It’d help to use the right key!

P1010005What a busy day it’s been!

Chapel duties in the morning, before heading to work as receptionist at our front desk…And, while there, I was involved in a big, multifaceted project.

In fact, when the time came for “the changing of the guard,” as we sometimes call it, I asked my relief person to do ‘Reading Hour’ for me.  (That is the semi-weekly session where I read a book aloud to our residents.)  Sr. Rebecca and I were engrossed in work on our project and were almost done with one major part.

Before this shift change, however, I had an interruption.   A phone call came from a resident upstairs that there was water on the floor up in Bathroom #2 on the ladies’ floor.  Around the same time, another woman came by and reported the same issue.

Unfortunately, our aide (whose responsibility such plumbing problems would be) was out picking up two residents from a medical procedure.

Rather than letting the problem go until she returned, Sr. Rebecca and I both agreed that I should look into the situation.  (I had visions of a stream of toilet water flowing out into the main hall.)

Sr. Rebecca manned the reception desk where we were working hard on our project, and I hustled upstairs.  Sure enough, water was definitely out of the stall and had proceeded into other areas of that bathroom.

I opened the door to the culprit toilet to find a massive amount of toilet paper still in the bowl.  Thankfully, I had an extra glove still in my pocket.  I grabbed the nearby wastebasket, fished into the toilet (with the gloved hand), and extracted the glob of toilet paper.  It flushed easily after that.

Now, there was the problem of the stream of toilet water on the floor…off to get supplies.

I carry keys on me all the time: in one pocket, I have the one to our convent and in the other, I have four keys on the same clasp for various locks around St. Anne’s.  I use them frequently.

I know that my square-shaped key opens any janitor closets throughout the building., so I reached in my pocket and extracted a gold, square key as I headed across the hall to a nearby closet room.  I put it in the key hole and attempted to turn it, without success.  I pulled it out and tried again, with the same frustrating results.

At a loss as to what was wrong, I called down to Sr. Rebecca, still at the reception desk, and asked her if they had changed the locks.  She said they had not and offered to get a mop bucket from down there.  I said that I would try the other closet and call back if it didn’t work.

So, I proceeded to the other door, put in my square key, and attempted to open it; no success here either.  What a day!  In the midst of all this, I remembered that I had washed off my key that morning because it had somehow become sticky.  I re-checked the key to make sure there was no remaining debris that could be hindering its functionality.  The key seemed to be fine, so what could be the trouble?

Finally, I took another look at the key.  It was a single key, with no others attached on the key-ring.  That was odd; my janitor key was accompanied by three other important door-openers.  What was up with that?  Then, I realized: this was the square key from my other pocket, the one to the convent…No wonder it wouldn’t work!

It’d help to use the right key, I guess!  I’m glad that those above who hold keys always know which ones to use and how best to use them.  That’s reassuring!


One thought on “It’d help to use the right key!

  1. Ah, Sr Christina. Welcome to the real world and you definitely are in it. Many of us can identify with your situation. Thanks for sharing both your holiness and humanness. May you continue to respond to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. I appreciate you and your writing talents.


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