who do i serve?

david byrne


i worked at the hospital yesterday, which is what i do now, once a week until the end of this schedule which is the 23rd of december. for the most part, "changing hats" is not so difficult. what i am finding is since i "choose" to be there, it makes the day go faster and it is almost enjoyable.

save for the days it is not, like yesterday. not quite chaotic, but there are certain Nurses i do not have the easiest time with, especially on labor & delivery. this is where i worked yesterday, as did she. (i do not mind taking orders, and usually do so without complaint. but i do not enjoy being "barked" at.) i did, however, work with one of my Favorite Techs and Secretaries so it was manageable.

thing is, "upstairs" where post-partum is, there was only one tech. i was told to check in to see if she needed anything by the Team Leader earlier in the day. i was torn as i was downstairs with my Friends and they did not seem terribly busy upstairs so i figured Upstairs Tech would call if she needed anything. i even sent the student up to help when she came in to pitch in for the last 5 hours of the shift. that was a nice thing......right?

all this is me telling you i believe i was justified in staying where i was, and actually it was not until the end of the day when i saw the Upstairs Tech i remembered i never went up to help her. if i did not feel badly enough once i made eye contact and saw how exhausted she looked, she opened up and railed me -- and railed me good -- in front of everybody as we were walking into the locker area.

"way to come up and help, be a team player penni!" as she motioned me with the big *two thumbs up* ...

"oh my God, i am so sorry..." was my feeble reply.

"if it wasn't bad enough, i saw Team Leader and told her how busy i was, and she said she had suggested to you to come up and help me and you never showed up. way to go!!"

another feeble reply was about to escape, and it was defensive: "you don't really have a clue about how my day was, so i really wouldn't *go there* if i were you." nice. good comeback, made me feel like more of a shit than i did when she was reaming me in front of my co-workers.

how much do i suck? what, because i worked with Triage Nurse from Hell, it made me defensive? would the better, more honest reply have assuaged her feelings, the "i was working with my friends that i never see and never work with and i wanted to stay downstairs!" been the better retort?

then she came back with the "oh, i am just kidding....i was fine." but she wasn't fine, i wasn't fine, and anyone in earshot knew the situation was so not fine.

why am i telling my friends in bloggy land that i suck, lest i risk tarnishing my halo?

because i do suck and it hit me between the eyes yesterday. i am not being paid to sit and hang with my friends, when there was someone who needed my help a little bit more and it would have probably taken only a few hours of my 12-hour shift to do so. because even though i say i have a heart for *those who are weary*, sometimes those who are weary are not wearing the only clothes that they own and toting their possessions around in a plastic bag. because helping those who are weary does not only come during the time it is most convenient for me to do so, because i happen to enjoy working in a food kitchen.

no. the weary sometimes even wear scrubs and i am called to assist, even when there is no glory, it is inconvenient, and it calls me out of myself to do so. only then will i be a true servant instead of just another talking head.

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