Sunday, March 27, 2011

About the village

Welcome to our village.

Like the residents' names, the place isn't called Shady Oaks. I chose the most stereotypically-obnoxious name I could think of, because I can't use its real name. Hey, I need my job, ok? Essentially I work in a retirement home - to clear up any misunderstanding, this is not the same as a nursing home, invalid home or convalescent home. The people who live here look after themselves, have lives, and don't drool while staring into space. That's the line that seperates us from being a nursing home: really, this is just a bunch of old people that have sold their family homes and bought apartments in the same complex, with the added bonus of meals provided and 24-hour helpers on hand.

The lifestyle village is not-for-profit, but we're in a very well-to-do neighbourhood and the apartments are every bit as expensive as any others in the suburb. There are about 60 residents altogether.

They're arranged in four blocks, which are of various snobbishness. The first is called Majestic Royale. Yes. Ornate iron ballustrades, ivy trailing onto white columns, wrap-around verandahs, display cabinets housing ornaments and dinner sets in fine bone china. The living room has large, comfortable couches, elegant lamps, oil paintings etc. Anyway, you get the idea, but nobody ever uses the room, since they're mostly snobs who stay in their own expensive little apartments and do expensive things. Most of the residents are aristocratic in attitude and think they're living in a five-star hotel.

Then we have The Courtyard. They all have kitchens, bay windows and verandahs, and are quite modern and fresh-feeling.

Lastly there are Miller House and Barrett House. All of the apartments here are "economy" class, mostly single rooms without kitchens. Miller and Barrett each have a communal lounge area - and these get used a lot, as many of the residents don't have televisions of their own.

Each block has a dining room. One staff member serves Miller and Courtyard, the other staff member serves Barrett and Royale. I hate it when I have to do Barrett and Royale. The Barrett people are my favourites. If their plate is cold they stick it in the microwave with a cheery grin. The Royale people suck royal ass. If their napkin is crooked they write a letter of complaint to the board of directors.

Despite the Royale people... I do like my job. Usually.

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