It is right after lunch and I am about to step into the elevator on the ground floor. A young woman approaches me.
She: Excuse me, I need to find the Health Department.
Me: Well, the first three floors of the building are all the Health Department. What exactly did you need?
She: Like, the Health Department.
That certainly narrows it down.
Me: Do you know which section of the Health Department you need? Immunizations? Animal Control?
She: My friends told me to come here. I need the place where you get, you know, checked out and stuff.
She is about 19. I begin fumbling for the most tactful way to ask if she is looking for our STD clinic or the teen pregnancy program, which is possibly unfair. Maybe she's there for a TB test?
Me: Do you need a medical exam or a screening?
She: I need to get, you know, checked. My friends said I had to, like, come here.
To my relief, a colleague who works in Communicable Diseases – which includes the STD clinic – gets off the elevator.
Me: Barb*, can you help this young lady?