I just opened my e-mail and I got a message that filled me with joy. I was asked to go to work as an R.N. (Registered Nurse) in Panama City.
Why did that fill me with joy? I’ll tell you.
Here was a group who didn’t view me as an old lady. They needed me for my professional skills.
I puffed up with pride and began hunting around for my wrinkled old resume.
Nurse Judy, my nosy interfering alter ego, felt it necessary to intervene.
“That old tattered wrinkled up vita may give them a clue that you are also an old tattered wrinkled up nurse,” she said.
“They won’t see that,” I say. “I will send my personal data in on the computer and prove to them how modern and up-to-date I am. They will see that I am with it – part of the new technological society.”
“I hope they never talk to your editor,” she says. “You have to call her all the time because you’re having some kind of problem with the computer.”
“That’s the computer’s fault- not mine. The editor will be one of my references and I’m sure she’ll vouch for me.”
“She probably will,” Nurse Judy agrees.
“Thank you,” I say.
“I mean she’ll probably vouch for you to get you off the paper and out of her hair.”
“Don’t be absurd,” I say. “I’m sure she loves me. Everybody does.”
Nurse Judy sighs and changes the subject. “Don’t you think Panama City is a rather long
I hadn’t thought about that.
“Maybe we could get a small place there and just come home on my days off,” I say.
Nurse Judy brightens.
“Oh living there would be scrumptious,” she says. “On your days off, we won’t go home. We can go to the beach. We can finally wear our bikinis and soak up the sun.”
“I don’t have a bikini,” I remind her. “And you should have hung yours up years ago.”
“I still look great,” she shoots back. “You can wear a caftan.”
“What about Beebe?”I ask.
She looks perplexed. “What about him?” she asks. “He doesn’t go to the beach. He doesn’t wear a bikini.”
“Bingo,” I say. “He will not be happy about moving to Panama City. He will stay home and you will stay home to take care of him.”
She laughs. “You know you can’t go anywhere without me. Besides, this whole thing is not going to work. There is the slight possibility that you could get hired. You do have an outstanding resume, but stop and think about how that would work out. What if you had to get an old weak patient out of bed? With your bad knees and poor balance, you’d both be on the floor with four arms and four legs all tangled up. The staff wouldn’t even know who was who.”
“I would use a gait belt and transfer her safely,” I say, but not very confidently.
“What if you had to check a drainage bag?” she continues. “I’ve never seen a nurse using a magnifying glass for this procedure.”
“I’d figure it out.”
“What if you forgot where you left the thermometer, the blood pressure cuff, the patient’s lunch
tray, or even the patient?”
“I am a nurse and a teacher,” I say. “I would have mnemonics to help my memory.” I am feeling less and less joyful.
“Would you remember the mnemonics?”
I am now unhappy. I am looking for a way to save face.
“Oh,” I say, “Of course, I would. I am perfectly capable of performing my nurse duties, but I just noticed the pay grade. It is not enough to pay for the long commute or for an apartment there. I’m afraid I’ll have to pass this opportunity up and wait for another one closer to home.”
“Of course,” Nurse Judy says slyly. “That’s got to be the reason. Maybe we could just go and sunbathe on the beach one day.”
“Sure,” I say. I know this is not going to happen. You just cannot get much sun when wearing a caftan.
Waiting for my next great opportunity,
A refusing to retire nurse