Whew, the comments around here have been a little out of conTROLL lately (haha, see what I did there?). What fun!
Clinic is still chugging along. We had our end of year party for the clinic escorts on Friday, and as far as I know, a good time was had by all. It's really important for us to get together and let the volunteers know how important they are and what a difference they make in the lives of patients and clinic staff. THANK YOU!!
One exciting thing that we are looking forward to is a change in uniform for our escorts. We normally have blue pinneys with "clinic escort" written on them in white lettering. These are pretty distinctive but what SL and I have been finding lately is that the volunteers aren't as visible as we'd like them to be. When you're a patient, especially when you're coming to the clinic for the first time, it can be a bit overwhelming to drive/walk up and see a sea of people with protest signs, so we really want the volunteers to be super visible. What we've decided on is highlighter-yellow, paramedic-style safety vests. We're trying them out for the first time this week, so I'll be sure to let you know how it goes.
I don't know if I've mentioned this, but in the last couple weeks Pink Hat has been back in her pink beret! It's very exciting to see her living up to her nickname once again, especially since we've had a very mild November. The protesters have definitely been stepping it up in general in the last couple weeks. Holy water is flying all over the place, some big signs have come out (including old favourites like the one with the cross made out of fake flowers), and there's been some verbal harrassment.
Sometimes our escorts can't get there quick enough, as was the case with one young woman last week - a protester got to her first and started talking to her, so by the time the escorts found her and brought her inside she was in tears. There's not much we can do in situations like that except to pick up the pieces afterwards - after all, they certainly have a right to talk to people.
Despite the aforementioned mild November weather, winter is almost upon us (it snowed today!). Toe warmers are ready for the volunteers, and I've started dividing them into three shifts instead of two, something that I started last year (at MP's suggestion) and that has really worked out in the cold months, when a half hour less of standing still really makes a difference.
I can't think of any stories from the last clinic because I've been slack and left my blogging too long. Methinks a New Year's resolution is beginning to form. Anyway, stay warm, trust women. Etc.