Community Service

I was a straight A student – I didn’t understand. I was on the Battle of the Brains team – even captain! I was in Latin Club! I was in band, and good at it! I did martial arts too! What did they mean I needed to “diversify” my application?

By they, I mean the college I had just had an acceptance interview with. It wasn’t Yale or Harvard – I could neither afford it nor did I really want that kind of atmosphere, but it was a good school. And I’m willing to admit I was a bit of a nerd, in fact, I took pride in it. I hung out with mostly nerds too. No, not geeks, not the stuffy computer guys who will still live with their parents when they are thirty, but a nerd, just someone who enjoys learning and actually usually likes school. The table I sat at for lunch included a cheerleader who was probably going to be valedictorian, a real smart guy who we all thought would be the next great Steven Spielberg like director, a tomboy softball player, an aspiring artist and musician, and me. Some pretty cool people actually. So yes, I was a nerd and proud of it, but this school still wouldn’t accept me.

It wasn’t an actual rejection, just the, “We recommend you diversify your application some, put some different activities on it. Otherwise, despite great academics, it will be hard for us accept you.”

So, the next day, I walked into the dreaded guidance counselor’s office. Her name was Mrs. Hawkins. Not the greatest, but she might be able to help me out.
“Hi, Matt, what can I do for you today?” she asked cordially.
“I need help figuring out how to ‘diversify’ my college application,” I told her plainly.
“Oh, that’s a not a problem at all, have a seat and we can figure that out in just one moment, let me pull up your file.”
I sat down and she looked at the computer for a few moments.
“Do you remember applying for the National Honor Society, Matt?”
“Yeah, of course. None of the magnet school guys got in,”
“Right. Being separate from the rest of the class certainly was an issue, but Matt do you remember one of the reasons that was given for you not being accepted to that?”
“Sure, something about leadership.”
“Right. Now you still have time to develop some leadership positions here. You’re not planning on graduating early, is that correct?”
“Right,” I nodded again, “Just trying to get early acceptance,”
“Makes sense. Do you think you could get some leadership positions, maybe in a club of some sort?”
I paused, “I’m not sure. People like me but I’m not a favorite. Outside of school I have more leadership stuff.” It was true – I taught the lower level students in my martial arts studio and also was a leader at my church.
“I think they want to see something school related, they are after all an academic institution. Hmm, are you working toward you’re community service seal?”
“I wasn’t.” I admitted. It never seemed like I would have the time.
“That’s what I might recommend then. Let me give you a packet of certified options. Any time you work for one of these organizations document it, and before you graduate next year, turn it all in. If you have accumulated 144 hours of community service time, then you’ll get the seal. That should help you get into any college you want,”
I walked out of the office satisfied that I had a plan.

Of course, I also procrastinated. A lot. The school year ended and the summer started. I went to the beach with my family, went to camp as both a camper and a volunteer. Of course, the volunteering didn’t count, it wasn’t on the list. But before I knew it, half the summer was gone. 144 hours hadn’t seemed like much, but it was growing.

After a few weeks of just plain bumming, I decided I would start calling the organizations on the list. I started with the library. I was an avid reader and loved trying to write my own stories, and had spent many hours there anyway. If I could tear myself away from the books, I could be fairly helpful. But they had already filled their summer volunteer roster.
I tried a couple which ended up being wrong numbers and a couple where the organizations had shut down. I tried a summer sports youth league, but it was already to late.
I was getting frustrated, and so I set the list down and forgot about it for another week.

There were only a few weeks left in the summer when I remembered to pick it up again. I just went straight down the list. I had procrastinated too much so it seemed. I could work towards finding something for the fall but then I would have to miss Battle of the Brains each week. I sighed, maybe I just needed to apply to another college. But this one had always been a favorite of mine, with a good basketball team and decent degree programs.
I sighed and called the next to last number on the list, “Hi! You’ve reached Steady Shores Nursing Facility for the Elderly, this is Marie, how can I help you?”
Ugh. I thought, a nursing home. No way do I wanna work there. I almost hang up, but thought, “Better than nothing,” and started explaining.
Sure enough, at the end, Marie said, “Well, I can’t guarantee anything, but if you come in tomorrow at about 2, I can schedule an appointment for you with our volunteer coordinator.”
“That’d be great,” I said and wrote the directions down.

