Tuesday, July 05, 2005
"Adoptions, Call On Park One"Paging is a part of life at the East Bay SPCA. Within the shelter, you hear announcements over our loudspeaker system throughout the day that usually go, "Clinic, call on park one," or "Adoptions, please pick up park one." Parks one through three on our quirky phone system just refer to the phone lines where clients have been "parked" on hold while they wait for the Adoption Center or the Vet Clinic to pick up the call.
For my particular job as Foster Coordinator, I also carry a pager (remember those?) with me in case any of my volunteer foster parents have an animal in critical condition after hours (after 5 PM or before 8 AM). I train volunteers to take care of young animals in their homes until their puppies or kittens are ready to go up for adoption and am available to them 24 hours in case of an emergency. I'm not paged very often, but when I am, it's an insistent beep, instead of a polite "call on park one" announcement. Some of the more exotic places where I've been paged include an Irish pub in Rockridge, Ocean Beach in San Francisco where I was having a bonfire this weekend, Skyline Gate where I was about to go trail running and my friend's cheese fondue party in downtown Berkeley.
I don't mind being paged; I'm glad that the volunteers monitor their kittens so closely and feel comfortable paging me when they have a kitten who's lethargic, dehydrated or not eating. I'm glad that they alert me sooner rather than later-- usually before the situation gets really critical. I'm glad that I can reassure the foster parent and create a plan that ensures that the kittens get the medical attention they need and leaves the foster parent feeling confident. I'm also glad after I've talked to the foster parent and we've handled a potential emergency that I can breathe a sigh of relief and go back to my beach bonfire!