A patient barged in through the door leading to the back clinical area of the office this afternoon. It was a young man that I had treated for a few acute issues over the years--a broken hand, a case of bronchitis. Ordinarily I would have probably escorted him back into the waiting room and politely told him to wait his turn, but he had this look of urgency and desperation in his eyes.
It was a scene that must have been typical of the 1930's. "Doctor," he politely said literally with hat in hand, "I'm sorry to bother you, but do you have any work that you might need done around here?"
He worked at a local mill in the county and they've closed their doors for at least the next few months. Since no one is building houses right now no one needs any plywood. On top of no job, his house is being foreclosed on and he will have no where to take his wife, two year old son, and five year old daughter. His wife works, but it hardly covers the cost of day care. He had been going around door to door asking everyone he knew if they had any work that needed to be done.
Here was an honest young man just looking to do an honest day's work and provide for his family. In his humble plea for help there was something noble and admirable about his otherwise rude intrusion through the office door.
I told him I'd think about it and he could call back tomorrow. I'm sure my partners and I can find something for him to do around here. They might be able to use a gas card and gift card for the local grocery store. We'll have to make sure the kids don't think Santa left them out too.