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Marian gets a new job at a totally normal hospital with totally normal humans
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"All quiet here." Lucy says to Mal, then nods to Marian, eyes alert and searching. "Hey. Sorry I was too busy to chat earlier. You joining me next?"

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"Thanks for checking. Yeah, I'd like to if that's okay with you! No worries about being busy earlier, I mean, you're at work." Marian isn't sure what that searching look means but hopefully it's not a secretly-judging-her look, she doesn't think she's done anything worth being secretly judged over? 

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"Yeah, works for me. Back in a bit, Mal."

She takes some things and leads Marian down another hall. "Overheard some things, before. I'm one of the one-in-four, though I think it's actually closer to one-in-three. I'm from upstate New York, schooled at NYU and did my residency in Harlem. We should swap horror stories, sometime; locals like Mal really don't know how good they've got it, here."

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"Ooh, yeah, we totally should." Marian smiles at her and trots after her. "- So how long have you worked here? And how did you end up deciding to apply, I guess?" 

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"It'll be five months next Monday. I bounced around New York hospitals for a few years hoping each one would be a bit less... dysfunctional?" She flashes Marian a grin. "Some were definitely better than others, but each had its problems. Then I had a bad breakup and was like 'alright, I'm ready for a new scene,' you know? Big city vibes weren't doing it for me anymore. Leaving friends and family was sad, but I barely got to see them outside holidays anyway, and I can go back for those."

They reach the patient's room. "Checked around nearby towns, sorted by offered pay, looked up license requirements, and here I am." She opens the door and leads Marian inside. "Hi Mrs. Collins, how are we feeling? About ready for dinner?"

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"No," Mrs. Collins grouses as she tries to sit up, which Lucy quickly goes to help her do by adjusting the incline of her backrest. "Got no appetite for more broth." She's a caucasian woman in her mid to late 40s, with a wiry frame and hair that's greying at the roots. She's giving Marian an appraising or suspicious look. Or maybe that's just her general discomfort showing.

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"I'll see if we can get you something a little tastier," Lucy says as she starts to take her temperature. "This is Marian, she might start working here soon and is just here to watch and help out if needed."

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"Oof, yeah," Marian agrees when Lucy brings up looking for a less dysfunctional hospital. Also apparently she's not the only one who's noticed that Haven Hospital pays really well. 

They reach the room and - okay, if Marian feels like patients are giving her Job Interview looks now - and that was before Lucy had mentioned that she was shadowing her - then that's got to be social anxiety talking and she should tell it to go the fuck away. She gives Mrs. Collins a little wave and smile. "Hi." 

(And returns her own discreetly appraising look. Nothing instantly jumps out as doomy, but it was definitely a thing at Montfort that patients who were awake and not intubated often had more wrong with them, for the simple reason that otherwise they would already be transferred out to make room for someone who needed an ICU bed more urgently. Haven Hospital is a lot less crunched on space as well as staff, though, maybe they actually hold onto their patients until they're not just stable but also have care needs that can realistically be met by a med/surg nurse with five patients?) 

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"You're new," Mrs. Collins says, ignoring the wave (and apparently Lucy's Information to that effect). "Where are you from, girl?"

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"Marian is from Canada," Lucy says, dropping to a slightly more professionally-brusque tone as she starts on blood pressure. "Have you used the bathroom yet?"

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"No. Kept feeling like I had to, but I just pass gas." Mrs. Collins is still squinting at Marian, but she looks away as Lucy presses a stethoscope to her chest, muttering, "New eyes are always tricky. Don't know what they're thinking."

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Another of those appraising looks, from Lucy this time. "Probably they're thinking that people like you are better off with more, better rested staff. Do you want help getting to the toilet?"

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"No. I'm not an invalid, I'll go if I need to."

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(Marian would definitely not be super comfortably with her postop ICU patient getting up by themselves to use the bathroom, but Mrs. Collins isn't her patient and she's going to let Lucy field that one rather than try to awkwardly say something.) 

...Small towns are kind of a way, aren't they. Marian should maybe ask Lucy later if it's the kind of small town where people would still be treating her like a newcomer in a year and making weird uncomfortable comments about it. 

"It seems like a lovely town and I think I'd like to live here for a while," she says, because surely that can't go wrong as polite small talk. 

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Mrs. Collins seems to only grow more suspicious, or disgruntled, or whatever she is. "It is lovely. And we work hard to keep it that way."

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Lucy rolls her eyes at Marian over Mrs. Collins head and gives her a slight smile, but keeps her professional demeanor as she continues to go through the checkup. "Just as a reminder, if the pain is getting bad or you need to use the toilet, please do press this to call for me, and we'll get make sure you're more comfortable."

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"I know how a button works. I'm fine."

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Welp apparently that CAN go wrong as small talk, ouch!

...Marian shouldn't take it personally. Mrs. Collins is probably in pain and tired of being in the ICU surrounded by things that beep and it's not like it's her job to make Marian feel welcome in Haven. 

 

Though, uh, once they're out of the room she definitely intends to ask Lucy if many people were - like that - when Lucy moved here, and if people still see her as a newcomer now that she's been there for months. 

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The rest of the check-in goes smoothly (and more quietly), and then they're back in the hall on their way to the nurse station. "Yeah, so that's a thing," Lucy says, voice low. "Sorry I didn't warn you, I thought it might have only happened to me for more obvious reasons."

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For more obvious rea– ohhhhhh are people here sometimes racist. That's not, like, surprising, for a small town in the US - it's probably worse here than in Canada - but bleh, that sucks, and also Marian has no idea how to say something sympathetic without it being weird or awkward since she's white. 

Shrug. "I figured it was a - small-town people are prickly about new people showing up sometimes? And she's in pain and - I'm not going to take it personally. ...Though, uh, I am curious if a lot of people here are - weird about newcomers?" 

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"Nah, most people here are actually pretty friendly. And yeah, people in hospitals are rarely their best selves, but I lost count a couple months ago of times someone remarked on it in a... weird way?" She shrugs. "It's hard to put my finger on, somehow. Not everyone's, like, annoyed or something, but it's still more of a thing than I expected. Saratoga Springs isn't that much bigger than Haven, and we didn't treat newcomers like this. Or maybe we did and I was just too young to notice."

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Huh. Something did feel odd about it, but Marian wouldn't on her own have had a baseline to compare to.

"Mmm." Marian fidgets. "...Are the other staff, uh, weird about it? I think that might bother me more than with patients - Mal was really nice though..." 

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"Oh yeah, the hospital staff have all been cool so far." She lowers her voice a bit as they approach the nursing station. "Not that they're not a bit weird in their own ways, sometimes."

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Mal waves as she sees them approach. "Hey Marian! Carla said they'll be ready for you in her office, in about five minutes. And that was two minutes ago, so no rush, but I was getting ready to come let you know."

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AAAAAAAAAAA INTERVIEW 

 

 

Marian is a grownass adult and can do job interviews without panicking. "Thanks! Should I just - wait here for three minutes, then -?" Pause. "I'm curious what Dr Lamb is like?" Is he going to be weird at her too, she's not sure how much more of that she can handle on a job interview day

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