Friday, April 04, 2014

The “F” word…

As some of you know from reading my blog I spent many years as a secretary in our local emergency room. (The picture shows me in 1979 with one of the nurses and Dr. Jacques.) Most of the time I was fulfilling the orders of the harried staff … ordering labs, xrays, calls to specialists, etc. Since our ER was often overloaded it was a challenge to keep ahead of it all and I thrived on it.

I was older than most of the nurses and even many of the doctors; however, this didn’t seem to matter. I was good at what I did and they appreciated that. Over the years I took on kind of a mother figure there. They knew that I was of the generation that finds the “F” word shocking and they rarely used it in my presence. I appreciated their consideration. I was also sure that they would never hear that word from my lips. I will never forget the day that this came to an end !

The nurses did very well with the ER Docs but as soon as a staff Dr. showed up the whole atmosphere would change. These doctors were very demanding and expected the nurses to drop everything (no matter what was going on with the other ER patients) and to be at their beck and call.

This particular day it was exceptionally busy. All 18 rooms were full, 3 staff doctors had arrived at the same time and none of the ordered lab results had come back. When I called the lab they explained that a technician was out sick and they were doing the best they could.

I relayed this info but the staff doctors wouldn’t accept it. They had the poor nurses almost in tears and I couldn’t believe the words that were being yelled at them, the patient charts that were being banged down and the overall disruption of the ER.

Of course this ultimately came down upon my head, the messenger of the bad news. I knew that none of the patients were critical and could see no reason for all the turmoil. I was completely fed up and had as much as I could take so I stood up and yelled …“Everyone just F_ _king shut up.”

This brought on absolute dead silence and it seemed to stay that way forever until a nurse broke the ice by saying, in a timid voice: “Oooh, that’s just as if my mother said that.” That did it. We all broke up laughing, the staff doctors stormed off and we went back to business as usual.



Blogger KGMom said...

Oh, too funny, Ginnie.
I think the F word is hugely over-used, and shows a paucity of vocabulary.
However, there are times when a well-placed expletive just does the trick. And the F word--good Anglo-Saxon derivate that it is--does the trick.

10:32 AM  
Blogger NCmountainwoman said...

Just goes to show you that words seldom used by you can assume more power if you "need" to use them. I can imagine the silence.

12:24 PM  
Blogger Arkansas Patti said...

What a fun story. The "F" bomb is dropped so much today that it loses its usefulness and power. It is used to titillate 12 year old boys or those that still think like 12 year olds. It should be used only rarely so it still packs a wallop like yours did. I save mine for sudden near death accidents or equally sudden and surprising pains and extremely rarely in front of anyone. It should not be spent foolishly. Hum, I am feeling a blog post coming on--thanks.

4:18 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Sometimes, it's the only word that will do.

8:47 AM  
Blogger possum said...

Even tho you prepared me for this post, I am still sitting here blinking at the screen.... You said what???? You can't say that up there on that pedestal. Didn't you know that?????
I heard that word when I was a kid from a neighbor kid and had no idea what it meant. Then, with the exception of my husband, I never heard it again until I started teaching and a 6 year old said it walking into school one morning. It was in response to another teacher saying good morning to him. The other teacher just ignored it, so I worked on getting my jaw back up off the floor and later was told, "Its a cultural thing." And today, it seems that culture is predominant. Sad. But your F word had power when you used it - and it apparently was just standard fare for little Preston and his teachers.
I must say, I am glad it was so rare coming from you that it stunned everyone.

2:25 PM  
Blogger Regenia said...

What a shame that just a few people's presence can change the atmosphere for the worse. Sadly sometimes it just takes one. Too bad they did not realize that they could have improven the situation with their attitude.

5:27 AM  
Blogger Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Sure got everyone's attention and in a hurry, Finnie, so maybe it was the best choice of wording at the moment.

7:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One strange difference between the UK and the USA when it comes to the use of the 'F' is that, although it now, sadly, accepted almost everywhere, we Brits never seem to combine it with the word "mother" !

7:10 AM  
Blogger Syd said...

LOL--I must confess that I occasionally drop the F bomb. I can only imagine the shock of hearing it from your lips.

8:08 AM  

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