August 3, 2006

Cigarettes and a Muzzle

Before I get to the main story tonight, I have a couple housekeeping items to mention.

Yesterday we downloaded a new Norton Internet Security program to our computer. Even though a cute little pop-up announced our download was successful, we couldn’t log on to the Internet!


Imagine that. It was too good for it’s own use! Frustrating too, as anyone knows who tries to understand computer talk when it’s not suppose to be talking!

Check your Internet settings”, it said everytime we clicked the blue circle "e" for Internet Explorer.

Well, that’s what we just paid $106 for our computer to do!

While Jim was at a job interview this morning – and on my day off – I was on the phone for two hours with a Norton Professional in India who could hardly speak English and immediately wanted to de-install Norton. (I said, “No thank-you”.) Then I waited on hold for three hours while the Insight Cable guy “looked it up” and walked me through many DOS Commands that didn’t help. I did find out that he likes Diet Dr. Pepper and Mt. Dew, has just moved back in with his parents and has some property for sale in Indiana if you’re looking for a new place.

Finally. Yep! I fixed it myself. Seems you have to go into Administrative to set the Internet Browser settings. (CNN.com) I used to be able to set it under “Linda”.

Oh, by the way. Did you know that all the stars have disappeared? Well, all but maybe two stars. That’s what I heard on Coast to Coast with George Noory tonight. I was taking the garbage to the dumpster at midnight. (Yes, we have to put our bags of trash in the car and drive to the dumpster!) I looked up at the clear sky, and even though it’s supposed to be clear and hot tonight, I didn’t see any stars. Could be because I didn’t have my glasses on. Did anyone else hear that story?

Okay. My loving Jim who never finds anything wrong with anything I ever do, slipped up and mentioned that some of my stories, "might be a little on the long side.”

Hello, Shallow Throat. I read those stories to the bitter end. But maybe I should back off a little for the rest of you gentle readers who have a life.

I don’t know why, I always read the paper for LPN want ads. This one sounded right up my alley.

Nursing People. Strength. Commitment. Put your expertise to good use and join our team at Heartland Victorian Village…All shifts. New rates. $2,500 sign-on bonus! Tuition and loan repayment programs. Flexible scheduling….Drug-Free Employer.

I used to work for Heartland of Zephyrhills in Florida, and they were a great company. So, I played phone tag with the HR woman and finally got an appt for 3 p.m. last Tuesday. Couldn’t hurt to check it out. Maybe I could get a day job. Better pay. Bonus. Tuition, and work for a company that I have had experience with.

Parking wasn’t a problem, but getting through all the staff taking a smoke break by the front door was a challenge. And, I was concerned for all the old people who were outside in the 100 degree heat looking like they were making a break for it with walkers and wheelchairs. One old lady was headed around the corner of the building as fast as she could pick up that walker and take another step! No one had cool water or shade.

I also didn’t think it was a good sign when I saw the American Flag on the pole but stuck in some tree branches. It was worn, faded and torn!

Suddenly an old man almost ran into me as he hurried down the steps with a very angry look on his face. I smiled at him but he growled loudly, “I want a f…ing cigarette!”

I looked at all the employees sitting around smoking, but no one seemed to care about the angry patient who wanted some cigarettes or me trying to maneuver around all the old folks.

Entering the building, I had no problem knowing where to go. At a small workstation sat two women. One was a tired-looking youngish white women, and the other was an older gray-haired black women. Both were busy answering the phone, paging people and helping others at the desk.
“ I have a 3:00 appointment with the HR manager,” I said politely.

“She’s no longer here.”

“I just talked to her yesterday. Where is she?”

“She’s no longer here,”

“Oh. May I speak to someone else? I’m a LPN and I had an interview for a position here.”

“I want a f..ing cigarette. I only have 1 and ½ left and I want more cigarettes now!”

The elderly man had followed me in and now he stepped to the head of the line and bore down on the white haired lady.

“Shut your mouth or I’ll put a muzzle on it. And, quit that swearing!”

Then she turned to her co-worker and stormed, “We don’t have any applications! The HR Director said she ordered them last week but we haven’t seen them!”

“Miss. If you’ll fill out an application, someone will see you shortly.”

“I don’t want to fill out an application until I have my appointment. That’s why I made the appointment. Anyway, I just heard you say you didn’t have any applications,” I said with a quizzical look on my face.

“Please have a seat.”

As I sat down on one of two small chairs, I noticed another patient sitting across from me. She had on two pair of glasses. One for reading and one pink pair with little gems on the rim. She smiled at me. I smiled back.

I heard the gray-haired lady telling someone on the phone that I wouldn’t fill out an application.

“I want my f…ing cigarettes. I want them now.”

“Go to the nurses station and see your nurse. And quit that cussing or I’m going to put a muzzle on you!”

“Will she give me cigarettes? And you aren’t going to put a f…ing muzzle on me!”

“Miss. The director says her director says you can’t have an interview until you fill out an application.”

“You know what? I already have a nice job. You have a nice day. Here’s some pretty angel cards for you. It tells about a book I wrote. It’s a book for women who want to be strong.”

Suddenly, the tired-looking lady stood up and reached for the angel cards. “That would be for me,” she said with the first smile I’d seen from either lady all afternoon.

When I got home and told Jim the story, he shook his head.

“Maybe I should go apply for the HR position. I’m qualified,” he said seriously.

Feeling badly for wasting the afternoon, I agreed on one condition,


“Please take a pack of cigarettes with you."

Take Care on the Journey,
~Linda

1 comment:

berriensprings said...

Linda,
Love your ending.

And as for your stories being long... you just have more to say. No shame in that. I've had many a professor tell me that after essay tests.

Tell Jim that stories are like men... better too long than too short. ;)