Worst Fear

March 15, 2011

I used to work with an idiot. This girl, this “coworker,” I hated her with a passion I cannot describe in words. Everything was more difficult when she was around. She wasn’t stupid, just consistently and infuriatingly incompetent. The job in question was retail, so it wasn’t as though we were building rockets to the moon, but she couldn’t seem to grasp the most basic details: enter the correct price into the cash register, make sure the customer signs the credit card receipt, when the phone makes the ringy-ringy noise that means you’re supposed to pick it up.

The strange thing was that this young woman was actually quite intelligent. She was in her early twenties, about ready to graduate with a bachelor’s degree, and her next step was med school.

And that is what frightened me most. I had never given much thought to hospital staff, but it must be like any other field: there are a few bright ones, a few apathetic ones, and plenty of people who can memorize every bone in the human body but can’t figure out how to turn on the vacuum cleaner. (Hint: There’s a big red button on the top that says ON).

One of my greatest fears is that one day I will be in a horrible automobile accident. (This would involve a bus, of course, since I don’t drive.) The paramedics come with their flashy lights and woo-woo siren. They put me on a stretcher and hoist me into the back of their vehicle. They say things like, “Stay with us, son,” and, “This guy’s a fighter. I can see it in his eyes.”

When I get to the hospital, they rush me to the emergency room, where I am hooked up to a variety of beeping and blipping machines. “It doesn’t look good,” someone says. “We have to perform emergency exploratory surgery. STAT!” (You know they mean business when they say stat.) I stare at the bright lights on the ceiling as they put me under. And just before I drift off to sleep, my former coworker sticks her bulbous head in front of my face and says, “Oh, my God! Dale! Is that you? Totally cool. I haven’t seen you in years. Don’t worry, I’m totally going to be your doctor today. For the reals! You’re in good hands… Now how do you turn on this defibrillator? I have to restart that gross red thingy in your chest.”

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: