Archive for March, 2008

The Administration Alleges a Charge Nurse Is John Wayne

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

Some psychologists associate John Wayne Syndrome with post-traumatic stress disorder. Other shrinks claim the Duke’s namesake pathology spawns testosterone-engorged megalomania and heavy-handed impulsive behavior. The warehouse administration used their interpretation of John Wayne Syndrome to blame a devoted night nurse for their unlawful neglect.

At any given time, two or three wit-challenged high school girls worked weekdays part-time in the basement laundry room. This schedule allowed them to attend weekend classes at LaBabette’s Academy of Beauty and dream of the butt implants they’d get when their careers as beauticians took off. Repeatedly my clothes came back from the laundry splotched with large bleach stains or permeated by the pungent reek of decay and old people piss. But I should point out: Mr. Gold treated them like retarded children, an extraordinarily foul aroma fomented in the plastic laundry barrels delivered by CNA’s, they slaved in a cramped and sweltering space. Those conditions wouldn’t have motivated me to do a bang-up job either. more »

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But He’s an Army Man!

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

Simmy worked as a physical therapist at the warehouse. A few days before he started, while I lifted wall-mounted weights in the therapy room, I heard the department supervisor excitedly tell a coworker: “We’re finally getting a new guy. He’s an Army man!

The coworker asked, “Has he had any experience as a therapist?”

The supervisor frowned: “Well, Mr. Gold never said.” Quickly her smile returned: “But he’s an army man!

One morning I rolled into the therapy room and found the new guy sitting at one of six desks organized in the alcove. I slogged through my morning exercise ritual, anticipating my post-workout cigarette. (In retrospect, I realize the profound stupidity of smoking after exercising; my shitful luck had magnified a deep-rooted smoker’s rationalizaion.) When I finished working out, I wheeled to the ashtray positioned on a bookshelf next to the new guy’s desk.

He forced symmetry on a sloppy pile of papers by tapping a long edge on the blotter. Then he stood and walked the short distance to the supervisor’s desk, gently placed the tidy stack in front of her. more »

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