Duty · Fun With Suits! · Pains in my Fifth Point of Contact

Going Solo

There I was, Fighting Disease And Saving Lives, one weekend day, and I was soloing. Generally, our agency’s practice is to have two providers on duty at a time. On this particular day, I was “It!”, with no partner. The floor staff was sympathetic. I was all “Meh?” about things.

I was reminded of an old joke. It seems this fellow had had his fill of driving a lengthy distance, and elected to stop for the night. He stopped at one hotel, and was told that there were no vacancies.

He stopped at another, and yet another, only to be told, again and again, that there were no vacancies.

Finally, in response, he asked, “If the president of The United States was standing here, telling you that he needed a room for the night, are you telling me that you would turn him away?”

The desk clerk declaimed, “Of course not! Of course, we would make accommodations for The President!”

The traveler squinted at the clerk. “Well, I just read in The Daily Tattler that The President is in Bagwanistan this week. Since he will not be arriving, I’ll take his room!”

The application to my situation was to ask administration if there was anybody else working with me on that day. Of course, as reflected in the fact that there was, you know, nobody else there with me to fight disease and save lives, they would tell me that, no, there was nobody else to work with me that day.

In this imaginary conversation, I would next ask, “Suppose I got hit by a bus on the way in to work today? What would you do, then?”

The reply likely would be that “In that event, we would do (xyz)!”

Which, of course, would elicit the response, “Surprise! I did NOT get hit by a bus! Hey, howzabout (do xyz), and get me some freaking help, eh?”


5 thoughts on “Going Solo

  1. Clever! And, I suspect, ultimately ineffective. Amiright?

    The way I don’t get help is usually as follows:
    Boss: You get the weekend off cuz we hired another worker.
    Me: OK… (having heard this before).
    Friday evening…
    Boss: Can you work this weekend? The new guy can’t make it.
    Me: Sigh.

    Yesterday Boss emailed me “You get the weekend off! Train the new guy saturday morning and you can sleep in on sunday if he works out”. Imagine my joy…


      1. “I simply worked the shift. ” Yup. Do the job, get the pay. Don’t screw up.

        IRL follow-up to “sleep in sunday” (yesterday, really!): got a phone call 2 hours before the new kid’s shift “Guess who has car trouble…” THIS is why, once or twice, knowing that
        my co-worker WILL find an excuse to not show, I have sipped a wee bit of tequila shortly after shift end “sorry, I can’t cover the next shift cuz I’ve been drinking”. The words were accurate but the implication was not. It would take a retinal exam to see blood cells clumping to tell I had imbibed anything and BAC would say I’m a judge. Somehow, management always finds a body after telling me I’m their only hope… Halleluiah, the new hire snookered a relative into providing a ride to work!


  2. Yep. In addition, if I do not succumb to the temptation for drama, that encourages the floor staff to be undramatic.

    And, I want our patients to see an oasis of professional tranquility.


    1. “And, I want our patients to see an oasis of professional tranquility” A desirable condition.

      At my annual physical:
      Me: “Uh, doc, when you remove the dressing, it’s gonna…”
      Doc: “You did a commendable job applying this dressing on your back. How did you do that?”
      Me: “Mirrors and practice doing close-up card magic in a former life. Listen, it’s gonna bleed…”
      Doc: “Let’s take a look.” (removes dressing) “OH MY! I’m gonna need help. Hold pressure on it.”
      Me: (to myself) “Told ya.” Tranquility was eventually restored.


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