The Day I Saved Parklands Nursing Center $500,000

How does the time fly by? I just realized I haven’t written anything in the blog for months now. So as to not start out with something too serious here, why don’t I retell an old story that I think you’ll enjoy.

Did I ever tell you about the time I saved Parklands Nursing Center $500,000? The date was May 2nd, 2004, and Parklands was actually called the “Alachua Nursing Center” back then. I went to ANC with a box of Ritz Crackers that day, for a resident named Elijah Brown. He hadn’t been doing very well. I think he was 90 years old – he was slowing down and not eating well, and I wanted to fatten him up a bit. And I knew Ritz Crackers, or “Ritz Cookies” as he used to call them, were his favorite.

Anyway, it wasn’t my usual day to visit, so I intended to just drop off the crackers and leave. I found Mr. Brown in the dining room, and he only would accept half the box, so I was just going to take the rest of the crackers home. I was about to walk out the door when I saw another resident named Mitch coming down the hall, yelling at the top of his lungs. It was clear he was mad about something, big time.

Hmmm. The moment of truth. My inner conversation went something like this – “I really need to get home. I can sneak out the door; it doesn’t look like he’s seen me yet. Ok, just for a minute, let me see what’s troubling him.”

Well, as I should have expected, I got to say no more than “hello,” when Mitch started into a 15 minute laundry list of all the things he’s mad about. If my memory serves me correctly, he didn’t take a breath during the whole time. The list included:
• A certain nurse doesn’t treat him right.
• His favorite Gator shirt got stolen.
• The food is horrible (a common complaint at any nursing home).
• And how can they treat him like that when he’s the “Big Boss Man” around there!

Like any good preacher, he ended his sermon with an admonition: “COME MONDAY, I’M GONNA SUE THEM FOR HALF A MILLION DOLLARS, AND THEY’LL BE SORRY THEY MESSED WITH ME!!!”. Well, I couldn’t much think of what to tell him, so I just said I was sorry all those things happened, and I would help him look for his shirt next time I came by.

Suddenly I noticed Mitch eyeing the box of crackers. He stuck out his hand. Like the savvy businessman I am, I seized the opportunity to strike a deal — “Now Mitch, if I give you these crackers, you have to promise not to sue.” He thought about it and agreed, we shook hands, he accepted the crackers, and went on his way.

And Parklands STILL doesn’t appreciate me!!!

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