Thursday, May 31, 2012

Placement Misadventures

For the last 3 months I have been on a placement, which is basically just an unpaid internship where I do a lot of extra work for the university, like write reflectively about myself each week, and then do it again but make the paper really long, and then do it again but make the last paper shorter and fill it with more variety in content. REAAALLLLLLYYYYY interesting stuff I assure you, but all confidential so I shan't be sharing any of it.  I forgot how self involved you have to be when completing a social work degree. Any way, I've been on a placement and along the way I have had a few misadventures which I feel might be most entertaining and share worthy, here they are, I present to you the stories of....

The Burnt Chicken Smell: Let me set the scene.  My placement is massive, its in a three story building and the only word I can think of to describe it is "sprawling." It houses all the social workers, occupational therapists, and CNA's that serve southwest and south central Edinburgh and a reablement team in addition to a big admin team and some receptionists.  It was a dreary Friday afternoon, and anyone who knows me, knows that I won't wake up early enough to make breakfast let alone pack a lunch. So 12pm rolls around I head to the grocery store to get my usual. Scotmid usually has a decent variety of sandwiches or wraps but I just wasn't feeling it that day.  I don't what possessed me, or what I was thinking, but I decided that not only was it not a health risk to cook raw chicken in a microwave, it was perfectly acceptable. So I buy some chicken breasts, head back to the office and put them in the microwave for 10 minutes, my train of thought being they'd take 20 minutes on a stove, so half that time would be sufficient in a microwave. I put the chicken in and leave because I need to do something in the office, and then I head back to check on the chicken after a few minutes. To get from my office to the second floor kitchen I have to go through a door into a foyer and then through another door and down the hall.  The instant I go through the second door I can smell my mistake. It smells like a mixture of burnt flesh and cardboard. It's disgusting. You'd think I had gotten a lamb kebab in a take away box and then set it on fire.  I got to the kitchen and wrapped the charred chicken into a few napkins and then threw them in the bin. Then I tried desperately to open the kitchen window for 5 minutes, not realising in my desperation that the window opens from the bottom, not the top. So I give up and head back to my office, hoping not to see any one and get caught.  Unfortunately its the kind of smell that really lingers on the clothes, so I dragged the scent with me into my office. 20 minutes later a coworker comes to the door and just stares into the room at me and the other student in silence. When I finally get up the courage to make eye contact, he responds with "What did you do?"  I realise I've been caught, and I can't pin it on the other student, because she's in the room.  I explain my mistake, offer my deepest apologies, and then pray the day ends soon. As I run errands throughout the 2nd half of the day I notice the smell spreading to both top and bottom floors, large offices that usually remain open have their doors to the hall shut and their windows to the rain outside open.  As I leave I note that even the reception area smells faintly of burnt chicken and the door is propped open.  I already knew that out of the two of us I was most likely considered the scatter brained one, but now I had forever dubbed myself "the girl who microwaves chicken."

Crickets: I have multiple alarms set up on my my phone. One for morning, one early evening one in case I fall asleep at home, and one that varies depending on the day. Over the weekend I had decided to go on a shopping spree on ebay. I was a very good girl and researched all of the products I was interested in and I made sure to find the best priced items. I was able to get everything by Sunday save one item; a dead sea mud soap bar that promises anti aging properties and treatment for blemishes, obviously a must buy.  It didn't have a "buy it now" price and I knew a bidding war was on the horizon.  Monday lunch time I'm happy to report, I won the bid war and pimple/wrinkle free skin shall be mine. I unfortunately did not turn off the alarm I had set to notify me that my item was ending soon and i left my phone and the alarm, on and in the office the next day from noon to 1. This is the kind of alarm that gets increasingly louder the longer you ignore it. When I got back to the office I noticed the door had been shut, which is really unusual.  Then I heard them. The loudest, angriest crickets outside of San Marcos (a town in Texas which has a notorious cricket infestation every summer/fall.) I had to apologise to everyone on the floor about my phone, and because I couldnt come up with any half decent lie; tell the truth. I was in a bid war on ebay, didnt turn off my reminder. My bad. 

So now I have assailed 2 of the 5 senses of most of my coworkers. I might have also done some damage to the other three but if I have I honestly don't want to know about it. I'm afraid I'll be remembered as the smelly, loud, American. Typical.