Friday, June 2, 2017

Burning Bridges

Burning bridges
I ran into the retiring woman on her last day.

“It’s the last time you have to see her,” I told myself.

“I hope you enjoy your retirement,” I said to her.

“Retirement?” she retorted.

My heart sank.  Had I misunderstood?  Did I have to keep seeing her every day?

“How can I retire on the meager pension they offer here?” she sneered.  “We aren’t all made of money like you.”

Ah yes.  This prevalent misconception that I am independently wealthy and work at the hospital merely to take a salary away from a needy person.

I let it slide, concentrating on my future without this particular person.

“I had to retire from this job because my daughter has to return to work so soon after having a baby,” she quipped.

Oh- she is upset about a family situation but projecting her anger onto me instead.

“I didn’t know.  Congratulations on the new baby!” I said.

“Yeah, right,” she continued.  “You’ve been spreading my business all over this hospital for years and now you’re gonna stand there and tell me you didn’t know my daughter had a baby.  BULL SHIT.”

Once the cursing started, I figured I was justified in walking away.  Or cursing back, but we were within earshot of witnesses, who would later recall only my transgressions.

This caught me by surprise.  I knew the conversation was sliding downhill fast and that I couldn’t rescue it, but I was not expecting this.  This is why she has been so nasty to me over the years?  She thinks I spread her business around the hospital?

First, I don’t know her or her business.  I know her name and that she has some adult children, but that is all.  Second, I barely talk to anyone unless I have to about hospital business.

And what would make her interesting to talk about?

Good riddance.

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