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Jellybean of Thark
Level 6: 1198 points
Alltime Score: 5432 points
Last Logged In: December 14th, 2016
BADGE: INTERREGNUM TEAM: The Disorganised Guerilla War On Boredom and Normality TEAM: El Lay Zero TEAM: The Ezra Buckley Foundation TEAM: SØS Brigade TEAM: SFØ Société Photographique TEAM: Abby-Normal TEAM: 0UT TEAM: Run-of-the-mill taskers TEAM: The Ultimate Collaboration Team TEAM: Synaesthetics TEAM: LØVE TEAM: Level Zerø TEAM: DIYvøters TEAM: Public Library Zero TEAM: BRCØ TEAM: Silly Hats Only The University of Aesthematics Rank 1: Expert Biome Rank 2: Ecologist Society For Nihilistic Intent And Disruptive Efforts Rank 1: Anti

25 + 72 points

Documentary Defiance by Jellybean of Thark

July 24th, 2009 12:10 AM

INSTRUCTIONS: Document something you are prohibited from documenting.

I'm sorry.

When I saw this task approved, I knew I would end up doing it, and I knew it wouldn't be nice. I didn't know I'd be motivated by spite. That's a nasty thing to let yourself be propelled by, and I'm sorry for that.

There's a lot of cranky rambling and some photos that aren't very good.  Feel free to skip to the photos. The short story is that these photos were taken with my telephone in the Emergency Room of the Los Angeles County USC Medical Center.  They have a no photo policy there.

Here goes:

   I'm one of those guys that carries a camera all the time.  It's in my shoulder bag all the time.  So if I'm in a hurry to get my wife to the county emergency room*, where I know they don't like that sort of thing, I'm not necessarily going to remember to take it out. Being a messenger bag sort of guy who was in a hurry, I just snagged it and Heather and I blasted off to the hospital.

   The L.A. County Emergency Room is where you go if you've got no medical insurance, and you need medical help. It's provided by the county, so it's nice and cheap. This means, it's nice and crowded, and no matter the ailment, or how early you get there, you're going to be there awhile. Overcrowded, so security is going to be a little jumpier than at most hospitals. This means metal detectors, and restrictions on cameras.

   We arrive at the ER, and my belt sets off the metal detector, rather than just lift my shirt to show them the buckle, like at the airport, I have to take it off. Heather's purse and my bag come through the x-ray machine. She's waved through and I'm asked to stay at the security desk a moment so I tell her to start the check in process while I'm questioned.

   The issue is the contents of my bag. They want to look at everything, and I get that, because there's a few funny shapes in there. I keep my harmonica in the little plastic box it came in to keep the dust out, that thing's going to look funny on the screen. To someone unfamiliar with the real thing, my chapstick's going to look like a bullet. There are wires in my bag (camera cable), an unfamiliar electric device in a funny pouch (mp3 player), an unfamiliar black lump (wallet) and a Swiss Army knife with a 4 inch handle (whoops!). What really concerns them is my camera.

   Heather says she's going ahead to check in, I'm not being let in just yet.  I can either leave the camera at the desk or in my car.  I'm not about to leave it in a hot car in an uncovered parking lot on a
toasty Summer day.  I know folks who've wrecked cameras that way. I'm not comfortable leaving at the security desk. 
They're only there until 11pm, and again, being an emergency room, I
have no idea when we'll be done.

   The conversation goes on like this for a little while:

"You can't bring a camera in here. No photos, there's a sign outside."
"There's no sign."
"You can't take pictures in here."
"I don't want to take pictures."
"We don't know that."
"I'll leave the batteries here."
"Let's call the police. The cops'll deal with him."
"If you have the batteries, I can't take pictures."

Getting their supervisor on the horn didn't help, I had the same conversation with him.  Somewhere in here, Heather has checked in and is now in the preliminary exam room waiting to answer the pre-screen questions.

"You're not allowed to take pictures."
"I can't take pictures."
"Patients, the patients here are allowed their privacy."
"I'm physically unable to take pictures if you have my batteries."
"We don't know that."
"I'm leaving you the spares too." During this phone call, one of the younger guards keeps asking to be allowed to call the cops on me.
"You need to stop wasting our time."
"I agree."
"No pictures."
"But I'm allowed to take my phone in? That's got a camera."
"A lot of phones have cameras, this is true."
"Why are camera phones allowed?"
"No pictures!"

   Heat be danged, I'm not comfortable leaving my camera with someone who can't understand how a camera doesn't work. Don't worry though, when I handed the phone back to one of the guards at the desk, I was told this:

"I'm sorry, but you're going to have to leave."

I got my fool self kicked out of the ER! Yes, yes I did. Oh, and dig on this: I pick up my bag and turn to walk into the pre-screening room, this hallway here

to tell Heather what's happened and, "Sir. You cannot take that camera into the hospital.". I set the bag on the desk, and start to walk towards my wife.

"Sir. No. No, you need to go now."

   So, now I'm kicked out, and can't go in to tell my wife what's happened. She's like 20 feet from where I'm standing. She's been watching and she can see everything's is not coming up Milhouse, and she's scared. I'm trying to mime what I've just been told and the younger guard tells me to leave. She says she'll tell my wife what's up.

   "Who? Short hair? Which one, the gentleman with the brown hair?". Delightful.

I find a bench in the shade outside the door.  I wonder how long I'm going to be sitting here. 

