Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Ramblings for the Afternoon (10/19/05)

I took the day off. Partially for sanity, but really because I had to get blood work done at the hospital. I HATE the hospital, but we'll get to that.
So, without further ado (and keeping with the recent theme): LET'S GET PISSED!
I HATE the hospital:
I've talked about this in a
previous post. I really don't like hospitals or doctors. They're depressing and, due to ever changing insurance issues, most are losing that wonderful bed side manner. (Please note the sarcasm.) Now, I had to go and have blood drawn today in order to have it analyzed (the why is not important). So, armed with a form and an appointment, I headed to my clinic here in Robbinsdale.
The thing about this clinic is that if you have to wait (and inevitably you me), you will observe humanity at its best and (more likely) worst. Let me take you through my few hours (yes, I said hours...2 to be exact) at the clinic to enlighten.
I arrived to find a line at the check-in counter. There were six people in front of me and nine people sitting in the waiting area. Almost everyone was older and waiting for flu shots. As we stood in line, a man in a motorized scooter pulled up to the doors. A sign told him that the Handicap button wasn't working. He was alone. I turned to see NO ONE helping him. Not a single person moved to help this guy. So, I stepped out of line and opened the door for him and held it. After a quick, "Thank you," he sped off to another part of the clinic.
When I tried to step back to where I was, the people who had been behind me told me to, "go to the back of the line." What does this tell us about humanity right now? Are we so utterly afraid of getting "The Bird Flu" that we can't spare a second to help someone? And if we go out of our way to help, people won't recognize it? I did what I was told. I made a comment about, "How wonderful it is to see Americans helping each other with little or no selfishness," but the irony (and the comment) pretty much fell on (possibly literally) deaf ears.
Once through the check-in line, I sit and wait. Some women play with their children, some people read, and one couple decides to have a very vocal fight about (and I'm not kidding) the cable bill. The entire waiting area learns that the older gentleman apparently ordered a porn flick. You don't want to watch. This is a private matter, and yet how do you not listen when they are screaming only feet from you? The best moment, however, was a woman who came in with her stroller, sat down, looked over at me, cocked her head like a puppy, and then got up, and walked over to a new seat on the other side of the room from me. There wasn't more room, just women in the other seats.
As I waited, I watched the same man on the motorized scooter try to leave. Again, no one helped him. How could no one move? He kept trying to open the door himself, but he couldn't. Once again, I helped him. What surprised me was his answer this time. He stopped, looked up at me, and said, "Thanks. Most people won't come near me. I'm surprised you did. Thanks for not ignoring me." What does that say about us? He's handicapped and ignored. What a wonderful world we live in at present.

After what felt like an eternity, I was called in by a nurse in order to have my blood drawn. Once again, my luck, as it were, continued. I met Tara, the nurse, who introduced me to Nancy, who would be taking my blood. Nancy, though she had a sweet face, had a look of uneasiness. Why? She's a nurse in training. That's right, I would be having my blood taken by a lady who had only done this...once before. Yee-haw...let the good times roll! Again, a very sweet girl, but a little unsure of herself. She tapped my arm a few times and then decided on outside vein. This vein had never been tapped before...EVER. So, she took a deep breath, counted to 3, and jammed the needle in to the vein. At first, no problem, the needle was in and the blood was flowing. Now, they have to take two cultures, which means she has to switch vials. Normally, no problem. For me (and it's always me), there's a problem. You see, when she went to switch the vials, she pushed the second one in too hard, and the needle went further into my arm. Tara, who had been watching this, starts saying, "Whoa! Nancy! Not so hard. Relax. Back it up a bit." I, on the other hand, am trying not to show the pain that I am now feeling (It's the macho, retrosexual male in me). When we're done, Nancy looks at me and says, "Now that wasn't so bad, was it?" As compared to what? Having my toenails pulled out?
With a bandage on my arm, I left the hospital with pain going up and down my arm (not good) and feeling annoyed at the way people treat each other. I watched in horror as one woman pushed another out of the way to try and get her flu shot first. Does one minute make that much of a difference? Have we really fallen prey to the fears that media portray? "Get your shot now, or you'll DIE!" Fear makes us turn from civilized to primal. That's why fear is a great weapon. Oh and I still hate hospitals.
How about a jump?
On my way back from the hospital, I stopped at a grocery store to grab a few things. Pulling in, I noticed a woman with the hood of her car up, and asking people for help. Every single person she asked either ignored her, or told her they couldn't help. Now, I do suffer from the White Knight Syndrome. Most men do. They want to ride in, save the day, and ride out. Any man who denies this is probably lying.
With that in mind, I went over to see if I could help. Turns out her car won't start. Hey, I have jumper cables in my car, and having driven to the store, obviously it works, so I offer to help. She was ecstatic. Every person who had come before me had blown her off. One guy told her to (and I quote), "Fuck off," and one gal said she would help if she had the cables. Well, this stranded woman actually had cables and told this gal, "I have the cables." The gal, was silent for a moment, and just said, "Well, that's nice. Good luck." How horrible is that?

