I am not embarrassed to talk about the presence of these things that need fixing or adjusting, mostly because I have a comfort level with the humble nature of our mom-and-pop therapy shop. The families that come to us seem to understand that, I think, because sharing stories about the tribulations of trying to get things done probably resonates with the busy and complicated lives that they are also leading.
The only problem is that I am not a janitor, or even a poor excuse for one. That means that only sometimes I get things right. So I cheered as I won a battle against the broken copier, looked proudly on my successful taming of the broken heating vent - but then I met my match.
I could not repair the broken lighting ballast in the evaluation room.
At first I thought it was just a matter of changing the long fluorescent tubes. That didn't work. Then I thought that perhaps the fuse was tripped down in the basement. That wasn't it. I jiggled things. I poked at things. I avoided electrocuting myself, but I was defeated.
So I did what any good janitor would do: I got another light on a temporary basis until someone who knew what they were doing could intervene.
It looked like a fun option, but I had no idea what a 'hit' it would become. Every child that enters that now (slightly dark) room falls in love with that stupid lamp and they all ask the same thing with a sense of wonderment: "Who brought that lamp here?"
The lamp is taking on mythical qualities. The kids just stare at it in awe. My favorite response came from a little four year old - and there is no way I can capture the cute-ness in written form, but just imagine the most beautiful child in the world staring up at you from knee-height saying from the bottom of their heart, "Oh Dr. Chris. I love your lamp!"
Because I am teaching part time my staff keeps in contact with me via text or email or phone throughout the day when I am at the college. Now the lamp is being incorporated into handwriting practice. I got this letter today:
So the janitor at ABC Therapeutics wants to make a recommendation to all aspiring pediatric private practice owners...
GET THIS LAMP!!!
And then tell the janitor not to bother fixing the broken fluorescent lights.
It will make you the most revered occupational therapist in the entire practice.