"The Jingle Bell Bum" (Read The Touching True Story...please!) Comment at patriciahanrion.com

"The Jingle Bell Bum" (Read The Touching True Story...please!) Comment at patriciahanrion.com
Still available on Amazon for Nook and Kindle, hard copy booklett to re-print November 2013

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Gypsies in the waiting room!, Who stole dinner?

We had the Gypsy King in our ICU unit for several weeks and his family "LIVED" in the waiting room.  It became a challenge to keep the candles brought in by his "family" away from the oxygen lines.  He listed approximately 30 close relatives.

I was working the night shift and in this hospital the cafeteria closed after 8pm.  So, the nursing supervisor would get out some left overs and heat a large pot of soup or stew for the night staff and one person from each unit would go down, get a tray and load it with bowls of steaming soup and crackers for all who were working that night.  It was set out usually around 2 or 3 AM and was something we all looked forward to as a break in the monotonous long night shift.

For several days when I went down to get food for my staff I found the table picked clean.  It didn't take long to figure out who was hogging all the food.  The gypsy family was seen with pockets full and munching on crackers and soup while the nursing staff went hungry.  Their philosophy, "what's yours is mine, what's mine is mine" seemed to rule the day.

To solve the problem a code was devised and changed each day.  The time the food was set out also changed.  We picked up the code word from staffing office and when the overhead rang out with...Dr. Chow to surgery...Dr. Burger needed stat in ER....or, Dr. Stewman report to x-ray, we would then sprint to beat the "family" to the cafeteria who lingered near the door all night.  And finally the door had to be locked and the supervisor guarded the entrance so the staff would have something to eat!

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