Oysters & Ombuds

By Dina Eisenberg, MWI Ombuds

It was my first time.

Naturally, I was excited but also nervous.  I was unsure.

I visited Tybee Island while on a trip to Georgia to decide whether to move to Savannah. Savannah is an amazing city full of great food and kind people.

I always ask the local folks about the best places to eat when I travel. Tourist traps don’t really show the flavor of a city. All the locals said I had to do an oyster roast on Tybee Island.

Oysters one of my top 5 foods

Normally, I slurp down a few dozen oysters after someone else has shucked them for me. Oysters are high in protein, Zinc, vitamins D & B12 as well as iron, which makes them a very healthy indulgence. My limit was 6 dozen in a sitting but it’s more like 3 now.

A oyster roast is an experience you shouldn’t miss-fun, communal & delish! However it is different! I had no idea what to do with the oysters, straight from the fire, that was dumped in front of me with a shovel at a long communal table.

Thank heaven for guidance. The guy next to me showed me how to place the oyster in the towel and use the small, blunt knife to pry the raw oyster open at the end. The roasted ones were already open and I knew what to do with those!

Working with an Ombuds

If you’ve never worked with an ombuds before, you might be nervous about that too. Here are some approaches.

  •  Make the call.     You’ll find an attentive Ombuds there to help you sort things out. You get clarity and peace of mind.
  •  Tell your story.     An Ombuds isn’t a judge. You don’t need evidence or notes. Explain what happened from your perspective. There will be many questions so your Ombuds can understand the situation and what’s most important to you.
  •  Share the outcome you’d like to see.     Ask for what you need, not what you think is possible. The Ombuds will assist you in figuring that out if you don’t know. You won’t be told what to do or given advice but you will have a sounding board.
  •  Trust the process. I realize that might be difficult. The Ombuds will explain the process during the meeting so you know what will happen. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to reassure yourself.
  •  Be proud of yourself for standing up for yourself and others! Think about it this way. Reaching out to the Ombuds for help is a sign of trust and confidence in your organization. You probably wouldn’t bring it up if you didn’t believe a solution was possible.

We’d love to hear about any experiences you, or friends, have had with an Ombuds.

Interested in learning more about the ombuds function?  Visit at https://www.mwi.org/ombuds. You can also reach out directly to Chuck Doran, Ombuds and Executive Director, at 617-895-4026 or cdoran@mwi.org to learn more.

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