Shouldering Someone Else’s Burden

| Learning | July 24, 2013

(I am a former American football player who has just had major shoulder reconstruction for a career-ending injury. I have a rather high pain tolerance, so I don’t wear a sling. I also don’t like attention, so I try not to make a big deal of it. However it is still a major injury and I am limited in what I can do physically for a while. I am taking summer-school classes at the local community college. The teacher is bringing in several boxes and is being helped by the female TA.)

Teacher: “Hey [my name], help [TA’s name] with those boxes will you?”

Me: “I can’t; I just had shoulder surgery and can’t carry anything.”

Teacher: “Bull! If you had surgery, you would be on so many pain killers you wouldn’t be in school! Now man up, be a gentleman, and help her out.”

Me: “I’m serious; I really can’t. I am still supposed to be in a sling to be honest, but it itched too much.”

Teacher: “Its one thing to be lazy, but being a liar is a different matter entirely, and I wont tolerate it in my class.”

Me: “I’m not lying.”

(The teacher puts down his boxes comes over and lightly slugs me in the shoulder. I wince and let out a groan.)

Teacher: “See, if you really had surgery, you would be bent over screaming.”

(At this point, I have a large red stain spreading across my shirt from where he busted my stitches open.)

Teacher: “…Is that …is that blood?”

Me: “Yes it is. You tore my stitches open. I’m going home for the day now, and will probably miss tomorrow too, because I’ll have to go back to the doctor.”

(The teacher never apologized, but the TA was impressed, and felt bad enough to give me her number. We’ve been dating since, so all is well that ends well.)

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