I was just on the phone with my grandma, and in the background I heard clattering and swearing. "What is that?" I asked. She said, "Oh, it's your grandfather, trying to get pills out of packages to put in our pill boxes." Apparently he was having blisterpack issues and the pills, once liberated, were skating all around the kitchen. It took me back to a busy night at work. One of our docs, a friend of mine, P, had a headache and asked me to get her some ibuprofen from the Pyxis. I did so and then stood there and mocked her while she struggled with the blisterpack. "Seriously," I said, "you can put in central lines and chest tubes and all kinds of technical shit but you can't open blisterpacks." It was just an observation. As long as I knew her I never saw the woman successfully conquer a blisterpack. In response she handed it over and told me to open it instead of being a smartass (it's an either-or thing???).
Fast-forward to early the next morning. It was one of the busier nights I've ever worked there, and we had finally worked our way down to people who needed splints and stitches. P was preparing to sew on my patient, and I had nothing better to do, so I lurked in the corner, watching as she unfurled the suture kit and started undoing all the hundreds of little packets inside.
Inspired, I said, "Hey, doc. Good thing there's no blisterpacks in there, eh? Heh heh heh."
P did not miss a beat. Not ONE beat. She deftly unscrewed both tubes of SureCleanse and squirted me shoulder to shoes down my right side. "Good thing," she said, "I can open these just fine."
I stood there gaping at my soapy side and said, "Coworker abuse! Totally uncalled-for!" My patient surveyed the situation and told me he felt I totally deserved it. I left in a huff.
These little things are why I love my workplace and would probably fail utterly anywhere else.
And…P, I miss you.