Last Man Standing

Since Christmas Eve one family member after another has taken ill for at least 24 hours or more. This includes my work family. One by one I have watched some ailment put them out of commission for an extended period of time. Everyone that is except me.

I am an island on to my own. When some sickness makes the rounds I can normally weather the storm and at worse only have to deal with some of the minor annoying symptoms associated with whatever the affliction is. I’ll have to attribute this to my robust immune system.

Through the pharmacy I have the “pleasure”  of interacting with hundreds of patients in a week and as a result of that their illnesses as well. I’m also exposed to many a students through my teaching endeavors and the illnesses they bring with them to the classroom. I would say my immune system is always working over time combating and adapting to the various illnesses that are hurled my way.

I also never bought into the constant use of hand sanitizer. If memory serves me the CDC and other federal health agencies put out studies saying that people were over doing it. To put a fine point on this I make sure I’m clean and sterile when I need to be, but the rest of the humans on the continent I share with need to calm down with the scrubs and the lotions. Your body does need a certain level or bacteria on it and in it anyway.

It’s like I tell my coworkers and cohorts all the time. Just lick the counter/keyboard and get it over with. The illness is going to claim you anyway just get it over with now. Unless your me and the New York City sewer rats.

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Waiting In Line

There are a lot of things I will wait in line for. The bathroom, midnight showing of a movie, medication if  needed bad enough. However, waiting in line for a toy doesn’t even crack my top 100 reasons to wait in line. Don’t get me wrong I have waited in line for a midnight release of a video game back in the day, but that was for myself and I promptly went to bed when I got home shortly after midnight. I also don’t think it equates to what I witnessed earlier this evening.

While shopping for a toy for my friends son for Christmas I decided to head to the local big box toy store with my wife. There happened to be a short line formed outside. I thought that to be really odd as we are well past black Friday at this point and there wasn’t some hot toy making headlines on the daily news as there had been in years past.

Apparently I would be wrong in this instance. The cashier enlightened us that the people in the line outside were waiting for a “Hatchimal”. To help clarify for those confused by that word the closet thing I could come up with is a Furby in an egg. I guess it’s nice to see that there are parents out there who think enough of their children to wait in line through the night in 30 degree weather to get that special toy of the year for them.

I will not be one of those parents. (I say this now and that may change between now and then, but I’m going to draw the line in the sand any way.) This will be one of the few times in my future child(rens) life that they may be to actually throw me under the bus when talking to their therapist. I will place the need for sleep and the comfort of my own bed over the need for this years hot new toy which will most likely be broken or lost by the time we are looking to see if the groundhog sees his shadow.

Lost & Found

So for the better part of 2 weeks I had lost the “Lock n Lock” container that I take my work snack in. Amazingly enough it resurfaced a few days ago. My wife was briefly annoyed, but that quickly passed. However the next item I had TEMPORARILY MISPLACED may not go so well.

A couple of days ago while getting myself ready for the day I went to put on my rings
(there are three that I normally wear) and my wedding band was MIA. For a second I thought I was going to have to change my name, get plastic surgery, and move to New Zealand. Then sanity took a hold again and I began to back track myself to figure out where I had misplaced it.

I have the (bad?) habit of removing my rings when I eat something that will make my hands dirty and/or greasy. So as I normally do I removed them and put them in my pocket at dinner time. When it became time to get ready for bed I emptied my pockets (at least I thought I did) placing the rings in the catch all dish my wife got me.

Coming back around to the morning and I am getting ready and then have my panic attack and realize I may not have completely emptied my work shirt pocket. Low and behold there was my wedding band. Crisis averted, all hands stand down, return to DEFCON 5. Moral of the story is not to do that again, but as I am a creature of habit and most likely wont listen to myself.

Throwing Out The Rules

Occasionally when I am partnered with my stores staff pharmacist we get into some interesting conversations. It normally ends with one of us going ” never really thought of it that way”. We’ve been working together for over a decade so our conversations either end up in the realm of philosophical, bizarre, or life lessons. Today’s conversation ended up in the life lessons category.

Among the litany of things parents teach their children don’t talk to or take candy from strangers being near the top I would think. We are also taught not to eat a ton of candy, go into strange places, or go running amuck like the hooligans we are through the neighborhood especially at night.

Yet, when Halloween comes around the youth of America dawns their various costumes and these rules go right out the window for the night. Not that anything truly bad happens on Halloween night. There are always parents roaming the neighborhoods watching their own children and the rest of the neighborhoods youngins as well. Everyone also knows enough to stay from crazy old man Jenkins’s house.

I’m not trying to rain on anyone’s parade here just one of those things that made me go, “oh yeah”.

Drive Thru Requests

Every once in a while we’ll get an odd request in the drive-thru. It’s normally for some random one off item in the store. Although we are not obligated to one of us will leave the pharmacy and grab said item. (We we’re given a list of items that you can purchase via the drive thru which we will go get. Although we were instructed we are not obligated to get anything beyond that list we normally will anyway just to avoid a bad customer review.)

