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Doodling (standard:non fiction, 1088 words)
Author: meg malpasAdded: Jan 29 2009Views/Reads: 1956/1165Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
This story is just observations of doodlings I have seen in different places I have worked.

DOODLING Back in the 60's when I left school I commenced work as a
medical records clerk just as offices were becoming more "open plan”.  
Only the head of department had his own office. 

Mr. Clarkson was a tall, thin, grey haired man of 64 years who was ready
for retirement.  When he spoke of it, as he frequently did, he was 
counting down the months now.  Yet he still managed to keep a close eye 
on all 15 of us in the main office. 

A large, shoulder high, window looked out from his office and he only
had to stand up from his desk to have a full view of us all. 

This was especially true of my friend Jill who was his secretary and
whose desk was below the window. He would rise from his desk and summon 
her with the wave of his hand. In she would hurry with dictation pad 
and pencil.  As he relayed letters to her he paced the floor of his 
office so being able to keep an eye on the goings-on in the main office 

When Jill returned to her desk we were back to never knowing when Mr.
Clarkson was about to stand up and survey us.  This meant looking busy 
at all times. 

“He's watching” whispered Margaret the clerk at the next desk as I broke
a piece of chocolate from a bar hidden in the top drawer of my desk. 

“Thanks” I replied as, without looking up, I took a triplicate invoice
from the same drawer, rolled it into my manual typewriter and began 
tapping in numbers and spaces. 

John, the new boy in the office, sat on the other side of Margaret and
he quickly picked up his phone, and having dialed some numbers began, 
what I was sure was a one-way conversation, and some serious doodling 
on a very important looking form.  He was very convincingly busy. 

At these times doodles were just a matter of scribbling on existing
forms. A double "O" in any word was treated to eye lashes, eye brows 
and a comical expression.  I cannot remember there being any budding 
artists among us,  though Gena, who had a particularly boring job in 
records did some good caricatures of the office personalities. These 
were passed around for admiration on the afternoon of Mr. Clarksons 
half-day off. 

More recently as a nurse working in a busy out-patients clinic of our
local hospital I discovered much more adventurous doodling. 

One morning I arrived to help in a cardiac clinic and found a large
cardboard box containing a new chest of drawers had been stored in a 
corner of one of the consulting rooms.  On closer inspection I saw some 
beautiful doodling. 

While sitting in with the doctor and patient the nurse awaits her cue to
give the appropriate leaflet or advise. She often has only the back of 
the expensive, well tailored, suit of the consultant to look at from 
her seat in the corner of the consulting room. 

A little attention is needed for when the consultant suddenly turns and
says ”Staff Nurse I can't find these blood results” or “Staff Nurse 
will you show Mrs. Smith how to fill that form in.”    She then directs 
the patient to their next port-of-call. e.g. the path-lab for bloods to 
be taken or the x-ray department. 

This waiting and listening period may seem to the patient to be a busy,
perhaps note-taking time for the nurse.  In fact the small and often 
beautiful equivalent of graffiti takes place in some of these clinics 
on various pieces of scrap paper. 

That morning the decorated box stood about three foot square at the side
of the nurses chair.  On the top surface of the box was drawn or 
doodled, a diagram of a vertical section of the human heart.  All four 
chambers of the heart were very well drawn with their respective blood 
vessels however, as these veins and arteries left the heart they became 

Yes they had very well drawn ivy leaves and tendrils.  Adjacent to which

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