is just that a collection of little things, little oddities is getting to me. There is noone to blame. I am not even sure there is a real reason for complaint. It’s just the combined collective accrual of all this oddness is getting to me and the truth is I am tired of weirdness everywhere I look.

Where do I begin? Maybe with the TESTING FOR ANTIBODIES situation. I have been a frontline member of staff for months. During February and March we saw vast quantities of patients before safety measures were really stepped up. My theory is that surely I came into contact with the …you know, but I have not fallen ill. Whether or not I have antibodies, I do not know. I will not know apparently without being tested.

Bar, Pub, Restaurant, Drink, PeopleBut why should I be tested? If I do have antibodies does that mean I can stop wearing PPE at work? Nope! Does it mean I can start going to the pub? Nope! The pubs are not open for people who have antibodies. Does it mean I can fly to Australia to see Goldfinch in June? Nope! Not on your Nelly. So how does me being tested for antibodies personally benefit me? I am not 100% sure.

Whether I have antibodies in my system or not, it does not prevent me from being a vehicle for the …you know, or a carrier. I am not classed as in a vulnerable category. I am in my thirties and I have no underlying health concerns that make me “at risk”. I understand that all of the social distancing restrictions have prevented the likes of me (especially as someone who works for the NHS) from putting other people, more vulnerable people at risk.

idufaduihSo, I was baffled when some of my acquaintance were celebrating that they have finally been approved for antibody tests. They have been working from home, sunbathing in their garden, going for bike-rides.

Does that make them more or less likely to have been exposed to the …you know… than me? I would have thought less likely. I have been at least working six days a week for months and interacting with large numbers of people (and I kid you not, it is impossible for staff to maintain a two metre distance from each other and from patients).

It does seem weird to me that they have been whining and whinging about having an antibody test (I have no idea why they think it is so important that they have it) when neither myself nor my colleagues have been tested for antibodies. We are not moaning at work. We are grateful for all the support from the NHS and the government. Some have been off sick. Others (including me) haven’t. Some are on furlough. Others (including me) are working extra hours in difficult conditions.

Bicycle, Bike, Casual, Fashion, ModelThem knowing whether while working from home, sunbathing in the garden and going for bike rides they have been exposed to the …you know, and developed antibodies – what difference will it make to them? They are in their twenties and thirties. Whether they have antibodies or not, they are not in a vulnerable category, but they can still be vehicles, carriers of the …you know.

I guess what I am trying to say is, I am not really certain why so much attention has been given to the antibody test. In the case of someone who may be more at risk, I can understand why they might want to know if they have antibodies, as perhaps they will feel safer returning to work (if they cannot work from home). But it is still not going to give them the green light to disregard all the social distancing restrictions in place to protect the most vulnerable.

Golden, Ticket, Admission, DecorativeThere is a lot of weirdness on this subject…and it is getting to me. I feel like telling some people to get real. Unless you have a real reason to require an antibody test, (perhaps an underlying health complaint and a job that requires interaction with the public?) what miracles are you expecting? “Oh you have been tested and found to have antibodies, that means you get a special golden ticket to go and drink in your local pub, have a holiday in Ibiza and to be allowed to attend concerts and sports events”. Nope! Whether you have antibodies in your system or not, you are still at risk of harming others by carrying the …you know.

Test Tube, Covid-19, Mask, MedicalIs this making sense? I guess the prime time to test for the …you know was early. (Not an antibody test at all.) It seems that would have been the most effective time to track and trace and control the spread of the …you know. But after it spread like wildfire, well whether you or I have antibodies or not, we can’t go about as if we have won the golden ticket and thereby start risking all those precious dear folk who have been wisely staying at home all this time.

So why friends my age and younger who have spent most of the past three months sunbathing, zooming and going on bike-rides, are all demanding they have antibody tests – I have not the foggiest clue!

lufdisdiudhAnd please please don’t get me started on this talk of an app. An app. Ay karumba – an app is not going to… right I am not even going to start this sentence because I am so tired, it will come out all wrong. The truth is…I am tired. I don’t normally peeve or moan about things. But the weirdness is getting to me.

I am trying to do my bit…working hard, helping support our patients through their hardships. But I keep hearing young people who are clearly struggling with the social restrictions saying the weirdest things and seeking their golden ticket so they can get back to what they are missing. I don’t think they get it.

OK Paula…I think that is enough for one day. I was going to tell you about a ridiculous situation we had at work, but I think I have exceeded my moaning margins for the day. I will give you another Peeve tomorrow.