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Apparently, He Didn’t Leave An Impression

, , , , , , , | Working | April 6, 2022

My company hired a young man who took a desk near mine. He’s very personable and easy to talk with. One day, I’m called in to the boss’s office.

Boss: “[Coworker #1] was six hours overdue with what he was supposed to get done. He said you were distracting him by talking. Were you doing that?”

Me: “He’s a nice guy and we exchange some small talk now and then, but not six hours of it. Besides, I have my own work and I got it done.”

Boss: “Yeah, I guess that wouldn’t account for six hours.”

Me: “No, but I’ll watch that any talk doesn’t get out of control.”

Fast forward many months. We move to a new office and I am no longer near [Coworker #1]. Then, I wind up in the hospital, and when I return to work, I am buried. Finally, things slow down. I need to stretch, so I go to visit another coworker. It is a Friday and numerous employees take off alternate Fridays, so there are only a few people in the office. I look at the empty desk that I know belongs to [Coworker #1].

Me: “Where’s [Coworker #1]?”

Coworker #2: “We fired him a couple of months ago.”

Me: “Seriously?! Wow! I’ve really been out of it the last couple of months. Why was he fired?”

Coworker #2: “He was too slow. He was taking hours and days to do things that should take minutes.”

Me: “Back when he first started, he threw me under the bus. He blamed me for delaying him six hours on a project.”

Coworker #2: “Yeah. I’m not surprised. It was always someone else’s fault.”

But, seriously, despite an illness, how did I manage to not notice someone gone out of an office of only a dozen people?

Mother Of Pizzas

, , , , , , | Right | February 23, 2022

My daughter was delivering a pizza and noticed a bumper sticker on the owner’s car that read “Mother of Dragons.” My daughter decided to be clever when the lady answered the door.

Daughter: “Valar Morghullis.”

The lady turned red and started laughing in response. Later, when my daughter told me this, I asked:

Me: “What? No ‘Valar dohaeris’ in reply?”

Daughter: “No. I wished she did… but I did get a very good tip.”

Tomorrow Comes Twice

, , , , | Right | January 12, 2022

I am playing cards with some friends when one of them, a cabbie by profession, gets a phone call. In the silence of the small room, we can hear both sides.

Caller: “Interpreted call for [Rider].”

Friend: “Go ahead.”

Caller: “She needs to be driven to a few locations at 2:00 pm tomorrow.”

Friend: “I’m sorry, I can’t. I am already booked tomorrow at 2:00 pm.”

Caller: “Why not?”

There are some funny looks and quiet laughs from the rest of us.

Friend: “Because… I have other clients?”

Caller: “How about the fourteenth at 2:00 pm?”

Friend: “Okay… Wait! Tomorrow is the fourteenth!”

There Is Nothing Like A Nurse

, , , , , , , | Healthy | December 20, 2021

I’m a generally agreeable person but I can tell you that hospital visits generally put people a bit on their bad side. I’m actually amazed at the patience of the nurses and other personnel. I’m writing this during my second trip to the hospital via ER in three weeks.

The first time, I called 911 at 1:00 AM and then called my daughter to lock up my house and take care of my dog. The last thing I remember was blacking out in the ambulance. I was given Propofol, a sedative, and only remember some brief discussion and cutting off my shirt.

I woke about thirty-six hours later, a little disoriented, of course. I had pneumonia. A nurse gave some instructions. Then, a short bit later, another nurse came in to do something… nursey… and then she looked over why I’m there.

Nurse #1: “Oh, you’re the guy!”

Me: “I’m what guy?”

Nurse #1: “Well, I heard there was someone on this side of the ICU that ripped out of his restraints and removed his own breathing tube. Nobody’s ever done that before.”

Me: “I did?”

Nurse #1: “Yes. Apparently, you were ranting about being kidnapped. A doctor talked you down and you passed out again.”

A few days later, I did notice bruises on my hands that had to be caused by my Hulk routine. Over the next few days, though, I found nurses coming to my room and lingering. This seemed strange to me. Then, some nurse trainee (who was probably older than eighteen but looked sixteen or seventeen) was introduced to me. The other nurse left but she stuck around. We made a little small talk, and then I paused so she had the chance to go do her duties.

Trainee: “Can I stay here?”

Me: “Well, I guess. Don’t you have things to do?”

Trainee: “No. They don’t really give me much to do. I’m bored. Can I stay and talk?”

I figured, “Why not?” We chatted a while until she realized she couldn’t stay much longer. She bounced out of the room and down the hallway with a happy goodbye and more energy than I think I could ever muster in my entire life. Next day, one of the senior nurses was in my room and clearly not leaving and talking to me about… whatever.

Me: “Is it slow today?”

Nurse #2: “Yeah, it’s a bit slower than normal for some reason.”

Me: *After a pause* “Are you hiding?”

Nurse #2: *Blushing slightly* “Yes.”

Hospital visit number two, my daughter took me herself through the ER. My breathing capacity was probably a sixth of normal and I was suffering. But I simply cannot let go of my sense of humor.

Nurse #3: *Cheerfully* “How are you tonight?”

Me: “Is that the best question to ask someone in the E.R?”

Nurse #3: “Well, since you put it that way, I guess not.”

Me: “You realize I’m teasing you? It’s a good question. But to answer it properly, I can barely breathe. Otherwise, most of the rest of me is intact.”

I got my comeuppance. The next morning, a nurse come to do something else nursey. Everyone was in masks, so I didn’t recognize her at first.

Nurse #3: “Hi. I’d ask how you’re doing, but someone last night told me I shouldn’t do that.”

When I realized who it was I blushed and laughed. I should mention that the staff at the hospital are all remarkably friendly and wonderful.

Finally, today, I was talking with my nurse. It’s clear I only need one more night here to work with a CPAP machine.

Me: “I think I’m being released tomorrow.”

Nurse #4: “I hope not. I hope you’re here through Monday.”

I was thinking to myself, “Does he really think I need that much treatment? Do they want more money?” So, I just asked:

Me: “Why is that?”

Nurse #4: “You’re an easy patient.”

At that point, through the walls, we heard the terrible wailing of another patient.

Me: “Great. So to get out of here earlier, I just have to be cranky?”

They are all great people… BUT I WANNA GO HOME!

If You Want To Pass, Your A** Should Be In Class

, , , , , , | Learning | December 15, 2021

When teaching college courses, you inevitably get students with the talent and capacity to get an A in your course… if they could bother showing up for the class they paid for.

Student: “What did I miss last week?”

Me: “The mid-term exam.”

Student: *A bit stunned* “Did you announce it?”

Me: “Yes.”

Student: “When?”

Me: “The two weeks prior to the test.”

Student: “Can I make up the test?”

Me: “I follow my own syllabus: I don’t take roll or penalize you if you don’t show up. But it also says that I don’t reschedule exams unless you give me twenty-four hours notice prior to the scheduled date. So… no.”

He stood there speechless and I began class. He failed, of course.