Reflections of a Car Parking Attendant

Submitted by Radoslaw
Car Parking Attendant, Worthing

My Covid-19 story begins in March 2020. It took me, just like everyone else, completely by surprise. I never thought we would have to go through such unpleasant times. It has influenced me greatly and had an impact on how I view the world.

At the end of March, it was decided that we would be lifting all barriers for both staff and public in all carparks on site allowing free parking. As a result of this I was redeployed to the portering department.

At the time I did not know how long I was being redeployed for, but it ended up being about four months. I was looking forward to this as I had not had a chance to work with the porters before and was eager to learn what they do. I was more than happy that I would be able to contribute during those uncertain times. 

At first, I was helping out the waste team but was quickly moved onto the floor to help with patient transport. I also helped out the stores for some time as well as the post office. I was later moved to pharmacy to assist with the distribution of medicine to wards. At the end of my redeployment I was asked to assist with distribution of masks and gloves to different departments and wards.

One of the challenges for me personally was the work hours as I had to often come in at 6.00 am. My normal starting hours would be 8.00 am. However, I got to work with people who I normally wouldn’t see on the corridors and around the hospital so that was fun. I have also done quite a few shifts on bank to help with staff shortages.

I am overall grateful for the experience. I got to see how other departments work without actually having to change jobs. After about four months I was able to come back to parking.

More and more clinics and appointments were being scheduled and parking came under increasing pressure as general public had problems finding enough parking spaces. 

A few months later, after another lockdown, visitors were no longer allowed on any of the wards. I was asked to help with delivering of patient belongings from relatives to the wards. This was usually done once or twice a day except for weekends, when it had to be done multiple times. Some days, the number of these bags exceeded 50.

I can only hope that my involvement helped and eased things for porters even just a little bit. That thought makes me happy.

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