Sunday, December 10, 2006

Clearly Obscure

One of the more unpleasant tasks at work is filing. It would be alright if the patients' charts were computerized but the doctor has been following the same system for forty years and it's been working fine, thank us very much!

System? As far as I can tell, if one needs to find a file one can:

1. Look in this pile over here;
2. Look in that pile over there;
3. Look in those piles under here and there in the doctor's examining room;
4. Forget about it and make an new file.

So, whenever I or my co-workers find a file--on the very first try--it is always a bit of a celebration for us. Yes, I know, we're lame and stupid. But you take your successes wherever you can get them, at least in this office.

The other day co-worker #1 was frustrated. She had been looking for a file for ten minutes and she had been here, there, everywhere. As she has been doing for the last couple of weeks, she was loudly commenting that she needed to find a job in a normal office.

CO-WORKER#2: What constitutes a normal office?
CO-WORKER#1: You know! A place where one can hit a few keys on the computer and information pops up immediately and...wait, hold on! Oh my God, I found it!
CO-WORKER#2: YAY!
ALICE: YAY!

After a few seconds of happiness, we got back to the serious matter at hand. Co-worker#1 was thinking about breaking up with her boyfriend of ten years. She had expected him to put a ring on her finger by now, but this is what he tells her: He likes the way things are. He's comfortable. He's content. He's not getting married. Maybe soon, but not yet. He can't find a good reason to commit himself at this moment. Maybe soon, but not yet.

I didn't know what to say to her so I followed co-worker#2's lead and joined her in murmuring what, apparently, co-worker#1 wanted to hear: oh, we're so sorry that you are sad after being mistreated by that man...for so many years. You deserve better.

Co-worker#1 thanked us for our undivided support. We paused for a few seconds to mourn the possible demise of this...um... torrid...love affair. Co-worker#1 then looked at us and smiled.

CO-WORKER#1: But, hey, things are not so bad. I found the Parker file!
CO-WORKER#2: YAY!
ALICE: YAY!

I really need to find another place to work. Soon.

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