Musings of a Chicago-Born New Yorker

Posts tagged “night shift

A Refreshing Story From A Girlfriend

Did you ever watch Sex and the City? If you did, you know Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda spent a lot of time analyzing the motives of the men they were involved with. They hemmed and hawed over mixed messages, stumbling and bumbling their way to their own happily ever afters.

Turns out that crap happens to real women too. And, at least for me, that shit goes on without the accompanying self-awareness needed to navigate the trenches. It wasn’t until a chat a work that I realized how taxing dating can be.

I’m not talking about double dating like my recent post. Double dating is stressful only because you’re juggling four schedules. No, I’m talking about ordinary, I’m-single-and-so-are-you-let’s-see-where-this-goes dating.

I catch up with my girls (i.e. basically my bridesmaids plus a couple others) and they tell me stories of their men. I’m the only who’s married, so there are always lots of stories. The big theme seems to be mixed messages.

There are the boyfriends who seem ready to propose never but love talking about marriage. There are the guys who are jealous at the thought of you spending time with another man, but they make it clear you are not their girlfriend. There are the guys who love talking about a life together and taking care of you but don’t have shit to offer besides love.

I don’t know how to get a boyfriend to propose because the husband proposed every damn week; I just said yes when he finally did it with a ring in hand. I make a point of telling men how to achieve exclusivity, and they all were informed that jealousy wasn’t the way. And since I fully intend to always have my own shit, demanding the man I’m with have ambition is a reasonable request. So I’m there more to listen rather than to offer advice because my girls all have such different personalities and motivations.

After listening to all that, I’d thought I’d heard it all. But then, at work, one of the chicks I chat with was giving me the latest update on the man she’s dating. He’s so honest and caring and really straightforward about what he wants and what timetable he’s on to get there.

I was so pleased during that conversation that I actually paused to figure out why. It was because there were no games. There was no one-foot-in-one-foot-out going on. He was just there. Both of them are the type of people who take things at a slower pace. They’re getting to know each other and their emotions and tendencies.

And he’s just… honest. She knows where she stands with him. She doesn’t have to hash it out and guess with her friends. She always knows because he makes it clear. Even with the tumultuous course of his past relationships, he’s still being a grown up and treating her with the respect she deserves. He’s not punishing her for shit other women have done.

He’s just being… him. And that’s so refreshing. So refreshing.


The Mystery of the Missing Contact Lens

I’ve got a story for you that starts in a strip club, and ends with haikus written in the emergency room.

The husband and I pride ourselves on not turing into some mutant married couple. At least not yet. Sure we break into song and dance and have ridiculous inside jokes, but we’ve been like that since the day we met, so it doesn’t count. But the things guys do with their friends, like go to strip clubs, stayed on the list of activities. We pat ourselves on the back for our behavior. Go us.

So the other night, the husband goes out with a couple of his boys to a strip club. The other participants shall remain nameless because some of their significant others think strip clubs only exist for bachelor parties and not random Friday nights out. But they were there and they were enjoying the show and having some drinks.

The husband decided to spend the night at his parents’ house in the suburbs rather than make the drive all the way back to the city to our apt. When he awoke the next morning, he noticed he only had one contact in his eye. Since he was drunk, he wasn’t sure what happened to the other contact. Undeterred, he cleans the still in place contact and puts in a new one on the naked eye and moves on with his day.

Later, while I’m at work that night, I get a call. It’s the husband. His eye is swollen. The eye that was missing a contact earlier. I immediately suspect, as you likely have by now, that he didn’t lose the other contact, it just moved out of place. Luckily, I was in medical school and his mother is a nurse practitioner. Between the two of us, we explain how he can work the contact down and out of his eye.

It doesn’t work. I told him to give it 2-3 hours and if he can’t get it out himself to go to the ER nearest to our house. His mother suggested an urgent care clinic would be quicker. So it’s either a long ass wait at the ER up street, or a long ass drive to the only 24 hr urgent care clinic we know of. With only one fully functioning eye, he heads to the ER.

