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The Dog & Pony (and cockroach) Show........

Posted Nov 30 2008 12:21pm
Oh, this daggone LVN I've been training!! At first she drove me nuts. But then....after I trained her for the required three days....I started to feel a little sorry for the hapless thing. I think I even have a couple of new white hairs over the whole adventure.....T* The first day was bad enough when she irritated me by laughing at me for "the cows laying down"thing. But then she further irritated me on the second day. Because on the second day she started arguing with me over every little stupid thing-- like the way the driving directions in the car charts are written. S* She decided that she doesn't like the "haphazard" way (as she calls it) that the locational directions are written in the patients' car-charts. Car-charts are the portable folders that nurses take with them on the road--and not only do they contain pertinent medical information a nurse will need for the patient's care, but they also contain written directions for actually navigating to the patient's home-- so that every nurse can find their way out to wherever that patient lives. These directions are essential because this isn't like Los Angeles out here. In this part of Texas, STREET MAPS are useless. Because it ain't like that---it's farms and ranches and fields and lakes--some terrain of which changes with the weather or crop successes! T* These directions are written for the way that the surrounding countryside actually IS around here--I mean, these are "country" patients out in the Wild Wild West that we're seeing here--and also you have to remember that it's "country nurses" who are writing down the directions for the car-charts. For example, it is not uncommon at all for the directions in a car chart to read: "*"You start in town and you take the highway past the Dairy Queen-- and then you turn right on that street that doesn't look like a real street--and then you go about two miles, and when you start going into a big curve you take the first black-top road to the right--- and then you go another 2 or 3 miles till you see a big hill made out of red clay. And then it's the next trailer to the left--and you go in the back door."T* This LVN kept ridiculing the car chart directions. She argued with me all day till I wanted to push her out the passenger door and keep on driving..... F* Finally, and thankfully, my third AND LAST day of her training came. And I was GLAD. Lord, I was tired of training her argumentative self. I fortified myself with the knowledge that I simply had to get through this one more day with her and then I could go back to my regular work, my regular peace and quiet.... b* But she started that day right off by ruining my mood for the morning.O* Okay, I will tell you here that I like to start my day off with a positive remark to my co-workers when I arrive. For example, at my new branch office we nurses don't have private offices. Instead, we all sit together in a huge "Battle Room". It's a gigantic room with these huge desks lined up back-to-back and side-to-side, whereby each nurse "has her space" ---and in this huge room there's a constant hum and flurry of secretaries running hither and yon answering phones, fielding calls from doctors and patients, calling particular nurses on the intercom to answer phone calls on "Line 6" or something, chasing nurses down to sign or correct certain paperwork......and EVERYBODY's faxing or phoning to try to contact certain people like patients, physical therapists, occupational therapists, doctors (or even GOD sometimes..... )A* Anyway, each nurse's desk tells the story of her job and her personality. Each desk is the same in that it is a huge wooden contraption that holds file drawers, shelves & cubbyholes to sort various clipboards, notebooks, and documentation in various stages of completion--in addition to a bulletin board on which to pin on-call schedules, fax number lists, and all kinds of other information that you need at your fingertips all day long due to the vast amount of paperwork each nurse generates..... B* But, also, each desk is different in the way that each nurse decorates her "space" with her own personal touches. My own desk sports about a zillion Post-It pad sizes and shapes, a cute little "basket" to hold my calculator and personal bills, and my anal-retentive collection of clipboards with carefully made labels called "Faxes That Need Answers To", "Calls I'm Supposed To Make", "Pre-recertifications I'm Supposed To Do" and the ignored "Chart Audit Corrections To Be Made". On the top of my desk, under a pretty red cloth with hand embroidery on it, is perched an 8" x 10" picture of me on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, my Harley HOG Bear, my mother's picture, and a beautiful red china jar. A* Anyway, so on this third and last morning of my job of training the dratted LVN (who I suspect hates me), I wanted to start things off in a positive mood. I wanted to do like I usually do in the mornings--which is to come into the "Battle Room" and say my greetings with a profound, resounding statement intended to get us all "motivated" for the day. Okay, so sometimes I am a little dramatic about this. It's just my habit, no harm done, right? I admit that I have er....copied some famous movies or books at times.... L* Like the time right after I'd seen a re-run of the movie "Apocolypse Now" and walked into the Battle Room and announced: "Behold! I LOVE the smell of BETADINE in the morning!"O* One of the secretaries replied simply: "The physical therapist always says that."Hmmph. Bully for him.A* Another day I was feeling Shakespearish and I walked in after coming back from a bunch of patient visits and announced theatrically: "It was the best of farms, but it was the worst of farms...."M* My Director replied: "That reminds me--you're late turning in your paperwork on our patient at Rigby's farm."B* But, never to be daunted, on this third & last day that I was going to have to take out that dadblasted and annoying LVN to train her once again-- I was determined that I would prevail. Nothing would ruin my mood. And I WOULD make a statement that would just FLOOR everybody. S* So I strutted into the Battle Room at 7:30 am, holding a gleaming silver car-cup of coffee in one hand and a freshly-restocked nurse bag in the other-- wearing my new, crisp "summer uniform"---and I took a dramatic "stance" to announce loudly, in my best Captain Kirk imitation: “*"Texas.... the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Nurse-Ship Enterprise. Her five-year mission? To explore strange new ranches, to seek out new life and new chicken farms.... to boldly go where no Nurse has gone before!.....”T* There was a brief silence in the room where I thought I'd made an impact. I started to prepare my "humble look", to get ready for the adoration and applause from all the admiring staff...... a* and then that dang new LVN piped up all perky---to mock me with a song: "*"Ya do the hokey pokey and ya turn yourself around, THAT's what it's all about! Tah-Dah!"

