There is no last call in orthopedics.

“Do you ever miss waiting tables?”

“No.”

“Not even a little?”

“It was shitty waiting tables.”

“I mean I don’t miss the sidework, and some of the smells I don’t miss, but sometimes I miss the people.”

“That is one of the things I don’t miss. People always asking for stupid things, thinking that they could say anything at all to you, the stupid flirts, the gropers, the snappers, the cup bangers, the people that thought they could say anything to you because obviously you were too stupid to understand.”

“I think that is what I miss the most, all the people. Stupid people, jackasses, the huge variety of people, all of them poking at their food trying to make some kind of huge decision about food.”

“People suck.”

“People are fantastic. They are weird and freakish and they do the stupidest things, and you can guess about their lives when they eat.”

“Like the weird guys that come in and order the same thing at the same time on the same day every week?”

“Or the woman that comes in three times a week and always orders the same salad, but pours over the menu as though it is written in an entirely different language.”

“What is that? What about the people that aren’t regulars? The travelers, people who obviously are from out of town that are shocked by the prices and order just coffee and a muffin?”

“Oh I love their faces, the only thing better is the huge groups that are traveling on company money and order way way way too much food because they don’t have to pay. By the end of the meal they’ve bought drinks for you, for their laptops, for anyone sitting nearby.”

“I don’t miss it really, but I love that I did it. I do. I think about all the things that I do now at the hospital and nursing is a lot like waiting tables. I go to the bedside and people tell me all about what they need, they give me their orders and I do what I can within reason. Nursing is a lot like waiting tables.”

“With blood and piss.”

“Well, there is that. Just if I hadn’t spent all that time keeping drunks from puking and trying to hump each other on the night shift while earning tips and slinging eggs I don’t think I’d be half the nurse I am today.”

“Maybe. Maybe they should let you serve drinks when you hang IVs.”

“Nobody would ever want to leave the floors. There is no last call in orthopedics.”

“Party on the eighth floor, bring your walker! What! What!”

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