Feb 26

Chronicle from the Old Folks’ Home—Part 11

In Brief— The author’s experiences after the private elder care company took over management from the kommun. Privatization European-style.


“I’m Mad As Hell…”—

Though there is now another vacancy, one empty room in our warehouse has now been filled. One of our number got off the train at her destination. The new occupant—I’ll call him Rikard—is a former coworker of Bengt whom you may recall sneaked off from these premises earlier. Rikard suffers from Parkinson’s. Thanks to Sweden’s hyper-cautiousness regarding cannabis, Rikard doesn’t get relief from his shakes and contortions, but the good news is that Bengt sticks around now.

But I digress. As suggested above, the new company that took over management on 1 October hasn’t worked out the wrinkles yet. When I wrote the kommun (copying everybody!) after being forgotten in early November, I complained inter alia that the new company was understaffed and unable to handle the load placed on the overworked and underpaid staff.

There was a flurry by company management who hastened to assure me that it would NEVER happen again and that there was the same personnel level that had been here before their arrival. According to what I hear and experience, that appears to be a fib. CYA as they say.

Finally, when one of the personnel complained to a harried company chief assigned here about the lack of adequate staffing she was told, …”We don’t have the resources for that.” When I asked if the union had been notified, I was told that the union did nothing to help rectify the problem.

[My cynical translation: As an observer of human nature, unions here in Sweden are in bed with management. Too much trouble to raise some dust. It’s easier to collect a paycheck and sit on the couch. I’ve heard this before from other sources both here and in America. What ever happened to unions?]

When I asked if I should write the kommun again, I have been requested to wait. Honoring that request, I’ve not yet written a letter to the kommun, but I didn’t promise not to express my ire on this blog.

As Howard Beale exclaimed in the movie “Network,” “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this any more!”

Whew! Other than that, things are pretty much the same around here. I take my exercise walk through the next department hoping that a cheerful wave will provide a small lift in some old folks’ day. I have my computer and friends to exchange thoughts. I have my little blog where this will sit in line waiting to go public. Seems as if I’m running dry these days, but I no sooner say that when two or three subjects pop into my mind begging for a surge of energy to prompt my hunt-and-peck memorialization of the subjects. And I have my reading which is often fed by a former teacher friend sending me Kindle books to read. All’s reasonably well with my limited world… not the rest of the world which is more screwed up every day.

Right now, I’m writing a fantasy—a fairy tale, so to speak.  I expect to post it following this piece.

So what’s new with you?

P.S. Since I posted this a month or so ago, the new company has improved conditions, but the lack of sufficient personnel persists. I’m told that this problem is being addressed, but I’m not holding my breath.

Oh, and as to that fantasy, you’re going to think it bears some resemblance to America, but remember it’s a fantasy.

The Weekly Sampler—

As a reminder, go to the Archives on the right side of the page and click on the month and year of that week’s featured Sampler. If you wish, go to the January 15 blog for more thorough instructions.

If you want to read the entire piece, simply click on the box titled “Continue Reading.” When you want to read the next piece, simply swipe your cursor across the one you have been reading and you will find the next one. Do this every time you want to read the next piece.

Don’t miss the Comments and my replies. Even though the Sampler pieces are from the past, feel free to comment…or not.

Go to the Archives on the right side. Click on February 2014


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  1. Always so hapy to hear from YOU.
    Miss you Dear Don
    My Retreat is in 6 days and there are 35 speakers! whew working hard. The event is calild “It’s all about YOU ReTreat”
    Check it out at http://www.ihfretreat.com

      • Don Bay on February 26, 2017 at 19:17

      Thanks for the strokes, Shelley. No doubt your retreat will be a success.

      By the way, although I appreciate the strokes, why did you include your retreat in your lovely comment?

  2. I feel for you friend. Many of us have the privilege of escaping a situation that isn’t to our liking, and you aren’t so lucky. Maybe concentrating on your upcoming fantasy will help. And continuing to think and write about the travesty which currently is the US may also distract you as it has before. I wish you well.

      • Don Bay on February 26, 2017 at 19:14

      As i said at the end of this piece, I have posted the fantasy. It will follow this piece. Let me know what you think.

      Because I have lined up pieces, I’m not describing what just happened but what happened a short while ago. I tried to amend this piece with my P.S., but that is clearly not enough. Stick with me, Jim, I’ll make them as interesting as I can.

      Just so you know, this warehouse is comfortable and far better than most people in the world have it. As for the turmoil and threats taking place in the USA, all i can say is thank goodness we live in Sweden.

    • Donna on February 27, 2017 at 00:37

    I wish your description of the US today were a fantasy, but alas, it isn’t. I look forward to YOUR fantasy – so that I can focus on it, and not our current political situation. – is that denial?

      • Don Bay on February 27, 2017 at 06:26

      My fantasy may disappoint you since it bears an uncanny resemblance to the universe we live in. As for reality, read Susan’s comment if you want to get a picture of what’s going on now. Looks a lot like fascism to me.

    • Susan on February 27, 2017 at 00:59

    Hello to the Don blogger.
    IVe been remembering of late that you were writing and talking about
    the USA becoming a police state ,( I think ) ?
    The immigration squad has been taking some of our best people in
    Our small community into detention. It’s not only our town that has been
    So that ‘S the latest from here.
    Miss you dear Don.
    Can’t wait to read the fantasy❤️

      • Don Bay on February 27, 2017 at 06:49

      As I told Donna, my fantasy looks a bit like what’s going on in our universe.

      We moved to Sweden for several reasons. One important reason was that I saw the USA moving steadily to the right. The extremity of what’s happening now didn’t occur to me. Lack of imagination, I guess. Today is just the culmination of that rightward movement. Is fascism the next step?

      What you describe is a serious mistake by the Trump administration, or I should say the Bannon administration. Where are all those deportees going to be sent after they rot for a while in the increasingly profitable private American prisons? South of the border is where many will be sent. Do you think for a second that Mexico will be happy? What about Americans who depend on immigration? Talk about America becoming a second-rate nation, this ham-handed move assures it. And you are witness to its descent. As I often say, Thank goodness we live in Sweden.

  3. Awesome blog you have here but I was wanting to know if you knew of any
    forums that cover the same topics talked about here? I’d really like to be a
    part of online community where I can get feed-back from other experienced individuals
    that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let
    me know. Thanks!

      • Don Bay on March 25, 2017 at 11:32

      Thanks for the kind words. The content of my blog is what you see if you review several of the pieces. I’m a lawyer, so I often write about matters that touch on the law and justice, but I also write about things that interest me or touch on my personal life.

      I confess that I seldom read other blogs, so I can’t help you there. I suggest you google subjects that interest you. Explore a bit, but please avoid right-wing sites that too often peddle nonsense that will rot your precious brain. Sorry I can’t give you better directions than that. Good luck in your search.

      You are welcome to come back. I publish a new piece every week on Sunday. If you want to get a heads-up reminder free of hard-sell, you can subscribe by typing your e-address in the box on the right side of the page. Join the ride!

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