Heather's already afraid of how her sick finger is impacting her school work (stenography), and she hates hospitals, they scare her, and now she gets to hang out in one for the next ten hours. 
I keep seeing the confused look on Heather's face as she watched.  I
keep seeing the way the confusion turned to fear as she was told I had
been kicked out of a hospital.  I did that to her.

  After maybe twenty minutes the supervisor appears.  I'm still pretty upset, mad about the whole thing, certainly not just the camera thing now.  I'm ready to have the argument again, but all the fight's gone out of me.  I just want to get in to sit with Heather.

The supervisor apologizes for the whole thing, I'm not being allowed in with the camera, but I'm now told that there's covered parking across the street.  Right in the shade. I can go back in with Heather.

She's upset with security, and with me too. She's also relieved to have me with her, and feeling better for it she says.

At some point, I go up to go to the toilet.

One of the janitors comes in while I'm there, he doesn't seem to care that I'm taking a photo of myself, but he did leave the toilet without washing his hands, so it evened out.

I cheer Heather up by taking photos of bums.

Some hours later, Heather's called up through the big double doors to Admissions (thought she'd already done that). I'm not allowed in with her. They'll let me know when she's done.

About after a half-hour of this, I decide that I do want to go in, but she's not in there at the Admissions desk. I turn out of the Admissions hall and start walking the corridors peeking in the rooms with open doors. I find another waiting room, a smaller one, and ask the guard in there where I could find her.

"Oh, over there, try looking over there.", he points out the door down the hall.

Over there. I walk down the hall until I run out of over there to walk to, again peeking in rooms as I go.

At the check in desk, the clerk can't find her.

She's not in the hospital's system, they've lost her. She's already been issued an identification bracelet and she's not in the system.

I'm told to check back in an hour, she should be in the system then.

I check back every five minutes, and am soon led to a communal room where Heather is sitting by herself looking so sad. Her arms are crossed and she's slumped forward. Her eyes are tired, and she wants to go home. But she looks up and is surprised to see me, I'm very happy to see her. We can sit and wait together, it's nice to do things as a couple.

After another two hours or so,
the doctor comes back in to finish examining her finger. The results of her tests will come in later, but she'll be given a prescription for some ferocious antibiotics.

In an hour she's discharged, and we head off to the hospitals pharmacy to get the prescription filled.

Five minutes after that, we'll be heading back to the room because the doctor did not sign the prescription.

In one and a half hours, we'll get it signed and can go back to the pharmacy.

Fifteen minutes after that, we leave with the prescription filled.

It's 3 in the morning, and we've had a late dinner and are just now getting home. It's 3 am and I have to get up for work in two hours. It's 3 am and that's just fine, because we're home now and in bed.

*Heather's fine, it was nothing too dangerous, a nasty skin rash.  If my wife were really in danger, I would not have spent the next ten hours playing this game.  If Heather had been in real danger, this praxis would not exist. I'm not that much of a dick.

- smaller



Just like mySpace!

Not a butt.

Not a butt.

Still not a butt

Still not a butt



This is the pre-screening room. At the end of it is the security desk. That's Heather's shoulder at the bottom. This was after we'd been there awhile. She was called in because there was some confusion about her last name. Some years ago when we were still dating, she'd checked in here. She was in the hospital's records under her old name. Her now being Gonzalez was making things confusing.



This is the check in desk. I bothered the lady here until I was taken to my wife.



"Read the sign Employee Bathroom" I thought this was funny.



The analog clock next to the digital clock! Perhaps it was me being tired, but I found this high-larious.

18 vote(s)


(none yet)

10 comment(s)

(no subject)
posted by saille is planting praxis on July 24th, 2009 7:40 AM

I am giving you five points in the full awareness that they are no compensation for shitty health care and stupid, belligerent security with more than the usual hard-on for authority and fear of their bullying and incompetence being recorded, but it's the least I can do.

(no subject)
posted by Jellybean of Thark on July 24th, 2009 5:38 PM

Thank you.

I know this isn't my praxis but...
posted by Lincøln on July 24th, 2009 8:17 AM

I have never been without my camera when in County. Maybe it's because every time I'm there it's because I really really need to be there and I'm the afflicted party (except those few times I drove your wife there). But usually I have my camera in my pocket the whole time.

Here are a few shots I have gotten while there.
I wish I had my camera with me that time I was dying.
In retrospect I should have had you bring it to me.

(no subject)
posted by Jellybean of Thark on July 24th, 2009 5:44 PM

I would've for sure brought you the camera then, but I think that was after your camera fried in the van.

(no subject)
posted by rongo rongo on July 24th, 2009 12:48 PM

That sounds like a total crap experience...sorry it happened to you two.

(no subject)
posted by Jellybean of Thark on July 24th, 2009 5:45 PM

Thank you, Lady Rongo.

I can understand a rule against taking photos of patients. . .
posted by Loki on July 28th, 2009 5:04 PM

. . . but, this is just nuts. Sorry you had to deal with it, CM.

Try this next time: +1
posted by Bex. on August 29th, 2011 12:05 PM

I've found that fainting dramatically in the waiting room bumps you up in line a bit, especially if you appear to have a seizure and wet your pants.

(no subject) +1
posted by Jellybean of Thark on August 29th, 2011 2:07 PM

All hand to forehead, going "My I believe I have the vapors."

Bex, you rad.

(no subject) +1
posted by Bex. on August 29th, 2011 3:56 PM

No, you.