A Stroke Of Misunderstanding

, , , | Working | November 21, 2017

(My father suffers a stroke and we have to take him to the hospital. My mother stays with him and I go home in the morning, so I have to call in at his workplace.)

Me: *crestfallen* “Hi, I’m calling about [Father]. Sadly, he had a stroke last night, and we had to take him to the hospital. He won’t be able to come in until further notice.”

Secretary: “Oh, no! What did he do?”

Me: *repeating* “He had a stroke.”

Secretary: “Oh… No. I mean… like… medically.”

Me: *beginning to grasp after a few seconds of confusion* “Umm… I think you might be referring to the figurative meaning of the word, when people act stupid or funny. However, ‘stroke’ is actually a medical term describing when the brain doesn’t get enough blood.”

Secretary: “Oh, wow! I did not know that until now. Can you imagine? Anyhow, tell him to get well soon, to catch some restorative sleep, and to send in a letter from his doctor if it will take him longer than two days to recover.”

(Needless to say, it took him longer than two days. When I told my dad this story some days later, he had a good laugh about it, saying it was a good thing that secretary did not work in a medical office. Tomorrow, he’ll be starting work again after about a year.)

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