I pulled into the parking lot at quarter till. It looked like a fairly new nursing home, which I was surprised at. I walked in and was asked to wait for just a moment. Soon enough, a man in about his 50s walked out and as I stood up he asked, “You Matt?”
I nodded and followed him back to his office after a handshake and a quick introduction. His name was Tom and he had worked at the Nursing Home since it had been built two years ago. I told him I hadn’t heard anything about it and he laughed and said, “Yeah, we definitely really need some publicity. We have state of the art equipment and the best staff I’ve ever seen at a nursing home, but no one knows about us.”
After some more small talk, Tom got down to business, “Now I know you need some community service hours. Can you tell me about the requirements?”
I handed him a page from the packet that gave the description. He read over it and then said, “And you go back to school when?”
“Three weeks,” I said.
He did some quick math and said, “That would be almost fifty volunteer hours a week!”
I nodded and said, “I can probably work some once the school year starts too, just not as much,” I decided that I would try and work around BOB if it was the only way to get this done.
“Well, there’s the rub,” he said, “Once the school year starts many of our regular workers come back – they take time off in the summer and return for the school year. We might not have much for you to do.”
“I’m willing to do anything at this point,” I said.
Tom sighed, “I wish we could help you, I really do. But I want it to be worth both your time and ours,”
I nodded, and was about to leave when an idea struck me, “What if I found out a way to publicize this place?”
Tom laughed, “You figure that out, we’ll get you all the hours you need.”
I once again left an office with a plan.

Once I got home I flipped through our phone book. I found our town’s two newspapers and called the first one. After explaining my idea, I got transferred around a little until finally one person said, “I’m sorry, we’re not interested.”
I was undeterred, and called the next one. Again I got transferred around a little, but I made progress, “Why don’t you come in tomorrow and we can talk, we might be able to work something out,”

I was getting tired of meetings, but was excited about this one. The idea of getting my community service done as well as actually doing some legitimate writing was great. When I got there I was introduced to Sandy, the human interest editor.
“Hi,” I said.
“Hi, how are you?”
“Let’s sit down and talk for a few minutes.”
I followed her to an office and sat down at a table two long for just two people, “I called up Steady Shores and they said they would support you if you were able to get something worked out with us.”
I smiled and said, “Yeah they seemed desperate when I left.”
“Here is the thing, Matt,” she said and I braced for the worst, “A human interest story about someone shadowing nursing home workers isn’t getting much traction. I pitched it and it’s a no go,”
I nodded and was about to say “Thank you for your time,” but she continued, “However, we did come up with an idea that my boss did get excited about. It’ll make you look good and get the nursing home some press.”
“Sounds great,” I said, “What is it?”
“Like I said, an article about you shadowing the workers won’t get much traction, but we think a story that would get traction would be you being admitted as a patient,”
I paused, “Wait, what?”
“We would coordinate with Tom and with the other workers. You could be admitted as a patient and stay a week in the nursing home. After that, you would write an article for us. One week 24/7 and that’s over your 144 hours. What do you think?”
I was desperate, but I wasn’t sure, “I don’t know, being a patient at a nursing home sounds weird to me,”
“Well, I’ll tell you what, take a day or two to think about it, and if you decide to go for it, call us back and we get you started on Sunday, okay?”
I shook her hand and left, puzzled.

I tried to way the pros and cons, but it just wasn’t coming. The pros were simple – my own article in the newspaper, getting the service hours out of the way, and helping out the nursing home would be cool too. The cons were just as simple – I would be a patient in a nursing home. I sighed and decided not to decide just yet.

It was Friday about 1 in the afternoon when I remembered I had to make a decision. I still hadn’t decided and needed to let them know. I flipped on my computer and typed in magic 8 ball into google.
“Should I work at the nursing home?”
Well, that was pretty straight forward. I picked up the phone and called Sandy. When she answered I said, “I’m in.” After talking for a few minutes, I hung up and after a little while got a call from Tom, “I’m so excited about this. But I’m going to be out of town next week, so I’m putting you under Nicky’s care. She’s the nurse’s assistant here, she’s worked here as long as I have, she’ll treat you well.”
“Thanks,” I said, “What do I need to do to get ready?”
“Well, you’ll be a patient, so we do need your medical records. We won’t give you any real medicine unless you actually need it, like Tylenol for a headache or something, but we will have to follow protocol.”
I said I’d bring it with me on Sunday and went to work to get it.

