Monday, June 28, 2021

Musical interlude

Local hospital, like every hospital, has an overhead public address system to page doctors, announce emergencies, and inform visitors of flash specials on stuffed animals in the gift shop.

Mistakes occasionally happen. Sometimes a hospital operator hits the wrong button, so you get a few seconds of someone dialing a phone, or talking to another operator, or the hospital's hold music, or (if the hold music is broken) a local radio station. The operators are actually in an off-campus office, so if a problem occurs it can take a minute for them to find out and correct it.

So yesterday, I was on call, doing a consult in the ICU. A cardiologist was paged overhead to the cath lab, but then the operator hit the wrong button and we got a local radio station.

Normally people just ignore this, but by sheer chance this was what was on the air:

"Another one bites the dust,
Another one bites the dust, Yeah!
And another one's gone and another one's gone
Another one bites the dust!"*

Later in the afternoon there were apology notices up in all the elevators, saying the hospital would be upgrading the PA system to prevent such occurrences.

*Although not intended in this way, you can use either this or "Stayin' Alive" to do CPR properly.

Monday, June 21, 2021


My reader, Mike, sent this in, and says this fine establishment recently opened up near his office.

Thank you, Mike!

Monday, June 14, 2021

Seen in a chart

 Here's some items that I've recently encountered in medical charts.


First, from the "she looks good for her age" category:


Next from the "that narrows it down" department:



"How vague can you get?"

Apparently time and chief complaint are now interchangeable:

And lastly, this helpful system telling me that an accountant will be making care decisions instead of me, no matter what I choose.

Monday, June 7, 2021

Show and tell

This is Frank.

As you guys know, for a little over a year I've been working as a courtesy clerk at Local Grocery, bagging purchases, collecting carts, and dealing with the public.

In that year, which rapidly became the most insane year any of us could have imagined, me and my co-workers have faced toilet paper wars, fights over cans of beans and bottles of hand sanitizer, and assholes who feel they need to scream at a guy collecting shopping carts for minimum wage about mask requirements.

But nothing - and I mean nothing - could have prepared me for what happened last week.

I was working the afternoon shift, bagging groceries as people came through. An endless stream of produce, canned stuff, frozen food, whatever, which I'm tossing into bags and trying not to smash anything. Fill a bag with 5 items, turn, put it in the cart, wash, rinse, repeat.

And then... it happened.

As I leaned forward to bag a lady's purchase, somehow, without me noticing it, part of my work shorts got hooked on the metal piece that holds the empties up.

When I turned to put the bag in her cart... RRRRRIPPPPPPPPPPPP.

The lady dropped her sunglasses.

The guy behind her stopped talking on his phone.

I was so zoned into grocery-bagging-autopilot that I didn't even realize what had happened until the cashier I was working with yelled "OH MY GOD! FRANK!" as she dropped the handheld scanner.

I looked down. This is pretty much what everyone saw:



My manager looked over when he heard the cashier scream. Thinking quickly, he grabbed the intercom mic and yelled for anyone working back in deli to bring an apron up front, like, NOW!

Unfortunately, while this would (sort of) solve the problem, it also resulted in all the customers at check-out suddenly looking around to see why an apron was needed so urgently, as I covered my tighty whities with a plastic bag of frozen pizza dough, asparagus, and 2 cans of minestrone.

The sunglasses were okay.

The handheld scanner was also okay.

My dad ran to Target to get me another pair of shorts.

They let me wear the apron home that night.

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