So, I move my car over, set up the cables, and she tries it. We hear a clunking. It's not the battery. Her car radio is working, so she has power, but the car still won't start.
This woman (Brenda) is upset. She's on the verge of tears. I reassured her and asked her if there's anyone she can call. "I don't have my phone," she tells me. "My husband has it." So, I pull out my phone and tell her to call him. Then to call her mechanic. If you judged me from the look on her face, you would think I was insane. Here's this guy from out of the blue, and he's tried to help, and he's offering up his phone so you can make calls. In the modern world, this doesn't happen as much as you think. It's sad really. Much like at the hospital, modern society has become more introverted. We talk, but only via electronic communication. No longer do we look at each other in the eye and talk. Very rarely do we actually help each other. Look at Hurricane Katrina. At first, we were all united and giving. Two weeks later, we're sick of hearing about New Orleans. Maybe not everybody, but a great deal of people have moved on to the next thing. Let's see what happens with Wilma.
Back the story, however. I waited. I told her to get in my car (as I had heat), and we waited until the mechanic showed up. When he came, I left. I took of to finish my other errands. She offered me money for helping her, which I thought was so weird. I told her it's not about money. It's about helping each other. "The next time someone is in trouble, help them. Take that money and give it to a homeless guy." Again, that puppy look came out again. I could tell she thought I was either nuts or playing an angle. I nodded, told the mechanic to check the alternator, and I left. I noticed she watched me leave. She was probably wondering who the hell I was.
And finally....
More Hockey (Get over it Worm!)
Yeah, there's a game tonight. The Wild will be playing against the San Jose Sharks, and, yes, I will be talking about it.
A former student has asked me to post about a story she heard me talking about, so I will be talking about it later.
Also, I will once again open up the
Smurf Post for anyone who wants to comment on it (read the part with the poster).
Have a peachy day.


Admin Worm said...

It's over for the Smurf poster. It's over for hockey, too.

Boy, you must type like a mother-f**ker.

Your hospital post was interesting and hits close to home. I hope all is okay health-wise.

My biggest frustration is when I'm the first appointment of the day, 7 or 8:00 a.m., and they STILL make me wait. I seriously don't get that at all.

faith said...

I agree, with Worm on #1, I hope all is ok with you! #2 how can they be running late with the FIRST appt of the day??? SO FRUSTRATING!!
As far as helping, I agree, help whenever you can. It is sad that that man on the scooter has most people ignore him. We all need help at sometime it is not going to hurt anyone to open a door for someone, or give them a jump start, or even let them use your phone. Good Lord what is America coming to. I am glad there are still some of us who are wanting to help. I will admit, I am not as likely to help someone on the side of the road or at night, because that is not the safest thing for a women to do, but I have many times in a well lite parking lot helped someone with jump. And I always get the door for people who need a hand, or even if they are close behind me, I always hold the door for them. Damn this makes me so pissed off to think of all the jackasses out there! TOO MANY PEOPLE JUST PLAIN SUCK!