A mayor disguises himself in shabby clothing and pretends to be homeless to check on the staff of a local hospital in town. The events that unfold along the way force him to take extreme measures.
"Mr. Campbell, you have to help me! I know you'd do me justice. Please, my mother…she is in a terrible condition," a woman pleaded as she stormed into Mayor Alan Campbell's office, despite being stopped by his security guards and secretary Adam Woods.
"How dare you! Get out of here right now!" Adam gave the woman a scowl. "I told you Mr. Campbell only meets with citizens on Thursdays! Mr. Campbell," he said, turning to face his boss. "Please forgive me. It was slack on my part. I should have been more careful. This woman…I'll get rid of her right now!"
Mayor Campbell dressed up as a homeless man to check on the hospital staff. | Source: Shutterstock
"Please, sir, I - I..." The woman had only started speaking when Adam grabbed her hand.
"How many times should I tell you that you are not permitted to enter here? You know what....people like you don't understand simple words..." he said as he tried to push her out of Mr. Campbell's office. But the kind mayor stopped him.
"Enough already, Adam! That is not how you treat the people of this town! If this woman has some concern, let me hear her!"
"That's an order, Adam! I hope I don't need to repeat myself."
Adam glared at the woman. "Sure, sir. As you say."
"Please, ma'am," Mr. Campbell said as he turned to face the woman. "Have a seat. I'm patiently listening to you."
The woman wanted to talk to Mr. Campbell about her mother. | Source: Pexe;s
The woman sat down, still shaking and sobbing uncontrollably. Mr. Campbell offered her a glass of water and asked her to calm down. "Please have some water and let me know what's wrong. There's no need to be afraid or worried, alright?"
"My name is Stacey Houghton, sir," the woman began as she calmed down a little. " Amanda Houghton, my mother, was recently diagnosed with cancer. We are not so well-off, so I can't afford to pay for her entire treatment, as I informed the hospital's administration. But they demanded additional fees from me and threatened to kick my mother out if I did not comply. They gave me tomorrow as a deadline."
With great power comes great responsibility.
"And which hospital asked that from you? May I have the name?"
"It... It's the Sunrise Memorial Hospital, sir. We told them we needed some time to pay the bills, but they didn't listen, and you know how they are trying to take advantage of us..."
"That's unbelievable!" Mr. Campbell was taken aback. "We treat cancer patients at a reasonable cost so that families are not burdened... That's what we decided five years ago when we opened the hospital!"
Mr. Campbell listened patiently to the woman. | Source: Pexels
"Yes, sir. That's what I've been telling them, but they won't listen to us because we're poor, and the worst part is..." Before Stacey could finish her sentence, Adam cut her off.
"What? That's pure nonsense, Mr. Campbell! I'm sure there's nothing like that. In fact, they're preparing for your visit to the hospital for an event, so I'm sure they're taking extra precautions!"
"Well, Adam, we can't say that until we've verified the situation," Mr. Campbell stated emphatically. "Ma'am," he addressed Stacey. "Please go home and leave your mother's contact information with Mr. Woods. We will investigate the matter immediately and ensure that she is treated the same way as the other patients."
"Thank you very much, sir. That is extremely thoughtful of you. Thank you very much!" Stacey said, then she wrote down her mother's information on a piece of paper and handed it to Adam before leaving.
Mr. Campbell sat alone for a while after Stacey left, pondering what the solution to the problem that had just surfaced could be. Were the patients actually mistreated by hospital personnel? But they've been so gracious to me! Should I ask Adam to keep an eye on them? Ah… But I'm not sure he'd be sincere enough. Then he had an idea...
Mr. Campbell came up with a fantastic plan. | Source: Pexels
That afternoon, he returned home, dressed in his oldest attire, wore a shabby straw hat and fake beard, and smeared his face with dust so that no one would recognize him. When he looked into the mirror and was satisfied enough that he would pass off as a homeless man, he decided to take a trip to the hospital.
