0745: Alarm goes off. Promptly slap snooze button. Roll over and fall back asleep.
Hey, I didn’t sleep well… At least I didn’t dream about zombies invading the station and Medic Matthew coming to the rescue… Like last night.
0754: Alarm goes off again. I groan, roll over, and eventually get to my feet.
0757: Coffee Maker is on. I hop in the shower.
DOF Fail. I blame my Blackberry.
0830: Wearing my pressed uniform. Jump in my truck with my bag and head out for the station. It’s only a few minutes away, and I don’t have to be there until 0900. I consider myself on time if I show up 15 minutes early. Anything later than that and I’m late.
0831: Realize my truck is out of gas. Drive to gas station and wait in line.
0846: Coffee in hand and with a fueled vehicle, I head to the station. In the rain and slightly irritated that I’m already late.
0859: Arrive at station, the smell of burned rubber from my tires hanging in the air. Apparently half of the streets between me and the station I was scheduled to work at are closed for road work.
Combination three lead and DOF fail. Can I blame my phone again? Thank you, RS Partner for modeling for me.
0925: Truck check is complete. We find a set of 3 lead wires with some odd green gummy substance on them. We’re both amused. We head to the main station to pick Rockstar Partner’s paycheck.
0926: Realize that we’re not in our normal truck. All of Whiskey Tango Foxtrot lights are on. Engine, brakes, and oil. We let dispatch know and continue towards the station.
0930: Dispatched for an EMS run. We’re still en route to the main station, btw.
0935: Passenger door pops open on the expressway. I become a practicing Catholic again.
0936: Passenger door pops open again. It takes me eight times to get it to latch this time.
0939: Passenger side door opens one more time. We call dispatch and they take us off the EMS run. This time it takes us two minutes to get the door to latch.
1005: A semi slams on his brakes in front of us. The passenger side door opens again. I throw my first official temper tantrum of the day.
1030: We arrive at the main station.
1210 ish: A coworker fills the oil, coolant and brake fluid. I watch with amusement and wonder why I wasn’t included on this particular in-service.
1330 ish: We determine that every time my partner hits the brakes, a mystery fluid starts pouring from the the driver’s side of the engine. Rockstar Partner and I start making nervous phone calls.
Rockstar Partner under the truck. She’s hardcore.
1400ish: The mystery liquid is suspected to be brake fluid. My Father, one of the most wreckless people on the planet tells me that I’m going to either “Get killed or kill someone” should I drive the truck any distance. I let dispatch know. They are not impressed.
1407: Dispatch calls with a run. Rockstar Partner and I ponder walking off the job for the third time in one day.
1433: We arrive at the patient’s home. It takes Rockstar Partner and I three minutes and at least 40 attempts with half the neighborhood watching to get the passenger door to latch. We decide no one will be using that door again today. The brakes are fine. We let Dispatch know that we’re out of service as soon as this run is over.
1440: The patient’s home is 105 degrees and smells of body funk. I’ve now soaked through my uniform. My patient is a 50 yo woman with cerebral palsy and moderate MRDD. She’s scheduled for a mammogram. I ponder how this is going to happen as our patient is unable to stand or sit upright. We head towards the local hospital, my partner driving extremely slow and babying the brakes.
1455ish: After the smoothest ride EVER, we arrive at the hospital (Thank YOU Rockstar Partner!) We unload the patient and head towards radiology wondering (now out loud) how they plan on doing this mammogram.
1500: Mammogram is cancelled due the the patient being unable to stand or sit upright on her own. We return back to the patient’s home, the sixth level of hell.
1525: The patient is safe and sound, back in her bed. My back hurts, as does my partners. We have been ordered back to the main station to have our truck looked at yet again.
1700: I stare longingly at the three beautiful new trucks sitting in the main station’s parking lot. The trucks that we can’t drive yet because they haven’t been inspected or painted. The trucks that have doors that stay latched and that don’t drip mystery liquids. I find a happy place and go there while a coworker uses a seatbelt strap to secure the passenger door of our ambulance.
One of the new trucks. It even smells new. God I love these trucks, even if they are sprinters.
1702: We’re told to “Get back in the truck,” by Dispatch (I dont blame you, Awesome Dispatcher (I’ll try to think of a better name for you!). I ponder quitting for the 4th time that day. At one point I may have sat on the ground in the parking lot at the main station and thrown my umpteenth hissy fit of the day. Given the current job market in NW Ohio, I decide to suck it up. Rockstar Partner bites the bullet and climbs through the drivers side and sits awkwardly in the passenger’s seat. I decide that I officially adore her.
Rockstar Partner. I’m going to be in her wedding, btw.
1705: We’re enroute to another transfer, this time from Big City Hospital. We’re taking someone to an ECF for rehab. While waiting for our patient to finish his dinner we take in the view… And all of a sudden, the day doesn’t seem so crappy.
Sorry about the resolution, this pic, again, was taken with my phone from the top of the Big City Hospital.
We didn’t really have much to do after that.
And I realize that my version of stress probably varies significantly from your version. You are more than welcome to draw your own conclusions there. Maybe I was PMS’ing, who knows. I didn’t have to scrape anyone off of the railroad tracks, I didn’t do CPR, and no one died. At least while they were in our direct care. No one hit me over the head with a clipboard, figuratively or literally (that was last week), hell, no one as much as screamed at me.
I was even hit on by an older gentleman at Hospice. He made me smile. I guess that’s how I roll.
Still, it’s hard.
It’s hard on you when you believe that your employer doesn’t believe that you are worth anything. It’s hard to believe that your employer cares more about the dollar than the overall situation. It’s hard to believe that they don’t care if you’re driving around in a truck with a door held closed by a seatbelt strap that is leaking brake fluid, or coolant, or oil. I know that they are good people, at their core. I truly believe that. I really do like them.
Sometimes we all get overwhelmed. Owners and employees alike.
Today was one of those days, I think.