When I returned from my MRI yesterday, the two other inmates were playing Scrabble with the recreation therapist. I joined the game, and we decided that next time we might play a version where you can use only abbreviations or acronyms. The RT told us that, according to a former patient, NIH means “not in a hurry.”
One thing that makes me very depressed here is the amount of waste. Not only does lots of food get thrown away, but much of it is served in disposable plastic. “We recycle our cans, bottles, and fryer oil,” proudly announces the Nutrition Department. A newsletter article from 8 years ago promises the ND will “go green,” with its manager “committed to taking small steps one at a time to find what’s right for the CC.” So much for good intentions. One thing that would help both the environment and the patients would be an online menu with searchable text and checkboxes instead of the broadsheets distributed each day for marking with pen.
It isn’t just the dietary department that’s wasting resources. The toilets are all set to flush automatically after any use (luckily mine sometimes forgets), the nurses distribute pills in plastic cups with paper-cup chasers, and there are tons of paper used to complete surveys, inform patients of their rights, etc. Giant paper lawn-and-leaf bags in the rooms and bathrooms are, I think, changed daily no matter how little trash is in them. I’ve set up an experimental protocol to test this hypothesis. [Result (of writing a discreet X on the side of each bag): Yes, they’re changed every day, but only if there’s at least one iota of trash in them.]
If I drop out of the program, it will be mainly because violating my principles so many times a day is not good for my health.