The husband tell me that even though his eye is uncomfortable and he’s lost a huge chunk of his night, it was worth it. To have a great time out with his guys was worth it. I think part of it was dispelling myths that he’s married an unavailable for fun. His friends that know me are aware that’s not true, but guys just can’t believe it til they see it apparently.

After first falling asleep on the couch because he’s possibly narcoleptic the husband finally gets to the ER. After waiting for quite a while, the husband decides he will amuse himself. They tell him it’s a 2-3 hour wait, and he still doesn’t feel like driving out to the suburbs. In hindsight, he’s almost certain to regret this decision. I worry that someone about to deliver, or bleeding to death, or with an arm hanging off will jump in front of him in line. I share this worry with him.

But since he’s in the ER, what does he do to amuse himself? He starts texting me haikus to chronicle his experience at the ER. This is after a gunshot wound comes in, guaranteeing his time will be extended even further. I figured I’d share these with you because I found them hilarious. The husband is so creative!

Man enter the room / He is pacing back and forth / This person is weird

Grimacing in pain / He has not registered yet / The man walks around

He just spit on floor / Security yells at him / He still has not sat

He has disappeared / Girl who got shot just rolled in / She has not bled though

The girl is waiting / The girl says she saw no blood / Where she got shot at

I just switched my chair / Irritating that seat was / Because of the squeaks

I’m sure she is drunk / And has no clue what she says / That girl in the chair

The man has come back / In the emergency room / Finally sat down

Second man smelly / He is bothering my nose / Sitting behind me

First man is talking / Says his arm is killing him / He is hurting bad

Second man switched seats / The man who sat behind me / My nose feels better

Third man has come in / He screams out loudly in pain / I don’t want to look

His leg is broken / Or maybe his foot, can’t tell / He is also drunk

New person sits down / Tells me she has been here once / Waited 6 hours

I no longer feel / The the contact that is stuck / Was worth my good time

Everyone just sits / Waits for help that does not come / I am not happy

I had told the husband that it’s hard for me to feel sympathy for self-inflicted troubles. After all these haikus, I was feeling sympathetic, and I told him so.

This you say is true / I am having no fun here / In this hospital

Only few are left / There is not many people / Who came before me

First man left again / I think he went outside to smoke / With another man

I am so sad now / I realized I messed up / With the last haiku

Many syllables / I had eight in middle line / Instead of seven

I metion to my little haiku master that he must be sleepy. Honestly at this point, I’m surprised he’s even still awake, even in an uncomfortable waiting room chair.

Sleepy indeed yes / As I sit in this room here / Waiting for some help

Second man sleeps hard / Ear is touching shoulder blade / He is in dream world

Snoring he is not / But I am sure that his smell / Would wake a village

 I sit all alone / People here but we don’t talk / My eye feels much worse

He doesn’t text me for a while and I figure he’s fallen asleep. Or maybe even better, they’ve called him to the back Then the haikus resume.

First man is in gown / Asking if I have a light / I tell him no quick

It is almost 5 / I still have not heard my name / Everyone else is sleep

Second man was called / James Hunter is his real name / Should be stinky pot

I am still here / So I will talk in haiku / Until I am called

I have seen one show / And a movie since I came / Both were not that great

Guy who checkec me in / Said “almost dude” right to me / Hope has been restored

All I respond is ,”yay!”

Look waht you have done / A pregnant girl just rolled in / See what words can do?

I responded confused, all I said was yay!

Two girls just walk in / One girl is drunk and says she / Has to go to church

Pregnant, shot, shattered / One of each have come in here / You said that they would

All I think is Oops…

Third guy is next door / He snores like the alking dead / He yells out in pain

His leg is broken / Doctors seem apathetic / Third guy gets a splint

Drops are in my eye / No scratch on the cornea / Might be infected

At this point the haikus stop. I don’t get the whole story until I get home from work. They give him antibiotics for a periorbital infection. Somehow, there was a tear in the skin around his eye and it got infected at some point in the last 24 hours. His eye wasn’t infected, just the skin around it. He’ll be on antibiotic pills for 14 days.

