I’m a nurse and have been working like crazy in these wonderful times of plague.
I need to get a patient to another ward and luckily it’s in the same building so instead of waiting for the porters (who have been run ragged as much as anyone else in a hospital, praise to them too!) I decide to wheel the patient there myself. We have a large lift (elevator for you Americans) designed for gurneys and the like, so I bring the patient there.
The door opens, and in the middle of this large space… is a Karen.
The hair, the clothes, the age, the sneer. Everything about her screamed “I want to speak to your manager.”
She gives me one look with my patient and steps forward, blocking my path.
Karen: “No. Wait your turn.”
Karen: “This is my lift. Wait for the next one.”
Me: “No, this is not YOUR lift. I need to get this patient to the ward upstairs.”
This Karen actively sticks her FOOT out to block my gurney before I can get the patient in.
Karen: “SOCIAL DISTANCING! SOCIAL DISTANCING! STAY BACK!”
Me: “Back OFF! Patients take priority, so if you don’t want to be close to anyone else, YOU wait for the next one. Or take the stairs. I don’t care but get the hell out of my way.”
Karen: “But HE could infect me!”
She’s pointing at my patient, who is just staring at this woman like WTF. I am DONE with this woman."
Me: “I am nine days into an eleven-day run of shifts, most of them running twelve hours. I do not have time for this, or you, or your fuckery. Fuck… OFF.”
Something broke in me and I think she saw that too. She gave a loud “Harrumph” and stormed off, making sure to “accidentally” hit me with her handbag as she swung past me. So much for social distancing!
As the doors closed all my patient could say way:
“I’m about to have an operation but THAT was the most painful thing I’ll experience in this place.”
He (and I) are doing fine!
Karen hopefully is still waiting for a lift somewhere wondering why she has to share them in a busy hospital…