Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Where's a cape when you need it?.....

I finished the collar on the sweater-coat, which looks a little blah, and I'm toying with ideas to dress it up a little. I was a little depressed this morning after getting a whole day off yesterday to knit and play with the computer and stuff because I knew today would be tough, having to catch up with both Tuesday's and today's work all in the same day. But I figured I could handle it if I skipped lunch with Amber and just powered down in the morning cranking out the never-ending paperwork, leaving my patient visits for the afternoon.

When I arrived at the office, I found a nice surprise-- another present for "Nurse's Week", this one from a medical supply company, a brand new stethoscope in a gift box. Great gift, I thought, fiddling with my new scope. It was a very good quality scope, almost as good as a Littman. Usually we don't get this nice of gifts from the medical supply companies--just pens and post-its, usually---so this scope definitely brightened my day. I settled into my office for a morning of heavy-duty paperwork, trying not to stray off into daydreams of how I am going to tinker with my sweater-coat's collar.

Things went well for a couple of hours. I pointedly shut my office's door to discourage interruptions so that I could zone out and put out the reams of paperwork that are the only negative part of the job of a home health RN. And then I heard it.....

There were "authoritative voices" coming from the halls. "Important people" were arriving into the building. Ooh and ahh, ooh and ahh....

So I ventured forth from my office, pretending to fax something in order to check the scene out. It seemed that the Big Cheeses were here for a Marketing Meeting. As I faxed a blank piece of paper to our Medical Director's office (not caring a fig that his secretary would be wondering why in the heck my company had faxed them a blank piece of paper) I checked out the action and noted that the Grand Poobah, his minions, the PR Reps, and my boss had all gone into the conference room--and then shut the doors behind them.

Durn! It was a private deal. I hate private meetings. Enquiring Minds Want to KNOW. And it was going to bother me that I didn't know.

(I can't help it, I'm nosy.)

Anyhoo, I returned to my office to continue with my work, making a mental note to be on my best behavior while the bigwigs were here. (You know, like not saying any words in anger that start with an "s" or an "f"--you get the picture).

As I scribbled, my mind was churning with curiosity. Why would the Grand Poobah and his minions come hold a Marketing Meeting here at the branch office when they have a perfectly good administrative building with a conference room a few blocks away? Why, I ask you, Why? And just WHAT were they talking about that was so private that they had to shut the doors? I thought and thought....my mind racing with the possibilities. Hmmm....since the PR people were in there, it must have something to do with PR, which isn't a big secret. We nurses participate in their PR events all the time. It's never been a hush-hush deal. So WHAT was it, then????

And then I realized that since the company had recently decided to expand, adding 4 or 5 new branch offices in some other towns in this region, there had been an awful lot of job postings put out, with encouragements for "promotions from within", and I knew that a lot of people were applying from various branches of this company for these jobs. I wondered if this meeting had to do with any of that? Hell, I, myself, have applied for one of the Director jobs. (Ouch--didn't mean to admit that.....)

I thought to myself, "Self,wouldn't YOU just LOVE to know WHAT or WHO they were talking about-- and to know WHO might be promoted and who might not?

I could hear heir muffled conversations through my wall. I could hear one of the PR rep's voices, my boss's voice--and the Grand Poobah's voice.... IT WAS DRIVING ME CRAZY. WHAT WERE THEY TALKING ABOUT?????

I fidgeted at my desk, finally getting up to put a new CD into my boombox... And then a lightbulb went off in my sneaky little brain and I turned the sound down....and then I turned the sound off. I realized that I could hear their voices better if I didn't have my boombox on... I moved closer to the wall where the voices were coming from.

Yet I still couldn't hear anything definitive. It was still a maddeningly muffled buzz through those stupid cement walls. So I stepped a little closer to the wall. Yes, the sound was clearer here. I stepped so close that my head was just a few inches from the wall.

Yes, clearer....clearer... Okay, I put my ear to the wall. I flattened my entire head to the wall, trying to hear what was going on in there. I could now hear snatches of conversation. Not enough to know what was being said but just enough to tantalize me!!! DANG IT, I thought. These dratted concrete walls.