(M*

(Moment of silence here where the Message Goat cringes, thinking that he may just have to go out and announce that Nurse Bohemian Knitter has fainted and had to be carried out on a stretcher....) (But no....wait....she rallies!!) (And so the Message Goat gives a sigh of relief and returns to his straw-munching and frolicking with the nanny-goats....) (*

(But back to Nurse Bohemian......)O*

Oh the disgrace of it all.......she had RUINED my moment. Ah, but I wasn't to be bested. As I slithered over to my desk and gathered my things for the day, I thought to myself: "You may have won this one, sis', but the day ain't over yet.....we'll find out if you're Road Nurse material afterall, oh yes we will!"I*

I checked out our schedule. And I cringed because I saw that we had several ranches to go to this day where there were huge ranch dogs. And this particular LVN has done nothing since Day One but complain about dogs. God, she drives me crazy with her moaning, groaning, and constant complaining about dogs. She hates dogs, any dog. Big ones, little ones, medium-sized ones---dogs. She's convinced that they're out to get her. Like she's the most choice morsel of dog-bait in the world. And thus, at every dang place we go where there's a dog, she will sit petulantly in the vehicle and fret-- until I am forced to coaxe her stupid ass out of the vehicle -- just because she's afraid of the patient's stupid dogs. A*

And so, with her dog-fear and my impatience to get this durn day over with---and armed with our assignments--- we took off..... into the Wild Wild West....O*

On this day we were to go in her vehicle because on the third day of training, a trainee is supposed to act as if they are the one "in control"--pretending that she is doing the job on her own-- with the trainer along just for the ride and to provide some final supervision. A*

And now, I'll just admit here that there's nothing that I can criticize about her choice of vehicles. I will GRANT her that she came adequately prepared for work in Texas with a good choice of vehicle for a Road Nurse--the most beloved vehicle of Texans--a big pick-up truck. We all know that pick-up trucks BELONG in Texas. In fact, I would rather have a good pick-up truck than my own Jeep, but I can't afford one right now. So I was happy to pile in and let her drive me around in that nice truck. B*

But......her pickup is one of those fancy-schmancy new pickup trucks.....I mean, she's got the one of those huge V8's that's completely huge & beautiful, gorgeously covered with shiny metallic paint, complete with a luxurious and roomy back seat, a total luxury interior with "extras" such as a digital stereo and satellite radio, a sunroof, etc. And she treats this pick-up truck like it's Elijah's Chariot to Heaven-- and that it would be sacriligious to drink a Pepsi in it, much less get dirt on the fender. S*