Sunday arrived and after church I drove to the nursing home. This time I was running a bit late, but had wanted to grab a decent lunch before I was fed nursing home food all week.
I asked for Nicky and she soon came out, “Hi, Matt! This is so great, I’m so excited you’re doing this,”
Nicky was about 30, blonde, and kind of cute. She was a little bit taller than me and was very talkative as she led me to a back room.
“This is our impatient room,” she explained, “We examine the medical files of each patient at intake and see what their main needs are. While I’m doing that we need you to sign this contract”
I handed over my file and took the contract as she sat down. It basically said that I would be a patient for the week and would get no special treatment. I couldn’t opt out it for the whole week. I signed it and waited for her to read the file. It was eerily quiet, so I broke the tension by asking, “Am I healthy?”
“You look it, just wanting to be thorough,”
I nodded, then she started giggling, “What?”
“Sorry, we’re not supposed to do that, but I just saw your history of bedwetting,”
I laughed. It had plagued me for a long time but it was also a long time ago.
She read over the rest of the file. Then she said, “You know, about half of our patients are incontinent. It’s the number one reason why they get placed here,”
I nodded, that made sense.
“You look extremely healthy except for that bedwetting thing, maybe we should make you be an incontinent patient,”
I laughed, “I can get to the bathroom just fine,”
Nicky smiled, “Are you sure? Saying you’re incontinent might be the easiest option for us,”
I wondered what she was up to, “Yeah, I’m sure. Any other options,”
“We could just write down patient entered after minor stroke, did not heavily affect mental or physical capacities,”
That sounded official enough, “Sure, let’s do that,”
“Okay, why don’t you change into this,” Nicky said, handing me the clothes their patients wore, “And I’ll find a room for you,”
I quickly changed and came out, Nicky led me to room 187, on the far end of the first floor. She asked me to climb into the patient bed and she lifted up the bars on either side.
“Why do that?” I asked.
She responded, “Normal procedure for a person with a stroke during the first 24 hours of admission. While no symptoms may be present currently they may come later and we want to be prepared,”
I nodded, still not comfortable with it.
“I’ve got work to do,” she said, “Room 187 is Sarah’s area, she should be by to check on you soon. You can watch TV or read if you want, but you’ll be on bedrest the rest of the day.”
I nodded, “And after 24 hours these bars come down?”
Nicky agreed, “As long as you don’t exhibit any symptoms,” and we both laughed.
I flipped on the TV and couldn’t find anything worth watching except old reruns of Everybody Loves Raymond.
After a while, a nurse, who I assume was Sarah came in, “Hi, you must be Matt,”
I nodded and she started handing me a tray with a meal on it and a couple of pills.
She explained, “Those are just sugar pills but if it had been a real stroke we give body calming medicine to the person. People react different to strokes. How are you doing?”
I responded, “I’m alright, it’s a little weird, but its only for a week,”
Sarah laughed and said, “Right. Now, I’ve got to keep going on my rounds, but I’m supposed to check in with stroke patients once every hour, so I’ll be back. If you need anything, hit this button and I’ll come for you,”
I saw she was pointing to a button on the other side of the bed and nodded. I started eating and flipped the channel to Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy. The food wasn’t so bad, whatever was in the drink was awful.
I was never any good at Wheel of Fortune but on Jeopardy I was decent. This time around they had yet another Oprah category and so I didn’t do well on Double Jeopardy. I finished with only 12,000, not counting wagering, which would have been enough to win. Maybe after this adventure, I thought, I’d try out.

Sarah came back in pretty much right on the hour – “How’s it going?”
“Except for being boring, its okay,” I said.
“When the 24 hours are up, you can move around, go to the community room, that sort of thing,”
I chuckled, “Yeah, playing Bridge with 90 year olds sounds great,”
Sarah grimaced, “Don’t discount them, the ones who still have their mental capacities are wonderful people,”
“Sorry, you’re right,” I honestly felt bad about it.
“No prob, I’ll be back in next hour,”

I kept flipping the channels, not really finding much. The food was settling in and I was getting tired. And I needed to go the bathroom. I tried to climb over the bars but couldn’t. I laughed at that, of course they couldn’t have someone who had a stroke just wandering the halls. I finally settled on an NCIS marathon and decided I could hold it until Sarah came back. Yeah, I thought, that wouldn’t be awkward.

I got a little more sleepy and almost drifted off when Sarah walked in, “Still doing alright?”
I nodded, “Yeah, except I have to pee,”
She nodded and said, “Okay, yeah. For normal stroke patients, we assist them in walking to the bathroom, let me just -,”
But then her walkie talkie cracked, “Code blue in 175. Repeat Code Blue in 175,”
She said, “Sorry, gotta run. Be right back”
I found out later that code blue was an upper respiratory issue. Definitely worth running out and dealing with, but it meant I still needed to go to the bathroom. Someone may be dying, I could hold it.
Until I couldn’t. I tried to sit up and move around to hold it until Sarah got back, but she didn’t come.
I reached over to press the button and right as I did, my bladder couldn’t take it any more. I groaned.

