A Canadian gal living in Britain with 3 men and a dog. Wine helps.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Work House

My plan over the last few weeks has been to do a post about the fantastic holiday we took back to Nova Scotia, and I will get there by the end of this week, I swear.

In the meantime, I have this to post:

As most of you are probably aware, I'm now working full-time in one of the psychology units for the hospital. I'm based out of a centre that is near the town centre, but a couple of days a week I can be found at the hospital site, in one of the out buildings.

When I first started this job I was really impressed with the hospital site as the building was in much better repair than that of the WM Centre where I am usually based. The Consultancy is based in a very old building, with a lot of character, and has obviously been re-decorated and modernised over the years. The WMC is in a 70's style building and hasn't had a face-lift ever, from the looks of it; even the paint in the main stairwell is all chipped and peeling. However there are various perks at each place, and one of the perks at the consultancy, is the more cosy, modern offices.

Often when I'm at the consultancy I'm left to either open or close up, which includes setting the alarm, a task I don't mind doing. However there have been a few evenings when I've been here on my own that something just feels a bit creepy and I sometimes hear doors opening a closing even though I know I'm here on my own. It doesn't take me long to pack up at these times, let me tell you. The other night I was closing up and had just set the alarm to the door that leads to the consulting area when I heard someone shriek. I quickly dropped my bags and began to open the door to turn off the alarm as I thought someone was being locked in (as has previously happened once in the past), however that wasn't the case - no one was in the building. I just shrugged my shoulders, reset the code and left.

Today, whilst chatting to my colleagues about the car parking changes being made to West Arch, where we park, I was told that the building we work in used to be the old work-house, and the arch-way underneath our building that allows cars to pass through, used to be the archway that the deceased were carried through on their way to the cemetery (which is across the street). Probably explains a lot of the eeriness and weird noises that are constantly heard. How my boss manages to work till seven or eight pm on her own in the building is beyond me.

For those of you who might not know what a workhouse was, here is an excerpt I found on the Internet:

By the 1850s, the majority of those forced into the workhouse were not the work-shy, but the old, the infirm, the orphaned, unmarried mothers, and the physically or mentally ill. Entering its harsh regime and spartan conditions was considered the ultimate degradation.