Monday, August 1, 2011

Walking meetings

 With the nicer weather, I started having walking meetings with my co-workers. I work in a glorious district of Buffalo, so it's very pleasant just walking around the (large city) block. We have a couple of rules for these walking meetings: (1) you have to have one specific topic and you cannot veer from that; (2) you can introduce personal stuff only at the end of the walk; (3) it's only efficient if there are 2 participants; and (4) half way point must be the Tim Horton's located inside Women and Children's Hospital by the elevators. 

I happened upon this tucked away Tim's when Emma had her tonsils out last summer. Imagine my delight when I wearily walked to the cafeteria in the early, early a.m. and found this wonderful little kiosk of coffee. SCORE!

Today, I took a walk with a fellow coffee lover. I had finished a delicious coffee that I had brewed at home, but it just wasn't enough caffeine. So, off we trotted to Children's. Yes, we discussed business. Jeez!

It's a little weird going into a hospital just for coffee. Inevitably, the people we pass inside the halls have a range of emotions on their faces: joy, sorrow, distraction, confusion (this is the most prevalent), and that's just the staff! Kidding!

Seriously, it's a good reminder for me to walk that short distance to the coffee stand. It reminds me how lucky I am  -  that I'm not there to deal with some heartache. And, there is so much heartache! Luck is a common theme in my conversations with Bill. Just this weekend, on our walk to Tim Horton's by our house, we competed with each other to determine who was the luckiest. I think it was a draw.

There is a ray of sunshine, however, and she's located  in the Tim Horton's coffee kiosk. Diady Rivera, the manager serves coffee with a smile, a wink and a pleasantry. I told her today that she surely makes a difference in the lives of the patients/doctors/family members who line up for coffee. She told me that it was easy for her. She feels especially for the kids who have to come in early for chemo treatments. She winks and tells them that a free donut will be waiting for them when they are through with their appointment. She says she thinks it helps them get through their ordeal.  I got the distinct feeling that Tim Horton's, the company(doesn't Wendy's own it?) isn't fronting the bill on these donuts...

When I told Bill about Diady he reminded me of the Irish twins who work at Roswell. If you ever had to endure chemo (or accompany those who are part of that endurance test) at Roswell you know who I am talking about. These two gentlemen are the light and life of the chemo waiting area. My mother-in-law actually looked forward to seeing them when she went for her appointments.

Sometimes, hiring managers know what they're doing. Pairing the right personality with a particular job is an art. And making staffing decisions at a hospital can make all the difference to a patient.  A great topic to explore in our HR meetings - but perhaps a little too complex for a walking meeting.

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