So boy did she fret every time I told her where we were going and that it was usually down a horribly rough, non-paved country road, littered with obstacles & foot-deep holes gouged into the terrain. One time we went through some road construction and had to cross over actual TREE BRANCHES in the road-- and it really pissed her off. She muttered under her breath about how the "road crews should be complained about". (This puzzled me because I know her truck has 4-wheel drive, so I really didn't see what the big deal was, you know?--because in Texas, that's WHY we have 4-wheel drive-- so you can GO OVER obstacles...) Nerd, I thought. She's a complete Nerd...... Onward we pushed-- into the Wild Wild West....A*

And then...... she actually "guffawed" at me while I was reading some driving directions from a car-chart because I had said: "Yeah, okay, so in about 2 miles we gotta find County Road 3207--I know where it is-- it's a rock-dirt road that branches off to the left."W*

When she "guffawed" at me I answered "What?" And she chuckled sanctimoniously and said: "Hah!...rock dirt road!"A*

And then I realized .....that she was laughing at me! She was actually laughing at me for what I said because she thought the term "rock dirt road" is stupid and "hick-ish". This annoyed me because I thought this IDGIT is getting a total kick out of me saying "rock dirt road"---like I'm some hick or something!!! But miserably, praying to the Lord for patience, I kept silent-- resigned to my fate of having to deal with her until the end of the day.... A*

Anyway, when we got to the rock-dirt road--- suddenly her sarcastic smile vanished. And after we rattled & bounced down it for about 25 feet--- she slowed waaaay down until we were practically crawling. I looked over at her in puzzlement and she said defensively: "I don't want to have to pay $50 for a damn front-end alignment, okay?"I*

I simply remarked darkly and ominously: "Oh, but you will. Over and over....."A*

At each ranch we went to, she threw her hissy fit about the dogs and wouldn't get out of the damn truck till she knew the ranch's dogs weren't around. This began to drive me nuts. Because she would go on a tirade at each place saying things like: "I hate these stupid country dogs. They look like disgusting mongrels and they stink. Why don't country people ever have decent-looking dogs like spaniels or poodles or something? These uglyhound dogsall look like they came out of the movie "Deliverance" or something. They're totally gross and I can't stand them."*

*

I knew it was useless to tell her that most country folk keep dogs as their only protection against criminals or wild animals who would eat their chickens and goats. I knew she'd have no earthly idea how much a farmer or rancher needed a good herding dog to help him herd his cattle. And I knew for certain that there was no way on God's Green Earth that she would understand the simple, eternal relationship between a loyal family dog and its family who lived off Texan land. I *

I finally became so annoyed by her tantrums that, finally, I knew I had to do it. I had to do it and so I did. I gave her the "Ranch Dog Lesson":I *

I told her: "Look, here, sis. We're in Texas, okay? EVERY frigging ranch has ranch dogs. These ranch dogs will come inspect every intruder who comes onto their owner's property. You will simply have to learn how to behave around them. They usually won't harm you if you talk to them and act like you're not going to do anything to harm their owner. Simply talk gently to them and walk slowly, VERY slowly, up to the back door. Don't worry, the ranch owners are watching and will "call them off" should the dogs get unruly. But remember the most important rule--and this is important-- should a ranch dog come at you in hostility, simply STOP and STAND PERFECTLY STILL until the dog owner comes to control the dog. Don't make any sudden moves. Now, if you'll follow these simple rules, you'll be just fine! So let's go, because I'm hungry and want to get out of here."S*

She seemed to listen, and I thought perhaps that I'd been able to at least impart SOME knowledge to this twirp. We went on with our day and I saw that she truly tried to overcome her fear of the Ranch Dogs. I relaxed and started to get a little more comfortable with her because she gradually stopped arguing with the car-chart directions, stopped acting like a prima-donna, and started to look like she just might relax and enjoy the life of a Road Nurse.O*

Our last stop of the day was the Crestfield Ranch, a ranch with the most beautiful paint-ponies you have ever seen. Lord, I'd give my eye teeth to ride one of their butterscotch & white colored paint ponies. They are some of the most beautiful, sweet, and ethereal beings I've ever seen-- and I often imagine that only beautiful fairies can ride them..... They are even too beautiful to put ugly saddles on--no, these gorgeous creatures should only be ridden bareback , into the mist, their riders calling out in triumph over a war won with the Leprechauns....S*