After a little while, Nicky came in, “Whats the matter?”
I explained, and she laughed, "Should have made you incontinent after all, huh?
I laughed, nodding along.
“Give me one second, we’ll get you cleaned up.”
She walked out the door and giggled a little bit, I would too the situation was kind of funny, but definitely not pleasant.
After a few minutes, Sarah came back in with a change of clothes.
“Okay, I’m going to pull the bars down for a moment and let you change, once you’re changed, knock on the door and I’ll come back in and help you into bed. If I hear any crashes or loud noises or you take longer than a few minutes I’ll come in to check on you.”
“Okay,” I said, “I’m sorry about all this. Does that happen with a lot of your patients?”
“Most are functionally incontinent, meaning they can’t tell, so no, it doesn’t happen a lot. We do have a few accidents where people try to make it to the bathroom but don’t, we don’t make a big deal out of it.”
I stood up and she handed me the clothes and walked out the door. I unfolded them and noticed an adult diaper in the set. I knocked and she came back in.
“You’re not changed?”
“What’s with the adult diaper?”
“You had an accident, and you still have –” she paused and looked at her watch, “15 hours left in the protective state after a stroke,”
“But I didn’t really have a stroke,” I said.
“You signed a contract, we treat you just like any other patient,”
“So I have to wear adult diapers?”
“Yes, at least until the 24 hour period is up. If you feel the need to use the bathroom again, alert us and we can help you out. Then we can reevaluate after the 24 hour period. Do you need help getting it on?”
“No I’m good,” I said. It ended up taking me a few minutes, but I got it on. It felt so weird to be in a diaper again. I had worn Goodnites and Pull-ups during my bedwetting years, but this was different. I finished dressing and knocked on the door again.
This time Nicky and Sarah were both standing there.
Nicky smiled, “How do they fit?”
I smiled back, “They’re alright. It’s weird though,”
Then Sarah said, “Okay, baby, time to climb back in bed,”
“Baby? I thought you weren’t allowed to treat me any different,”
“We flirt with the old folks all the time,” she responded, “I’ll be back in an hour to check on you,”
Nicky stayed behind, “So, how’s your first few hours in our facility,”
I responded, “Well, boring and now I’m in a diaper,” it had almost seemed to me like Nicky had planned that part, so I asked.
She smiled and said, “What good would I get out of it?”
“I don’t know,” I responded.
“Besides, you’re writing a review of us, what could I get away with?”
“I don’t know,” I said, even more suspicious.
“Well, enjoy the rest of your evening. I’ll be back after the 24 hour period is up to evaluate you,”
I nodded and she walked off. I returned to the NCIS marathon, still sleepy and still concerned that I now had on a diaper and couldn’t figure out what Nicky was up to.

I woke up with a start. I hadn’t realized I had fallen asleep. The TV was off and the room’s lights were as well. I looked at the clock. It was 6 A.M. I did some quick math and realized I had 7 more hours before the bars came down. Man, I was in a diaper in a crib. I laughed at that, but then realized I needed to pee. I hit the button.
Sarah came in and I told her and she laughed again, “You know, most of our patients don’t even realize when they are going. I could just be mean and have you use your diaper,”
“If I’m a legitimate patient here, couldn’t I sue for abuse then?”
“Yeah, I guess so, except –” and the code blue went off again, “I’ll be back,”

A little while later, when I had already wet the diaper, Nicky walked in, “Hi, Matt, sorry about all this, but you’re almost through the 24 hour period. How you doing?”
“I’m wet,” I complained.
“Oh,” she giggled, and I started to get upset, “Well, do you need a new set of clothes or just a new diaper,”
I groaned, “Another diaper?”
“Yep, you still have,” she again looked at the watch, “5 hours until the watching period goes away,”
I sighed, “Just the diaper then,”
“Okay, I’ll have Sarah come in and change you then,”
“Wait what?”
“Most of our patients don’t clean themselves well, so we have a rule that we must do it for them.”
“But –”
She had already walked out the door.

Sarah came back and grinned, “You ready, baby?”
“What’s going on here?” I asked, “It’s like you guys want me to wet myself,”
“We’re just having a little fun, and some bad timing has played into it. Now, I’m gonna change you, you can either cooperate or struggle,”
I sighed and said, 'I’ll cooperate,"
She lifted up my hospital gown and gently undid the tapes, revealing my privates. I blushed.
“Now, now, there’s no need for that, Matt, we signed the Hippocratic Oath, we can’t tell anyone about this,”
It didn’t help. She undid the tapes and then laid the new diaper out. She sprinkled some powder on me and then folded the diaper right over me and fastened the tapes, letting the gown fall back down as she finished.
She was still grinning as she washed her hands and said, “I’ll bring breakfast in about an hour.”
I sighed. At least the 24 hour thing would be over soon. I could take a shower and find the community room, maybe someone knew a halfway decent card game.

