After nine hours and some twenty fares last night I had nothing worth reporting. Yet as so often happens, it’s not until the last fares when interesting stories start presenting themselves. Largely due to the liberating effects of excessive boozing.
Outside an inner-city hotel a large group of young people hailed me. Four piled in for a City bar. They were all in their mid-twenties and two girls tumbled in the back, laughing hysterically followed by two fellas, one sitting up front.
The girls were really drunk and started mock wrestling, whilst the fellas being somewhat more sober were self-contained and not so boisterous. Yet all were happy, frivolous and chatted freely with the easy comfort of workmates. I quickly established the girls were nurses and the fellas were trainee nurses.
Dominating the atmosphere was one girl who proceeded to insist she would happily ‘jump upon’ her female colleague,
- Female colleague - (laughing) ‘What - to administer mouth to mouth ?’.
- Dominant girl - (laughing) ‘If I had to, of course’.
- FC - ‘Oh right...(laughing)...just like Mr. _______ !’.
- DG - ‘Well, these things happen...(laughing)
- FC - ‘Sure do - the guy died !’ (laughing)
- Front seat fella - ‘Who died !?’
- FC - (laughing) ‘Her patient !’.
- FSF - ‘Oh my God, how ?’.
- DG - (laughing) ‘_________attack’.
- FC - ‘But she couldn’t resuscitate him !’.
- DG - ‘Well, he started vomiting this white stuff and urgghh...I just couldn’t do it. So I went and called the MO but he never came. By the time a ____ team arrived it was too late’.
- FSP - ‘What do you mean, white stuff ?’.
- DG - ‘It was a milkshake...(both girls laugh hysterically)...he wouldn’t take a shower in the morning but he kept asking for a milkshake...(laughing)...so I bribed him with a milkshake. I got it for him later, in my lunchbreak mind you ! (More laughing)...I mean it wasn’t my fault the MO didn’t come in time. The patient had been pressing his buzzer so much the MO....
- FC - ‘What was up with him, chest pain ?’
- DG - Aw, he was complaining of all-over pain and I asked the MO for pain relief but....like the guy was buzzing every fifteen minutes and you know, the MO didn’t think it was necessary’.
- FC - ‘Then he died’.
- DG - ‘He died’.
- FC - ‘But it’s not your fault babe, don’t...’.
- DG - ‘No, no, listen yes it was ! I should have tried resuscitating him, but...these things happen’.
(Both girls laugh hysterically)
(More laughter between the girls)
(Both girls laugh uproariously)
The subject changed to the MO’s fearsome reputation and shortly after we arrived at the City bar where they quickly alighted to continue their partying.
Strangely, as chilling and callous as this conversation sounded, I wasn’t shocked. Rather I recalled a previously exchange between nurses on which I’d recently reported. Further confirmation hospital care standards are less than perfect. Sad but true.