Sorry, I was daydreaming. M*

Meanwhile, back at the Ranch......Y*

Yes, so there we were at the Crestfield Ranch. We drove into the ranch, past its large pond, and past the goat pastures where there were beautiful spotted goats frolicking and playing. There were ducks on the pond. I sat back and enjoyed the beauty of this moment. The only thing that nagged the back of my mind is that I knew that that this ranch has a huge, white ranch dog the size of a Saint Bernard--his name is Buster--and I was worried that he'd frighten the LVN. But as luck would have it the dog wasn't around. Perhaps he was out in the back pastures, I figured. So I didn't say anything about him. She and I arrived at the main house, got out of the truck, and went into the house to tend the patient. T*

The visit went well except for one little thing. And this is my fault, I admit completely. We were all sitting at the dining room table where the LVN was in the process of taking the blood pressure of the elderly woman patient. The patient's daughter was talking to me about her mother's progress on her diabetic diet while I fiddled with my weekly task concerning the patient's insulin--whereby I was pre-filling a bunch of insulin syringes for the patient to use during the next week since she has poor vision and can't fill the syringes herself. A*

Anyway, while I was preparing the insulin syringes, all of a sudden, this BIG cockroach suddenly appears on the dining room table from behind a loaf of "Sunbeam" bread. Now....folks....I absolutely ABHOR and HATE cockroaches. I hate them so much that I will have an anxiety attack when I see one. And this stupid cockroach was ON THE TABLE-- and he was walking towards me, advancing deliberately as if in some sort of attack mode! I tried not to panic in front of everybody, realizing that farm folk don't really get very excited about stupid little cockroaches like I tend to get-- but I couldn't help pulling myself back a little, hoping against hope that this damn cockroach would change in his direction and go in a direction that was DIFFERENT than his current direction-- which was towards me. But he kept coming towards me, which panicked me further! Finally I simply HAD to stand up from my chair, stepping backwards as I did, saying breathlessly (yet trying to sound calmer than I was): "Uh...that cockroach is...well it's there by the insulin..."T*

The patient's daughter realized what was happening and mercifully offered: "I'll get him, honey" and flapped a big checkered dishcloth at him to flick him away. B*

But the roach wasn't to be moved--because he then decided to jump DOWN off of the table and onto the chair I was standing next to-- and then he kept on moving towards me! "Oh dear...." I mumbled in a wavering voice. I desperately wondered what in the tarnation kind of asshole aggressive cockroach is THIS??? Don't they usually avoid and hide from humans as vermin should?? But no.....this stupid gladiator cockroach kept coming at me!.....and I knew that I had to do something in order to prevent myself from losing total dignity and go running, screaming wildly, from the house with my hair standing on end in total crazed insanity...... So finally I summoned what bravery I had and flapped my own hand towards him, hoping to "shoo" him away. A*

And then that damn roach jumped off the chair right AT ME!"*

"AAAAIIGHHHEE!" I screamed, dropping my handful of insulin syringes all over the floor as I back-stepped away wildly to get away from this damnable roach! It seemed like the cussed thing was on a mission! And then... S*

STOMP!T*

Thankfully, and blessedly, the patient's daughter had stomped that cockroach so flat that he'd make paper look thick. Hugely relieved, I relaxed and tried to venture a peek at this horrible bug. Hah, I thought to myself. She fixed his little red wagon for sure! But the gladiator cockroach was still spread-eagled on the shoe-bottom of the patient's daughter. So she simply took her shoe off of her foot and banged it against the side of the kitchen trash can a couple of times till the flattened cockroach carcass fell into the garbage. "*

"Fixed his little red wagon," she remarked. A*

And I was greatly relieved. And that cockroach never bothered me again....B*

But then... out of the clear blue sky...........to my utter mortification.......