I mentioned before that my friends and I like to spread rumors about each other only to each other for our own amusement. Terrible things you can only say to someone you’ve known for 20 years. With this whole story, of course I can come up with many terrible rumors to share with our friends about what happened to the husband’s eye. But I also want to share it with the 2.5 people who read my blog.

I think he was motorboating a stripper at that club, and she gave him some sort of eye infection. Could be pink eye, herpes, who knows? And as to that contact, I think it’s lodged somewhere is the sequins of a large-breasted stripper’s bra. Did I mention that the rumors my friends and I make up are just horrible? Well… they are.

What do you think happened to the husband’s contact lens?


Climbing Up The Ladder At Work

There have been some changes going on at work recently. I’m not about to air our office gossip and drama on the internet, so I will skip to the important facts that pertain to me.

My main job duties include placing kidneys and the pancreas in organ donation cases. Only some of our office staff is trained to do this work. The kidney placer with the most seniority on each shift is the shift lead. Because of some moves around the office with other people’s training and switching to different shifts (and a lof of drama in between), I’m about to become a senior placer and a shift lead on most of my shifts.

I’ve only been working at this job since May 2011, but things have really worked out in my favor. Because of how quickly I trained, along with some office politics and drama, I’ve been left standing as the obvious choice to keep moving up.

With thoughts of moving to New York City in my mind I took a look at the open positions at the NYC counterpart of my office. The job that most appealed to me required some leadership experience in the field. The ambitious side of me started thinking.

I figured that if we do stay in Chicago for another year, the leadership experience of being a shift lead for over a year would definitely count toward me being qualified for that better position. I don’t know if the position would even be open this time next year, but it’s a possibility.

Non-profits have a pretty high turnover rate. If I have this job for 2 years and then only leave because my husband got into grad school in another state, they’ll know I have job loyalty and will be setting up shop for at least another 2 years. That’s a good investment for them.

I feel so blessed to have been trained so quickly, and to have stayed out of the work drama. When this opportunity came up, I was an obvious and agreeable choice for it. The other people who aren’t yet trained may be done training by March, but the shift lead position is mine.

Even if we do end up moving to New York this summer, I still will be glad for the opportunity to grow and learn more. If I make a career out of donation, I want every chance I can grab hold of to gain more experience.

I gotta say, it feels amazing to be a in position where it feels like no matter what move I make, I can’t go wrong.


Getting Access To Your Records

After watching far too many episodes of Leverage, and through the course of my job, I’ve realized something.

If someone wanted access to your records, it’d be pretty easy to get.

People call in to my job asking about people’s donor status, test results, surgical history, etc. If their call seems to be from one of our partner agencies, they get the information. We don’t confirm identities or anything. We just take people’s word for it.

Everything is recorded and verified. Eventually verified. It’s that “eventually” part that worried me.

It kind of freaks me out to know how easy a person’s information can be accessed. We bypass HIPAA or rather have an exception to HIPAA that allows us access to everyone’s information. By proxy, so do our partner agencies.

All the stuff that we figure is kept safe in our doctor’s files is open for the world to see. Now if you have no crazy stuff going on, you’re fine. Also, most of the time we access someone’s records, they’re dead or about to be dead. And it you’re dead, are you concerned about your records anymore? No, you’re not.

There is the occasional patient who gets called into us because they’re on a ventilator. We get all their information and share it with our partner agencies. But then they don’t die and all they’re stuff is out there.

No one at my office is selling medical histories on the black market, or whereever you’d sell that kind of stuff. We take our jobs very seriously. As far as I know, there’s never been a breach of confidentiality. Considering that we get hundreds of calls every single day (lots o’ people die in Illinois), that’s a very big success rate.

This is mostly because of my too many episodes of Leverage. but let’s say someone wanted to access a recently deceased person’s records for nefarious purposes. I’m not going to say what they’d do to get it ( *cough* fake being an employee of another agency *cough*), but most of our business is conducted by phone and fax. Hardison and Parker would have all our shit in like 10 min flat.

But enough worrying… your records are fine… Probably…

I apologize because I did write this at like 5:00 am, when really sleepy at work. I get like this. And I watch too much TV.