Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Can I Get That In Writing?

"You guys are The. Worst. E.R. I've. Ever. Been. To!
If you aren't going to let me in to see a doctor right now,

Oh, by sweet Florence Nightengale's underpants, if I had only stipulated that I get paid $1 cash bonus every time Patient Crankypants pulled that withering nugget out of their diaper and flung it at me, I could have paid for trips to Maui to sit on the beach and ooze into the sands out of the proceeds annually since the day I graduated school.

(I should mention that I was ordered to remove the sticker on my badge I made with
as my last name, after some sharp-eyed House Super figured out what it meant. In case you aren't gifted at word problems, I'll give you a hint: "Don't Let The Door Hit You..." should get you started. You can probably work out the rest for yourselves.)

Hey, I'm all for choice in healthcare. Please, feel free to exercise yours by going somewhere else. Particularly any one of the 20 hospitals you passed on your way here, all of them with longer wait times, fewer beds and staff members, and lower ratings in virtualy every meaningful metric measured by human minds. If you thought your tantrum was going to reduce my coworkers or I into quivering blobs of tears, or rub our noses in the shame of the willful departure of someone healthy enough to shriek out the door, down the corridor, out the lobby exit, and all the way to their parked car, and get us to fling ourselves at your ankles to bodily restrain you from departing before we'd had a chance to fix whatever's ailing you, let me spew some of the Golden Warmth of Truth from my bladder right onto your pointy little entitled heads.

It. Isn't. Going. To. Happen.

Sorry if that reduces to tatters your master plan for getting all the turkey sandwiches and juice you could demand while you wait for the CT scan of your weekly abdominal pain, and enough blankets to shelter a tribe of Inuits on the tundra north of the Arctic Circle, plus enough sympathy from your friends and relatives over your tragic plight to redeem your broken childhood, and a never-ending fountain of opiates to make life's slings and arrows bearable, and all delivered to you on bended knee by your personal butlers and maids of the white-tiled linoleum palace you see as your private hotel, which we all call the ER we work in.

But see, it's like this:
even if you go, that only leaves 145,999 of your friends and neighbors, of the 400 people daily and nightly who literally darken our doorstep, who I'll have to fall back on to provide me with something to do, professional and personal satisfaction, and the resultant paychecks.

In fact, if someone stormed out in a huff every 15 minutes, 24/7/365, I'd be forced to console myself with the fact that we'd go from being one of the busiest ERs in the country, to only one of the Top 100. O, the shame, the ignominy of it all! 
And since most of you are paying for your visit, when you do at all, with money taken out of my paycheck to pay for it, frankly, my back's been hurting for a while just from carrying you all for so long, so you going away isn't killing me, and in all likelihood, you either.

May I suggest further that you take advantage of all the electronic gadgetry you tote around, and further decry our horrible insensitivity on Yelp, Twitter, and the local Restaurant Guide, and tell all the other whiny crybabies of your tribe out there that we suck harder than a thirsty elephant, and give service lower than whale droppings in the Marianas Trench.
If perhaps you could also tell the jacktards from Press Ganey that as well, maybe you could single-handedly induce the dipwads who pay for your shenanigans to stop reimbursing us for folks like you, and force us into the shame of only seeing people who actually retired from or still work at actual jobs to afford the healthcare they consume, pretty much like happened from the dawn of time until 2009, or perhaps even speed the demise of relying on how you feel about your hospital experience, rather than such worthless metrics as how many people we see, how many of them survive and improve, and how few of them get sicker, get infections from us, or have the gall to die under, let alone as a result of, our actual care. Because what could all THAT matter when compared to the unimaginable platinum and diamond-encrusted magnitude of your pwecious feeeeeewings?

And as you leave, could I possibly be allowed to reveal to you, that when everyone from your first pre-school teacher, to the principal who handed you your social promotion diploma, told you every day in every way that you were the Most Special Snowflake The Universe Ever Created, that they were lying their fool @$$#$ off, right through their teeth?

And thanks for choosing Callous Bastard Hospital for your healthcare needs today.

Sadly, despite the promise in your little hissyfit, we know that you'll be back again another time with the predictability of the tides.


  1. I'm not sure how one of my coworkers came across this, but I'm glad she did. She and I have shared it with everyone we work with. I'd like now to present to you a slow clap that erupts into a standing ovation from our small community ER in southern MA. Well done.