And then I noticed it. The brand new stethoscope. Practically a Littman in quality, yessiree. Brand new, just sitting there in the molded foam in the gift box it had arrived in. Just itching to be used... Okay, so I grabbed it. I placed the ear pieces in place. Perfect fit for the ears, CHECK. Tapped on the bell with my finger to check the tone, good quality sound, CHECK. And then I put it's bell to the wall and listened hard. Hmmmm....... Voices were becoming clearer, I could make out phrases, and I could tell when the Grand Poobah was talking to the whole group. Being the well-trained RN that I am, I knew that you have to check different areas, so I moved the scope around on the wall to see if the sound quality was any better anywhere else. (I almost said: "Take a deep breath" but remembered myself and didn't.) I kept moving the scope around on the wall--I didn't want any pipes or electrical wiring causing interference. Ahh....yes.... I finally found the spot. NOW I could hear some good stuff. I had just heard something to the effect of ".....and so I really think that our goal at this point should be...." when the door to my office burst open and a secretary rushed in with some papers for me to sign. She and I both froze. I'm sure my shocked eyes were so bug-eyed that I looked like a gigged frog. My God, I had just been caught by a secretary sneakily listening with a gift stethoscope to a Marketing Meeting through my own office wall. Oh Sweet Lord Have Mercy, I thought. If I've ever begged The Lord for a favor it WAS NOW. Because in a nano-second I realized that there was NO GOOD EXCUSE for this particular predicament. Now, don't get me wrong--my sly mind is pretty quick....BUT...there are not that many good reasons for listening to a private meeting through a wall with a stethoscope. In fact, I can't think of a single one. Uh....but my Evil Twin could think of one. Because I never say die. I'm stubborn to the end. (My very end, sometimes.) My motto is, "When faced with dire situations, one must sometimes have to come up with equally dire excuses." I quickly figured that in this particular situation, the only method for escaping disgrace was to use the old "act like that's EXACTLY what you were trying to do in the first place" routine. "Gee," I said to the stunned secretary, "These new scopes are pretty good. You can hear all the way through this wall into the conference room. Huh. Imagine that. I'm going to have to try this little baby out this afternoon on my patient visits--give the old Littman a run for it's money, eh?" and I straightened up and sauntered over to my desk and sat down as if nothing had ever happened. She stood there for a few minutes, probably wondering "what in the hell?" But I could sense that she was confused. Good, I thought. Maybe my desperate ploy had worked. She stood there stunned for a second or two, probably wondering if she should say something or not, maybe wondering if I was really as crazy as everybody says behind my back that I am.... In the end she just came over and handed me the papers to sign and I signed my name several times, giving the last one a flamboyant wrist-motion flourish before I returned to my work. She left without saying anything else. After this little adventure I was in a sour mood. Not only had I missed hearing what the damn meeting was all about, but I dare not try this behavior again. Sigh. It was time to go see my patients anyway. And I was looking forward to seeing a particular patient, Ms. "Brown", because she lives alone way the heck out on the longest country road you've ever taken and I always worry about her living way out there like she does. I'm always glad to go see her and see that she's alright. Ms. "Brown" lives in a little house on a piece of land which is surrounded on three sides by the parameters of a large cattle ranch. Only a dirt road divides her property from the ranch's property. And the reason I worry about her so much is that she has the bad habit of falling and not being able to get up. Which is bad enough when she falls inside the house, but three times last year she fell down outside while trying to walk with her walker to her mailbox. Each time, she just sat in the ditch until someone drove by and rescued her. Fortunately, she didn't injure herself those times, but I always worry that the next time she won't be so lucky. I've told her umpteen times that I want her to stop going for the mail and to just let her family pick it up for her at intervals but she's stubborn. "I can git my own mail, nurse", she'll say, "and there's a good shade tree by the mailbox--so if I fall down I'll just sit there till someone comes on by." "But last time that happened, you sat there for 6 hours in the rain," I reminded her. "You could get pneumonia if you didn't break a hip--or both." But she is stubborn and always assures me that she'll be alright. Anyway, I left the office and took off in the Jeep. It was a pleasant drive on a sunny day, and on the way I daydreamt of how I was going to fix the collar of the sweater-coat and also gabbed on the cell phone for 20 minutes with Amber. No, I told her, it wasn't true that I'd been seen listening at a wall of the conference room with one of the new stethoscopes. Lord, how those secretaries make up rumors. Sheesh. I parked in Ms. "Brown's" small driveway which is directly across the road from the southwest corner of the neighboring ranch's back pasture. There was a group of about 10 cows milling about right smak dab in the corner of the steel fence. Stupid cows, I thought. Everybody knows cows are stupid. A hundred miles of pasture behind them--but they come to a fence and think the world has stopped. They don't even know that they can turn around and go back to the pasture. Nooooo, they just stand there like idiots. They don't even know when to come home--HAH! (Get it?) (Really, get it?) Anyway, I got out of the Jeep and went round to the passenger side and opened the door. I could hear some moo-ing as I gathered my things from the passenger seat but paid it no mind. And yes, I had the dratted new stethoscope with me to see if it was really worth all the trouble it had caused. Then I heard some more insistent moo-ing. Really stupid cows, I thought, turn around, dummies--the rest of the pasture's behind you..... And then I heard BELLOWING. That's no regular cow moo, I thought with dread. I turned around slowly. And I saw him--a big mean bull right in the center of that group of cows. And that big mean bull was standing with his nose pressed up against that fence, staring ME right in the eyeballs-- and he was actually STOMPING his feet at me! He bellowed again! That damn bull was bellowing at ME! That stupid bull! And, GOOD NIGHT IRENE-- he was stomping the ground so hard that he was throwing dirt up! But do you know what? Let me tell you, after the morning I had had, I was in NO MOOD for a mean bull at this point, okay? And there was a steel fence between me and him, afterall. And I must admit, when I am irritable, and there's a steel fence between me and an adversary, I can be a rather tough customer myself. "SHUT UP!" I yelled at that bull. "JUST SHUT THE HELL UP!!" No bull was going to get the best of me. I briefly thought about waving my cranberry lab coat at him like a matador, just to mess with his head, but then I remembered the stethoscope incident and decided not to, because Ms. Brown's back screen door was open and I didn't want to chance getting caught at bad behavior again. The bull actually looked stunned. So while he stood there reviewing his options, I simply stuck my tongue out at him rudely, turned around with a flounce, and went about my business. And the moral of the story is....... Well, I don't know what the moral of the story is, but it sure FELT GOOD to tell that damn bull to SHUT UP.

9 comments:

Tonya said...

cows/bulls are about as enamouring as an exhusband shut the hell up was being rather nice but where are the leopard socks an ummm what was the meeting about darn it that was truly intriquing.
Tonya

Brewgal said...

Great stuff! I laughed so hard I think I pulled something. Can you fix that? :-) Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

Loved every word.........
and thats no bull...

Tammy said...

Man, you are so funny. I am really enjoying reading your exploits of everything!! I love the socks!!

Elsie in Va said...

You sure are country gal. Hee hee
I have a Sister in law in texas .....Bet she would write just like you.LOl A lot of good ole medicine here. The good book says" laughter is like a good dose of medicine."
Elsie Va

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