So my story takes place about an hour before close. Random SUV pulls up and driver asks I can get an OTC item so they don’t have to come in. I ask what it is and it was something I never heard of before. (Two things to keep in mind: 1st this would be the fourth time this evening that I was being asked for an oddity item 2nd the drive thru speaker system is showing its age.) After a few minutes exchange I finally figure out what they want and inform them I would have to venture on to the sales floor to look for it and would be a minute.

I was gone maybe 30 seconds and the instant I rounded the corner to be able to see out into the drive thru again the requester had pulled a David Copperfield (Disappeared) on me. Just up and gone. Normally I wouldn’t give a damn, but I had already put some effort into figuring out what they wanted and seeing if we had it and then the potential customer just peaced out on me. (I was in the middle of other tasks as well.) To say the least I was annoyed.

Rare is the time we get to go above and beyond the normal requirements of our job, but when one does it’s superbly annoying that one couldn’t deliver. Could care less about the recognition just hate having my time wasted. It happens enough with things I have little control over.

 

What’s the Number for 911?

The advent of 911 for calling emergency services has to be one of the best tools created for the general public. Significantly more efficient than having to remember a 10 digit number in order to call for help and that’s assuming you have the ability and/or time to dial all ten digits.

I am writing about 911 because in the past year or so a private ambulance company charted by the local hospital chain has started advertising pretty heavily in our area. Which is fine by me, but the problem lies in the fact that part of their advertisement encourages people to not call 911 but to call their number instead. There is a litany of problems with this, but I’ll try and curtail it to a couple of key ones.

911 operations centers have multiple operators available around the clock even on holidays and if the local 911 center is overwhelmed for some reason the neighboring one can normally pick up some of the overload. As for the private ambulance company I don’t know if it’s just going to one person or multiple people. It is also unknown as to what their “call centers” hours/days of operation are.

911 also has a priority system built based on geographic location and time of day and day of week. (Not all towns have round the clock paid duty crews in my area.) This is so that if the 1st due for an area is out of service because they are already responding to a call, unable to fully crew their ambulance, or might be having their rescue vehicle serviced the next best option can be sent to the call for help.

Now I’m sure the ambulance company has some sort of priority system in place where they do know who is or isn’t responding to a request for services and which vehicles are crewed and operational and which aren’t, but what happens if a call comes in and there aren’t any available units. Is the person told they’ll have to wait? I know they aren’t going to be calling a competitor and asking for backup and I also doubt they’ll be calling 911 for said person either.

Please understand that I am not involved in FIRE/EMS services in any way, but I also know how to use common sense. I have talked with friends that are part of ambulance companies and have done some of my own personal research. I know the private ambulance company is trying to drum up business, but they are going about it the wrong way. There is an established and mostly efficient system in place in which people can call and get emergency help. Although I can appreciate competition, creating a separate entity along side 911 is not the way to break into the market.

There are lots of private ambulance and fire companies for that offered their services to other 911 response centers and started as backups in the priority chains and moved their up to first call. That makes sense to. Again, I get it, they are a business and trying to survive, but you don’t get to use a business tactic that could cost someone their life.

Pokémon Go

Alright I’m going to jump on the band wagon and talk about it. Just to clarify……yes, I am 30 years old and yes, I am playing Pokémon Go. I grew up when Pokémon when it first hit the US so the nostalgia is strong here. I will also point out that my wife, brother in-law, most of my friends, and some of my co-workers are also playing. My point being is that judge me however you want I really don’t care one way or the other.

I have always been walking throughout my neighborhood as part of my exercise routine and my natural curiosity has always led me to explore and find the interesting and historical parts of it. What the Pokémon Go app has done is add a more fun component to my walk (I have used augmented reality apps in the past, but none that really maintained my attention) and extended my time walking. I have yet to fully experience the social aspect of the game, but I’m sure that will come with time.

And with the good comes the bad…..or more like the dumb. So in the local news Pokémon Go has been the go to story for a variety of reasons, but one has stood out the most to me. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 people got locked inside a cemetery while hunting Pokémon. Now, I don’t hang out in cemeteries, but I’ve noted on more than one occasion that much like state and municipal parks they close at sunset. (There are signs.) What was even more annoying was there were grown ass adults there and used ZERO common sense.

What got me mad though was that at least two police officers, and fire truck, and I believe an ambulance crew were taken off availability while they tracked down the care taker to let these idiots out of the cemetery. What’s the big deal you ask? Gee I don’t know maybe these emergency services personal would have been needed for an actual emergency oh and the waste of tax payers dollars tying up these resources.

Please for the love of cake people. Use common sense when playing. This is tame in comparison I’m sure of the things to come. Above all though have fun and enjoy.