Extended Role

I had a job that required me to undertake an extended role.

The call came down as 'Patient's own hospital bed broken, patient stuck', rather predictably I had visions of some little old lady folded in two by an electric bed.

The 'patient', as it were was sitting in their chair, he husband was running around flapping and the domestic carer was looking confused.

The bed was a type that I had never seen before, it had a hydraulic ram underneath it which tipped the mattress on end by 90 degrees, I suppose so the patient sort of 'slides' into an upright position.

The bed was stuck in this upright position – if the sheets had been black it would have looked like the Monolith from 2001.

After some fiddling around (a technical term) I managed to get it into the horizontal position and checked that it would raise and lower as designed. I'm grateful for my various experiences fixing broken things.

So ten minutes later, after pointing out the rather large print on his bed's instruction folder (Which said 'Emergency out of hours technician ring 0800 xxxx'), and we left another satisfied customer.

I decided to have a joke with Control.

“Control, The patient's bed is fixed, I'll do my paperwork for this job then I'll be ready for any blocked gutters or windows that need fixing”.

Funny how people panic and call us…

18 thoughts on “Extended Role”

  1. I hope you're not trying to jump the queue with your tea-based bribery*. I've got him booked in to change a lightbulb tonight.*weak pun not intended

  2. In such a situation would you not be tempted to refuse to fix it? To help get people into the mindset that you can't call an ambulance for such things? T.

  3. What goes through the heads of these people i wonder. Emergency service!! They should look up the definition and learn it isnt the same as emergency call out!! I have a dodgy spring on my bed that is causing havoc with my back……..hmmm shall i call an ambulance?…………… Nicky x

  4. Good news is of course that since they're encouraging anyone with chest pain to dial 999 (“I forgot to take my rabeprazole this morning, but they said any chest pain I should dial 999”), you're likely to get a lot “waste” calls.[/cynic]

  5. Blimey Tom – you really don't know how to be a propper British worker do you? The rule with a job like this is that you take one look at the job and feign complete and utter astonishment before uttering the standard phrase “sorry love, can't touch it. You see that's not my department, I'm not covered. If you was to have a nasty accident with that bed after I'd left where would I stand eh? Health & safety says you've got to wait 4 days for a qualified bed lowerer and sleep on the floor in the mean time.”You can mutter “more than my job's worth” if you want to cause maximum annoyance! What sort of state would the world be in if everyone just used their innitiative and got on with the job??Don't let it happen again;-)

  6. You non-ambo types might think this is a “one-off” – not by any stretch of the imagination!!! We get calls from an awful lot of eastern European refugees etc, who want assorted and various household items fixed, drains and sinks un-blocked, fuses changed and so on. It has always bothered me why this is. Well, a while back I spoke to a bloke from “Language Line” who translate calls from non-English speakers for the LAS. It transpires that – in a lot of other countries – they actually dial the same number for ALL emergencies, whether they be Fire, Police, Ambulance or the afore-mentioned blocked drains, fuses blown and so on. Unfortunately, no-one bother to point out to them that it doesn't work like that in London. Having said that, in west London, we have a large, interesting and – occasionally – hilarious number of regular customers who want the TV channel changed, the kettle filled, a cup of tea made, and – on one occasion – a weeks worth of family laundry washed and ironed.

  7. I suppose in some ways that's better than there being a little old lady crushed as the “filling” in a folding electric bed sandwich…I must say I agree with Ian above, although he's missed the mandatory sucking air in through one's teeth – perhaps that was simply too obvious to mention?

  8. The sucking air through the teeth has to be done at he same time as scratching (either head or bum cleavage – or both if experienced).You then have to give an exaggerated estimate of the cost of repair, and then (as a favour) reduce the price to one which is still inflated but they will be willing to pay as they feel they've had a discount.

    You did yourself out of some easy dosh methinks

  9. My mum had some sort of automated back rest on her hospital ( at home) bed. One nght it randomly sat her bolt upright.Luckily she always saw the funny side of things.

    She would probably have had a laugh if she had know that, after she died, the medical loans people came to collect the bed and kept asking for her by name. In the end my sister had to say Mrs *** is dead that is why you are here to collect her bed

  10. Aha; the same kind of problem drove a colleague from the high excitement of banking into the arms of the ambulance service. His outfit – for all its IT wizardry – took over 6 months to come up with a way of persuading the computer which drove its “Mail Flyer Through Your Letterbox” system to stop sending news of its amazing new loan rates etc to people with names such as “Mr A B Smith (Deceased)”Cold calling, or dead letter drop?

  11. Wow, imagine having a real number you could call for a spider in the bath, chest pains, burglars – or dirty laundry! I'm stunned, and emigrating, in that order LOL.

  12. Well if the retirement age keeps getting bumped back, no reason why the dead should get to take it easy. I think Rentaghost had the right idea – no more lazing around all day just because you're dead, get out there, get earning and pay your taxes!

  13. For a moment, I couldn't help thinking that a phone number for “spider in the bath” would be a fantastic idea…*shudders*

  14. At least they admitted that it was a bed problem to the call taker. Round here they'd have rung it through as “chest pains” as they know that they're unlikely to get a response for “my bed's broken”.

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