A long, long time ago, in a city so very far away, I was an afternoon shift nursing house supervisor. In the course of my shifts, I would receive call offs from midnights, and attempt to discern that point at which nights would be short, and I would have to attempt to backfill their staffing.
One such evening, I had determined that nights would, indeed, be short. I started on the unit that was short, and called up. The first nurse I spoke with was the recipient of my stock spiel.
“Ms. Smith, golly, have I got an opportunity for you!”
She was amusedly skeptical. “Oh, you do? What sort of opportunity might that be, Mr. McFee?”
“Ma’am, I have the opportunity for you to make eight hours of time and a half, right this very night! What a deal!”
“What might I have to do, to earn this time and a half?”
“Why, simply keep your same assignment, and ride home in the morning glowing in the satisfaction that comes from a job well done!”
“Suppose I don’t have a ride home in the morning? I carpooled with Ms. Diaz, and she is completely uninterested in OT.”
I had an answer to that problem. “In that case, I’ll trot up there with a cab voucher for you!”
She was surprised. “Can you do that?”
“It certainly appears that I can, as I have the cab voucher right here in front of me!”
“But, I did not bring anything to eat later!”
“No problem. What would you like? We have KFC, pizza, Burger Biggie, and others not so far away.”
“But, I did not bring any money!”
“Who asked you for money? You’re working over, I will be sure that you eat, and have a way home. Any other concerns?”
“But, who is going to pay for the food?”
“Not you. Beyond that, not your problem!”
She sighed. “OK, let me call my husband. I’ll get to keep my assignment tonight?”
“Yep! I will so advise the night supervisor!”
“Thank you, Mr. McFee!”
“Ms. Smith, you are welcome. Thank you for being flexible!”
I caught up with the security supervisor, and asked him if one of his officers could make a chow run. I handed him a $20 dollar bill, asked for my change and the receipt, once Ms. Smith had her food.
The next day, I took my receipt to my boss, explained how I had negotiated coverage for night shift, and presented the receipt. She wrote out a petty cash voucher, and sent me to the cashier to get reimbursed.