T*

The LVN snorted in merciless disgust and said sarcastically to me: "Are you having a bad day, Nurse?" She chuckled to herself a little and I could see that she thought I was the biggest idiot she'd ever seen in her life. And she continued her cruelty. "Ya know, Nurse, up in Detroit we call those silly little bugs "waterbugs"--they're completely harmless. They're more frightened of YOU than you are of them, heh heh."I *

I took this little insulting tirade in stride because there wasn't a dang thing I could do. What was I going to do? I certainly didn't want to lose control and let my poor patient and her daughter be a witness to me throttling a fellow nurse. Not to mention that I didn't feel like committing murder during the first month of my new assignment--it simply wouldn't look professional. So I let it slide and we finished up the visit. Then we left the house and loaded up into her fabulous pick-up truck. A*

As we drove down the ranch's access road back towards civilization, I tried to calm down and relax, enjoying again the beautiful view of the ducks in the pond, the paint ponies in the pasture, and........ a*

and suddenly here came Buster.... the Ranch Dog.T*

The LVN had her window rolled down. And here came Buster, trotting up to her side of the pickup where she had one arm crooked casually out the driver's side window--and Buster continued to trot along along the vehicle with us, keeping pace. "O*

"Oh, look!" she crowed delightedly. "This must be the Ranch Dog! And what a beautiful dog he is! And you know what? I've decided NOT to be afraid of them anymore!"T*

Then she leaned her head out of the truck window and spoke to the dog: "So how are YOU, Mr. Ranch Doggie? Mr. Ranch Doggie wanna talk to the Nice Nursies?""*

"GRROWffWRfff!!!!!"B*

Buster had suddenly, and for no reason at all, began a total dog attack on the LVN peering at him out of her truck window! He started barking wildly, snarling, and choking on his own slobber-- as if he were going to have a complete conniption fit!!-- and then that dang dog began jumping up towards the LVN's window, actually trying to leap into the vehicle and attack her!!!!

A*

As I gazed, horrified, dumbfounded & stupified upon the horrifying sight of Buster's big white doggy face in the driver's side window--with all of his razor-sharp teeth bared for view in his huge, foaming mouth--which was aimed right at the poor LVN.......I vaguely wondered what in the HELL had gotten into this dog!????

G*

GGROWFGFGF!!!"B*

Buster kept snarling, barking, jumping and snapping-- continuing to try to make his mad jumps to get into the open truck window-- each time coming closer and closer to almost succeeding in leaping right through the opening and into the LVN's lap. And the, Good God, but he snapped at the LVN's arm and actually ripped a good size chunk out of her uniform sleeve! I couldn't BELIEVE that Buster was doing this because I'd never seen a Ranch Dog do such a thing!!!!! I thought miserably of how on earth I was going to explain to my boss that the LVN in my charge had been eaten by the Crestfield Ranch's dog, Buster, while we were out pre-filling insulin syringes......"*

"OH MY GOD!" the LVN screamed, rearing back from the window as far as she could--and also taking her hands off the steering wheel of the pick-up truck WHILE we were still rolling down the road. "OH MY GOD HE'S GOING TO KILL ME!!!!!!" she hollered--and then all lI could think to do was to grab ahold of the steering wheel with one hand, to keep us from veering completely off the road-- yet at the same time while I was trying to use the other hand to try and stab the truck's control buttons--trying to find the right button that would raise the godforsaken windows and keep Buster out of the truck..."*

"WHICH BUTTON IN HERE RAISES THE DAMN WINDOWS?" I yelled at the LVN, stabbing at every button I could find while she screamed pitiously. I frantically stabbed all the various buttons that were located on the truck's console and the arms of each seat--- but all that happened was that the windsheild wipers came on and cleaned the windshield, the windshield cleaner-fluid sprayed the windshield, the antenna for the satellite radio went up, a country music CD began playing "I've Got Friends In Low Places", the sunroof opened, and the truck's fog lights came on.....F*

Finally, I hit the right button just as the singer on the radio sang: "where the whiskey drowns and the beer chases my blues away......."F*

Finally the truck's windows rolled up to save the LVN, almost squashing stupid ole Buster's face in the process as they closed on him while he was still trying to climb his way through her window.....

