Jim was a man who had been working as a hospital housekeeper. He had a thin scruffy beard and fly away hair. He bid into the central supply area of the hospital. Central supply had been wearing operating room scrub greens, but someone came up with the idea to color code by uniforms where you worked in the hospital. (Nurses ceil blue, ward clerks, yellow, nursing assistants burgundy etc.) The color for central supply was to be pink. (Central supply was all women at that time. That was their color choice.)
Jim started to orient to the central supply area. He had been there for several weeks when the new uniforms came for the other techs. No one had told him he would have to wear pink. He was a good sport and did like the work in central, so he ordered his scrubs and wore them as he worked.
Late one evening, just as visiting hours were ending, Jim boarded an elevator after an elderly woman went inside.
She pushed the button for the first floor. Her hand hovered over the buttons as she asked, “Where are you going?”
Jim saw that she had already pushed the button to the floor he wanted, so he said, “I’m going where you are, lady.”
Jim’s unkempt appearance, his pink attire, and his comment must have unnerved the old woman. She huddled in the front corner of the elevator. She apparently thought he was going to follow her home, because as soon as the door slid open, she almost ran from the elevator.
Jim said, “It was remarkable how fast that old woman moved.”
Worried that he was following her, she kept glancing back over her shoulder. In her haste to escape, she misjudged a hallway corner and bumped into it with her shoulder. She started to stumble and Jim took a few steps toward her to catch her if she should fall.
Her eyes widened in panic. She quickly regained her balance and speeding across the lobby, disappeared into the night.