Despite having backpacked through places like Cambodia and being raised by someone who was definitely not who he pretended to be, I’m still routinely thrown off guard by the bizarre and inexplicable behavior of the other humans around me. Sometimes this is a good sort of bizarre and sometimes it is the breed of weird that can only be addressed with a dramatically slow clap or swiftly moving bus. In honor of Thursday, the most mischievous of days, I’d like to share a few recent things with you.
#1: The Battle of the Maxi Pad
Instead of focusing on providing life-saving mental health services, the majority of my coworkers like to build office fortresses or send abusive emails to the entire hospital. This same sort of behavior occurs at the top of the food chain in our bi-monthly executive management meetings. It’s remarkable how much time we can waste arguing over paint samples and shrubberies, but I do appreciate the level of attention given to ensuring we buy quality toiletries for our patients. If there is ever a complaint, our Director of Operations will take the product home to sample and make a decision from there.
Two meetings ago, one of my shrewish coworkers decided to go on a campaign against our sanitary napkins. Feminine hygiene products are already a hot topic, since tampons were banned after a group of girls figured out you could soak them in hand sanitizer and obtain a decent buzz. That doesn’t leave us with a lot of options.
“I tried them,” the Director of Operations said, “and they’re perfectly fine.”
But the shrew wasn’t ready to let it go.
“They’re not thick enough, they look cheap.”
“Trust me, they’re fine.”
I was already well into my social media coma when this conversation began, but I managed to pull myself away from twitter just as she slammed her hands on the table, pushed her chair back and stood up like she was about to start a riot.
“They worked for me, and I have a VERY heavy flow. In fact, I’m wearing one right now, you want to see it? I AM BLEEDING LIKE A STUCK PIG.”
I think it goes without saying that we are all very passionate about our jobs.
#2: Unto This Psych Ward a Child is Born
I couldn’t wait to get back to work after the 4th of July holiday because I’d received a rather peculiar email with the subject line “Baby on Ward 49.” Knowing the poor communication skills of my colleagues, this could have meant practically anything. But lo and behold– there was actually a baby born on one of the wards.
Let’s take a moment to acknowledge that I work at a psychiatric hospital where most of our nurses don’t know how to use electronic thermometers.
Apparently the staff had failed to notice this woman had been in active labor for at least 7 hours. They knew she was pregnant but assumed she was lying about how far along she was, and hadn’t scheduled a prenatal visit until July 21st. Earlier that day, she’d complained of stomach and back pain and was given ibuprofen and an ice pack.
When I came in to work, I couldn’t stop watching the security footage over and over. You can actually see her reaction when her water breaks, but the staff hardly responded other than to tell her it was just “condensation” from the ice pack.
By the time she was in full blown labor, it was too late to get her to an actual hospital. The lights were suddenly thrown on and people were running in every direction. It was after 9PM so there was only one psychiatrist on call. You can see her slowly sauntering up to the patient’s room, where she stood in the doorway for a brief moment before turning on her heel and fleeing the scene.
“I don’t know how to deliver a baby,” she kept saying over and over.
In the end, a mental health tech and an LPN delivered a little blue baby who was not breathing. The LPN refused to set the baby down and just stood there wailing until another psychiatrist from the outpatient clinic showed up, grabbed it, and performed CPR. Both mother and baby are doing well, and family members were called to assume custody.
For the next week, everyone congratulated each other on the baby and made jokes about passing around cigars as though we hadn’t just taken someone’s life and turned it into a massive clusterf*ck.
#3: Chopped Lizard with Cheese
Speaking of mental health, my brother Donyek and his wife Moo were recently in town and grabbed drinks with me and The Boyfran. After a couple beverages, Moo began telling us about a recent trauma she’d experienced after leaving sticky traps out to catch mice. Sticky traps are evil in and of themselves, but it was only made worse when she came home to find a gecko had gotten stuck instead.
“It must have wanted all the shredded cheese I’d sprinkled on it.”
My brother was at work and Moo was afraid the lizard couldn’t wait, so she attempted to rescue it. I’ll let your imagination fill in the blanks, but her best intentions did not go well. I’ve no doubt that when she became a mother she never anticipated she’d be standing over a recently amputated lizard just moments before her children were due home.
“I had to put it out of its misery, it was just laying there… next to it’s leg, surrounded by cheese.”
Her heart was in the right place, but her head wasn’t, because the only thing she could find to complete the job was a disposable piece of cutlery
“I needed to be able to throw it all away and pretend like it had never happened.”
Sitting in a dingy bar surrounded by undergrads, I watched as she pantomimed her failed attempts to saw a lizard in half with a plastic knife. There were tears in our eyes as we cringed and laughed at the darkly inappropriate humor and horror of it all and I couldn’t help wondering if we aren’t all a little monstrous on the inside.
I’m sure we’re all tired of hearing about everyone’s BlogHer experiences, but this will give you a whole other side of things. Yes, there are charming locals. Yes, we break the law. Yes, that is a pink bra hanging around my waist. And if that’s not enough to make you want to watch it, you’ll also have the opportunity to see me without makeup AND while I’m making a complete arse of myself. How can you say no to that? You can’t.
What’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve discussed in a meeting? Have you ever had to put something out of it’s misery? What horrifying things have you recently witnessed?
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