A*

And to her credit, the stricken LVN recovered enough where-with-all to grab the steering wheel and steer us back on course from our zig-zagging course through the left pasture, back onto the dirt road (while I silently thanked our lucky stars that we had not hit a tree or a bob-wire fence)--and so we got back onto the road and were able to drive away, leaving a foaming-at-the-mouth Buster in the dust. W*

We drove a bit, finally exiting the ranch...both of us breathing heavily in relief, thanking the heavens that we were in one piece and not "dogmeat" (pardon the pun).W*

We drove for awhile in silence. The poor LVN kept breathing rather heavily-- and I worried that she was going to flip out or something--the poor thing did seem pretty shocked by the whole ordeal. I felt sorry for her, really I did.... because even I know the dangers of an angry Ranch Dog-- and also I knew that our company's uniform top is expensive, and so hers would definitely have to be replaced since her left sleeve now had a hole in it that was the shape of Buster's mouth....O*

Okay, folks. I tried. I really TRIED, alright? I TRIED NOT TO SAY IT. A*

As God is my witness, I tried not to say it.....

b*

but I said it anyway......A*

After we'd gone a few miles down the road and we knew we were safe, and after we'd recovered a little from our ordeal, I innocently started up the conversation again. "Are you having a bad day, Nurse?" I asked, as sympathetically and sincerely as I could. "As I've told you before, down here in Texas we call those silly little dogs 'Ranch Dogs'. They're completely harmless. They're more frightened of YOU than you are of THEM...."U*

Um....she did make a comment with the F-word in it but I let that slide, thinking that the poor dear had just had a very rough day as a Road Nurse and certainly deserved to let off a little steam. When we got back to the office she trudged into the office, slinging her nurse bag through the back door with a definant flounce, and let the door close behind her in my face--as if she was letting me know that she was definitely "finished with me" and my nonsense. I opened the door and slunk in behind her, passing through the breakroom where my buddy Brandi and the Director were sitting sipping Pepsi's on their lunch hour. Both me and the LVN paused---both of us rather at a loss of words. I noticed my Director's questioning glance and I knew she was wondering how everything had gone. And so I gave my final report on the LVN. I*

I turned to the LVN and said, in my grandest.....er....grandest SOMEBODY imitation and I pronounced: "Behold! Thou has passed the difficult test that only the purest-in-heart can survive. Ye have survived great difficulties with honor, and you have triumphed in glory upon the battlefield--and therefore, ye deserveth the reward of the wearing o' the victor's laurel. And so, Grasshopper..... by the powers vested in me by the Grand State of Texas and the less-grand County of Podunk--- I now pronounce thee a BONAFIDE 'Road Nurse'. Go forth, NURSE, and tend to THY PATIENTS!!!!"M*

My Director chortled, almost choking on her Pepsi, and said sardonically: "You're late handing in your paperwork...."

a*

and I joyously ran to my beloved desk and my beloved late paperwork-- dreaming of riding butterscotch and white-colored paint ponies.......*

* * * * *

"Blame it all on my rootsI showed up in bootsAnd ruined your black tie affairT*

The last one to knowThe last one to showI was the last one You thought you'd see thereA*

And I saw the surpriseAnd the fear in his eyesWhen I took his glass of champagneA*

And I toasted youSaid, honey, we may be throughBut you'll never hear me complain'C*

'Cause I've got friends in low placesWhere the whiskey drownsAnd the beer chases my blues awayA*

And I'll be okayI*

I'm not big on social gracesThink I'll slip on down to the oasisOh, I've got friends in low placesW*

Well, I guess I was wrongI just don't belongBut then, I've been there beforeE*

Everything's all rightI'll just say goodnightAnd I'll show myself to the doorH*

Hey, I didn't meanTo cause a big sceneJust give me an hour and thenW*

Well, I'll be as highAs that ivory towerThat you're livin' in'C*

'Cause I've got friends in low placesWhere the whiskey drownsAnd the beer chases my blues awayAnd I'll be okayI*

I'm not big on social gracesThink I'll slip on down to the oasisOh, I've got friendsin low places.............I*

I guess I was wrongI just don't belongBut then, I've been there beforeA*

And everything is alrightI'll just say goodnightAnd I'll show myself to the doorI*

I didn't mean to cause a big sceneJust wait 'til I finish this glassThen sweet little ladyI'll head back to the barA*

And you can kiss my ass..............

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