Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Protect Us All

Since I started working more regularly in an office instead of a busy floor, I get to avoid a lot of people.

It's really nice.

Some tasks require me to leave the office and venture into the rest of the hospital.  For such times, I am developing strategies that allow me to avoid as many people as possible by timing the trips and taking less popular routes.

On a recent trip when I should have been mostly secure, I ran into two orderlies from the night shift.  Their presence immediately struck me as strange and out of place.  Night shift was well over.  I should have ran back to my office.  Instead, I kept walking, quickly bypassing these two, who were walking slower than molasses pouring out of a refrigerator.

As I approached them, I realized that I really didn't know them and maybe had seen them once or twice in all these years.  I was wondering if I was getting paranoid.

The man and then the woman said hello to me.  I answered hello back and kept walking.

Then the female orderly started.

"Did you hear that?  She said 'hello' to you and not to me.  Well, that does it.  I'm sick of the way she treats me, as if she is so much better than everybody else.  Now I don't have to be nice to her.  We'll see how she likes it, getting treated the way she treats me."

I stopped walking.  I hesitated- what do I do?  I quickly searched my memory for either of these people and came up empty.  I've never worked night shift in this place.  As soon as I learned how, I designed my arrival and departures to avoid most people, including the outgoing night shift as I arrived for the day shift.  When I arrived for the day shift, the only night shift workers I saw were the ones on the ward where I reported.  Even then, I purposely diverted myself to the locked medication area so I did not cross paths with anyone except the outgoing medication nurse.

I turned around and looked at the couple.

"Oh my God!  She's looking at us!  Do you think she heard what I said about her?  She's still looking at me!  See how rude she is?"  The woman carried on.  She then burst out sobbing, dropping her bags and then herself onto the floor, screaming, "Lord, protect me from this woman!  I am trying to leave and she is blocking my path.  Lord Jesus, protect me from this evil!"

The man who was walking with her took a few steps back from her, staring at her with a contorted face.

I still had not said anything.  I walked away.

What the hell was that for?

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