The rest of the morning was uneventful, except one more code blue right before I had to pee. Sarah changed me again and left me alone for a while. I knew something was up, but couldn’t figure it out.

Nicky came in after lunch, and we started talking.
“Well, the stroke period is over, how you feeling?”
“Like I really need to get up and walk around,”
“We can let you do that,”
“But, we can’t let you out of those diapers.”
“You’ve had three accidents already.”
“But that was because of the bars,”
“Still as I precaution,”
“Come on, you know as well as I do that you faked those code blues,”
“You don’t know that. Besides, you have a history of bedwetting anyway, maybe this is a relapse. You’ll wear the diapers,”
I sighed, this was going no where, and I was really confused as to what it was that was going on.

Sarah came in and changed me later in the day, and said, “I’m going out of town for the next few days, but one of our volunteers will be taking care of you, she’s actually Nicky’s younger sister, you’ll like her.”

I didn’t think much of it until Jenny walked in.
Jenny was the girl I had a crush on since like 7th grade.
“So its true then, you are in diapers!”
I blushed, “Yeah. How are you Jenny?”
“I’m so much better. Nicky told me you were going to be a patient. I had heard about your bedwetting and recommended they make you incontinent, it worked like a charm!”
It made so much sense now. But… and my face turned to horror.
“That’s right, Matty, I get to change you,”
She lifted my gown up and stuck a finger in the diaper, “Oh your not wet yet, but that’ll change,”
“You can’t tell anyone about this Jenny!”
“Oh I won’t. I know they rules. But come on Matt, I’ve liked you since 7th grade and you’ve never asked me out, now its my revenge!”
“But I like you too!”
“Sure, you do, just saying that so I don’t make life miserable for you,”
“No really, ask any of my good friends,”
“Well, sorry Matty, I have to go, I’ll check in on you in a little while,”

She came back in after I had in fact wet myself. She undid my diapers and linger just a bit, “Oh, it looks like you do like me after all, sorry I don’t date babies,”
I tried to make the best of it. “Well, once I get out of this, could I ask you on a date sometime, I mean, you’ve already seen…”
“You can ask, I won’t guarantee my answer,”
She taped me back up, “By the end of the week, we’ll hopefully have a fully incontinent 18 year old,”
I sighed. She was in control.

I wish I could tell you that she was wrong, that I worked hard and maintained my bladder control, but by the end of it, she was right, couldn’t feel when I was going anymore. The last day came and she seemed to have changed.
“Can I give you some advice?”
“Keep with the diapers for a little while until you get back some control, otherwise you’ll have an even more embarrassing moment.”
I nodded. She was right.
“So what are you going to say about this place? We’ve been awfully mean to you,”
“I’ll get my community service hours, I’ll write a good review I guess, all the patients seem cared for and they were friendly when I got to the community room.”
I finally signed out and got back home.

I had decided I’d stay in the diapers for a day or so without telling anyone. To be honest, they had grown on me, and I was incontinent now anyway. After a few days I had recovered some control, but was still wetting the bed.

After a few more days and after running out of supplies I had a decision to make. I drove over to Jenny’s house and knocked on her door.
“Hi,” I said sheepishly when she answered.
“Hi, whats up, here to ask me on a date?”
“Yeah, actually, that and one other thing, but the date first,”
“Yeah, I’ll go with you,”
“Whats the other thing?”
“Could you get me more diapers?”
She laughed, “Still having issues?”
“Yeah, I could do that,”
After a long awkward silence, she asked, “Wait, Matt, did you like being diapered and incontinent?”
“Yeah, I think I did,”
“I’d love to keep on taking care of you,”
“I’d like that too,”

Re: Community Service

The plot is good and the story runs smoothly.
What might be missing is some color; It tastes a bit like a good thick juicy steak without enough salt.

7.5/10 for me.

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Re: Community Service

Can you clarify what you mean by adding salt to it? Thanks!

Re: Community Service

Example of “adding salt” (sorry for my “funny” english, not my first language):

So, the next day, I walked into the dreaded guidance counselor’s office. Her name was Mrs. Hawkins. Not the greatest, but she might be able to help me out. While approaching her desk covered by disorganized paper, I tried to remain serious at her pink-and-blue hair mesh, ultra-black shiny rimmel and a couple or pounds of metal rings pinched in several spots of her face.
“Hi, Matt, what can I do for you today?” she asked cordially. From the headphones she just dropped, gravelling death metal kept pestering our conversation.