Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Through the Window

I've been working all over the place this week, with medical students and doctors.

One of the things I enjoy is that some of the work is in unusual venues. I'm particularly fond of football grounds where I can be doing a roleplay in one of the boxes whilst, a long way below, someone is rolling the turf.

Today I was in one of the nicest places I ever work in: the White Hart in Harrogate. It's a very old hotel which is also used as a conference centre and training centre for the NHS, and it's delightful.

I worked in various smallish rooms in the hotel. It was very intense, requiring lots of concentration - - - so I got a bit of a shock in one room when I looked up and saw a white deer standing outside the window. This was particularly unusual since we were on the first floor and several yards above ground level.

I was lost in a rather complex piece of dialogue so it took a few moments for me to work out what I was seeing - - and if you click on this link you'll see it too, and you can work out which room I was in. Oh yes, the White Hart - - of course - - !

So then I moved to the next room along for the next session and again I was facing the window. I was listening intently to what the doctor I was working with was saying - - and then suddenly what appeared to be a white net with green inside appeared from below outside the window. Again, it took me a second or two to work out what I was seeing - - and I realised that it was a huge Christmas tree, covered in white netting. Having popped up, it gradually moved first to one side of the window, and then to the other, and finally to the middle.

It did look like one of those Ents from The Lord of the Rings and I have to say it was very Ent-ertaining (yes, I know, groan, I don't care).

All this time I was concentrating on serious medical matters - - and then a pole popped up and poked at the white netting, jiggling up and down to try and remove it.

Nothing - - NOTHING - will ever bring me out of role in a roleplay - - but this tree was absolutely in my line of vision, and yet the doctor I was working with had his back to it so couldn't see any of it at all. I doubled my concentration - there was no way I wanted the doctor to realise that there was anything interesting going on, even though the impulse to shout "It's behind you!" grew stronger by the moment.

After about five minutes of pole-jiggling, the netting finally came off, accompanied by muted cheers from the floor below - - and then a sad little"Ohhhhh noooooo" as the tree slowly and inexorably fell over backwards and vanished from view.

I have to say it was hilarious and I am proud to say that the doctor never noticed any of it.

At the end of the day I was back in that room again. It was dark by now and there was the tree, outside the window, now covered in fairy lights and looking very Christmassy.

One of the things that I love about my work is that it's always interesting. Even though sometimes this is not quite for the reasons you might expect.


Anonymous Ruth said...

Excellent! and if it happened in a sitcom people would think it was too far fetched.

Congratulations on keeping your composure.

6:31 pm  
Blogger rhymeswithplague said...

Funny story! Thanks for sharing it with your readers.

12:47 pm  
Blogger Yorkshire Pudding said...

"...and then a pole popped up and poked at the white netting". That's the Poles for you! You wouldn't get a British worker doing that but those Poles are not afraid of hard work.

3:16 pm  

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