Thursday, 14 July 2011

How to be Loved

Some further words of advice from Cpl. G. H. Varley.
At the Admission and Discharge Office ('Sergeant-Major's Office', so called because the Sergeant-Major is in the Staff Clerks' Office).

1. When going about a Case Sheet, never know any particulars. Just ask for Jones's or Smiths's Case Sheet. Sherlock Holmes, the Staff Sergeant, loves unravelling mysteries, and it helps to fill up his time.

2. Always take old Diet Sheets to this office, and always ask, when you enter, if it is the Board Room. The old Diet Sheets really go to the Matron's Kitchen, but the Discharge Office men like to see you - they are very lonely there.

3. Smoking is not allowed in the corridors, so drop in to the Discharge Office. Cigarettes and lounges are specially provided.

4. If you want a window mended, call and ask to see the Quartermaster. He isn't there, but Barker will sympathise with you. (N.B. - If possible, leave the window there - and the door open - you can then call back later and have some more sympathy.)

5. Always buy your stamps here instead of at the Post Office. (The men get 1d. in 1s. on all they sell.) If you don't want any yourself, buy some for your friends.

6. If you want to know the time (of a train) call in when the staff are extra busy. They revel in looking up trains for other people to go away in. Tell them all about the lovely holiday you are going to have.

7. If some men in your ward have to report here at, say, ten o'clock, don't let them go till later. L/Cpl. Christian will run down and fetch them; he is in training for the next Marathon Race, and wants practice.

8. All letters of patients who have left should be taken to this office. The staff here will send them to the Post Office for you with pleasure the next time a motor lorry is going that way. (Any self-respecting, properly managed hospital would have a post office conveniently situated, not miles away.)

9. "Have you got our list?" - the war-cry of the Stores. Go in and chant this as often as possible. They are all musical in this office, and the more you chant it the more they'll love you.

10. But if you want to be really adored, 'phone up and ask them if they are the switchboard or have they a taxi.

In short, if you want to be loved at this office, treat it as a railway station, a lost property office, a tram terminus, a post office, a lounge, an information bureau; treat the staff as guides, philosophers, and friends, but never mention admissions or discharges.

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