Half an hour later, he was at the hospital, waiting in the reception area. However, the reactions he had received up to this point had been heartbreaking, to say the least.
The guard had already tried to evict him until he produced the slip with Stacey's mother's contact information, lying that he was her relative and had come to see her. And when he finally arrived at the reception desk, a nurse sneered at him.
"What the hell is going on in this town?! Do they think that any beggar can walk in and get treated here? Don't even think about wandering around, you smelly old hag! We're hard at work preparing for an event where the town's mayor will be the chief guest."
"I've come to see a friend, ma'am," he explained softly. "May I pay her a visit?"
A nurse yelled at Mr. Campbell. | Source: Pexels
"Ughhh…visiting hours are in 30 minutes! Don't dare move until then! Homeless creep!" she muttered as she walked away.
Mr. Campbell sat there, wondering how long people had been treated with such disdain at the hospital. Everything looked so perfect whenever he came to visit. The hospital staff all had the sweetest grins on their faces, and they all appeared professional and caring.
Suddenly, Mr. Campbell's thoughts were abruptly interrupted by a sobbing sound. He'd been so preoccupied with his ideas that he hadn't noticed when an older woman took a seat beside him. She was wearing a gown with the hospital's logo printed on it, which indicated she was a patient there.
"Are you all right, ma'am?" he inquired softly.
"Oh, dear! What do I even say?" she said, sobbing. "They just kicked me out! I... I don't have anywhere to go now, and I'm not well. They asked my daughter to pay extra fees. But how could she? Her husband died last year, and she has three kids to look after. Even then, she said she'd try to clear everything up, but they evicted me. Now I'll have to call her and ask her to come pick me up."
Mr. Campbell's eyes widened at the old lady's remarks about the hospital. "What's your name, kind ma'am? And why didn't you complain to the management?"
The old woman revealed she was kicked out of the hospital. | Source: Unsplash
"My name is Amanda - Amanda Hughton…There's no point, dear. They are all on board the same ship. All of the staff members are only interested in making an extra dollar. They don't care if we poor people die..." she managed to finish between sobs.
At this point, Mr. Campbell knew exactly what he had to do. He called Adam right then. "Ask the hospital's chief medical officer to meet me right now at the hospital, Adam! I have some important announcements to make!"
"Do as I say, Adam! We have no time!"
About 20 minutes later, when Mr. Campbell saw the chief medical officer, Harrison Banks, walking towards the reception, he decided to approach him. "Good afternoon, sir. Could you please tell me why your hospital charges patients extra fees?"
Mr. Banks glared at him. "Who the hell are you? Do you know the mayor is going to be here today? And wait a minute...why shouldn't we ask for more money? We have to spend more money because beggars like you filth up the entire place and increase our expenses! Now get lost!"
Mr. Campbell knew it was time to reveal his true identity at that point. He took off his hat and fake beard. As Mr. Banks recognized his face, he fell to his knees. "Mr. Campbell? Oh my god! I'm so - so sorry, sir. I didn't know it was you!"
Mr. Campbell revealed his identity. | Source: Pexels
"So anyone who isn't wealthy or powerful doesn't need to be well-cared for in this hospital? Is that what you're saying?"
"No, sir. I'm sure there was some misunderstanding! We are not—"
"Indeed, Mr. Banks. There has been a misunderstanding that the patients here are being treated without prejudice! Because it's quite the opposite! I am delighted to inform you that you're fired from your position! And we will now conduct random checks on all hospital staff members to ensure that no one misses out on treatment."
With that, Mr. Campbell established a new council to keep an eye on the hospital staff and ensure that they are functioning properly. He even fired the nurse and guard who had mistreated him and a few other people who had been accused of not carrying out their duties properly.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Houghton received free treatment, thanks to her daughter's assistance in exposing the extortion of patients at the hospital, and the citizens were once again proud of Mayor Campbell for his sense of justice.
What can we learn from this story?
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