In my last blog, “Home Is The Nurses’ Residence”, I wrote about the residence privileges and curfew rules that we learned to live with. The Arbitration Board was one experience none of us ever wanted to go through. It seemed that no excuse was acceptable… and there were consequences. Well, perhaps there was the occasional exception!
It was the summer of our first year of training when I met Joe, a friend of my next door classmate’s boyfriend. He telephoned me several times, but a date seemed to be out of the question. I was studying for exams, and he didn’t have a car! When he learned that exams were done, he invited me to a weiner roast, put on by the church youth group, and borrowed his friend’s Volkswagen ‘bug’. It sounded like fun, so I was “good to go”!
We knew that the event was on the south side of the city, in the general area of Sandy Beach on the Elbow River. No problem… it shouldn’t be hard to spot a bunch of people and a bonfire along the river. When we finally found them, we were on the wrong side of the river, and because we were not familiar with the area, we couldn’t figure out how to get to the other side. No problem! The river was very shallow and there were tracks on the bank that suggested that others had crossed the river with no apparent problem. It sounded like a crazy idea, but when Joe suggested that we follow the tracks, I agreed. That was our first mistake!
There were large rocks on the river bed, and as careful as Joe was to avoid them, the VW became high centered in the middle of the river. The water level was above the bottom of the car door, and was finding its way into the car. Now what? Leaving me in the car, Joe crawled out through the window and waded to shore to get help. I did have a couple of visitors who came by in their canoe to see what happened. My feet were on the dashboard so that I wouldn’t get my shoes wet… and the radio still worked!
By the time Joe returned with a tow truck, it was starting to get dark and there was no point in thinking about the weiner roast. I knew that by the time they got the car out of the river, we would have to head back to the Nurses’ Residence. My late-leave was for 11:00 p.m. and I didn’t want to be late.
I was still in the car when the tow truck winched the car out of the river, and I was a nervous wreck. The floor well of the car was full of water, so he towed it along the embankment so that much of the water would run out. But the car wouldn’t start! Thank goodness the tow truck was still there, and eventually they did get it started. When he was writing out the receipt for services rendered, I requested that he include a description of what he did for us, and also record the time. I would need a believable alibi, explaining to the house mother and the Arbitration Board why I was 57 minutes late.
Three days later, I made my first (and last) appearance before the Board. I couldn’t imagine what the ruling would be; losing the minimum of 3 late-leaves would be bad enough. I told the Board that I had a written explanation to why I had been late, and they asked me to read it aloud.
“At 11:15 p.m., VW car was towed from Elbow River with one lady in the passenger’s seat.” My penalty was the loss of three late-leaves … for stupidity!
Tags: Nurses Nursing Friends Rules