05 October 2016

Yesterday, at Work

It’s after Labor Day, so therefore many of the homeless and panhandlers are moving away from downtown - because the tourists are gone, along with their wallets and donations - and spreading across midtown. Many of them are known to camp along the midtown greenbelt, and unfortunately they discovered this location a few years ago.

We had an intoxicated or otherwise incapacitated patient in the building yesterday. But it didn't start out that way.

Unfortunately, he was being escorted by a "friend" who reeked of beer. They were arguing on the sidewalk out front, and I was called to, ahem, encourage them to move along.

Turns out the nearly-incapacitated guy really was a patient, and I followed the two of them onto the elevator. Neither knew where the clinic was, so I got involved again, discovered what he was looking for, and wound up walking him to the clinic. He couldn't remember which floor it was on, nor his doctor's name. But the clinic knew him, and I happily handed him off to them.

An hour later, he was seated outside the coffee shop, awaiting his escort back to wherever, and the nearby tenants panicked. "He's scaring our patients!"

"Really? What's he doing?"

"He's just sitting there, but he might do something." And so the familiar refrain went on. And on. So I walked out front to encourage him to wait outside, but he was already gone.

However, the “friend” who was with him this morning was back a half hour later, even more intoxicated, and arguing with a third homeless guy. They proceeded to get into a shouting match in front of the "doc in a box" clinic. 

I was able to separate them peacefully, and had just sent one on his way when the police (called by a tenant, unknown to me) showed up.

I was able to point out the second guy, who had passed out in the grass on the side of the building, so the officer went after him, too. Meanwhile, I picked up the empty vodka bottles (the homeless' liquor of choice, it seems), a metal crack pipe, and various other debris he'd apparently emptied from his hoodie.

Look, folks, I'm not a freakin' security guard; I'm the facilities manager. I'll keep the lights, heat, and air conditioning on, and call for a plumber when you clog up your commode again. But stop calling me for every drunk that stumbles across the parking lot, 'kay?

It's getting old.

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