Archive for August, 2013

Miles Walker Gets a Job by Charie La Marr

Posted in Uncategorized on August 3, 2013 by Alex S. Johnson

Thanks to New York City’s budgetary issues, the hospital where Miles Walker worked was closed down—leaving him and over one hundred other nurses scrambling for work.

Some of them left the state in search of greener pastures. Others found work as Dominatrixes. But most of them scoured the papers and followed the listings; going from interview to interview. Often, they literally bumped into former co-workers interviewing for the same position. As a male nurse, it was a little harder for Miles. More than once, he heard those words, “Oh you’re a nurse!” with that certain intonation that receptionists who read too many romance novels always seem to have. Men are always the doctors. He could tell that behind his back, they were giggling at him wondering that if, as a child, he had been the doctor or the nurse when playing doctor.

Some temp work helped, but Miles was quickly draining his savings account just paying for rent and necessities. He figured he had about two months left before he would have to move back home with his mother. And that was a fate worse than death. He would take literally any nursing job to spare him from that indignity.

Then it happened. Miles got a job at an outpatient surgical clinic as a recovery room nurse. The pay was less than what he had been making, but it was enough to get by with an occasional private duty nursing on the side.

And so on Monday morning, dressed in neatly pressed purple scrubs, Miles reported for duty at Dr. Steve Cunningham’s GLT – Gastroenterology Testing Lab. His duties were fairly simple. He was the guy who patted you on the hand, woke you up and told you to fart after a colonoscopy. Not the most dignified job in the world, but it paid the bills and kept him out of his mother’s house in Brooklyn.

Day after day, Miles walked up and down the aisles of recovering patients, checking on his patients and listening to farts of all kinds from tight little toots to rippers that literally peeled the paint off the walls. By mid-afternoon, the smell in the room was so bad that Miles often snuck into an empty cubicle and helped himself to a couple of whiffs of oxygen just to keep from passing out.

One afternoon, a scheduling problem with Dr. Cunningham’s receptionist had the lab severely overbooked. Dr. Steve was literally pushing cameras up backsides and back out as fast as he could. Extra cots had to be set up in the recovery room and Miles was waking them up and sending them home as fast as he could to make room for more. He was so busy that he didn’t even have the time to sneak off for a little oxygen. He wasn’t sure if the place smelled more like the Staten Island landfill or a meadow of sheep in New Zealand. Methane levels were creeping up steadily.

Finally, it was break time and when his coverage arrived, Miles could hardly wait to get out onto the sidewalk and have a cigarette. He took a deep breath and lit up and that was the end. Pieces of Miles could be seen for miles.