Previously On 24 . . .
|Jack Bauer has nothing on me during the last 24 hours.|
My Saturday started off on the wrong foot from the beginning. I came home from work at 6am, and jumped on the computer (as always). When I was finished blogging, I didn't feel tired at all, so I stayed online. I checked my voluminous e-mail (yeah, right) and saw one from Katey. We talked back and forth for a while, and the next thing I knew, it was 11am! Thanks, Kate!!!
I finally crawled into bed and slept like a log . . . for four hours! I woke up at 3pm and couldn't fall back asleep. Peachy. I left for hockey at 9pm, and we played the game (see below post). By 10:30pm, I was exhausted and sore. As I was leaving the rink, I called work to tell them I was on my way. The officer on the other line said, "Take your time. The lieutenant told radio to hold you out at HQ." I said, "Okay," and hung up. 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . . "What?" I called the officer back and said, "Did you just say I'm on the street tonight?" (I was supposed to be on desk duty last night.) The officer said, "Yeah. two guys called out sick, and we have to send one officer to the fire scene in the neighboring district. We're shorthanded, so the Lt. put you out."
Did you ever see Bill Bixby when he turned into The Incredible Hulk? The eyes get wide, and he shakes with rage? That about sums up my reaction. They are going to put me on the street after four hours sleep and ninety minutes of hockey??? WTF? I calmly said okay, and added, "I'll be a little later, then, since I have to go home and get my pistol, gun belt, and vest." I jump in my car, speed home, grab my equipment, and run out the door. I'm not paying attention to what I'm doing - partly because I'm exhausted, partly because I'm annoyed - and take a yellow light at Red Lion Road and Roosevelt Boulevard.
Except it wasn't yellow. It was red!
How do I know? Because of the two giant flashes of light in my rear view mirror. The intersection has the light cameras for people who blow the red lights. The camera takes a pic of your license plate, and the city sends you a $100 fine. I never take that intersection especially because of the cameras, but it was the fastest way to work. Now, I'm late for work, tired beyond belief, and $100 poorer. I imagine the vehicles in front of and behind me heard the ten minute-long string of expletives.
Any whoo, I get into work, get changed, and ask the sergeant about my assignment. I am hoping they will put me on the fire scene, so I don't have to drive for eight hours. No such luck. Not only am I working a sector car, but I'm working a different car than I usually do. My assignment was 14 car, and I kept answering up as 16 car - force of habit. (Oh, and I'm told I am covering four sectors: E, L, M, and A - or, LAME.) As soon as I make myself available, I get the perfect job for my sour mood - a "Sick Assist."
Radio: "14, can you take a sick assist at (address)? An elderly woman has fallen off her couch, and needs help getting up. Her husband is home, but he is an invalid."
Me: "(Sigh) 14, okay."
I get to the address, walk in the door, and there she is, an elderly woman, lying on the floor, babbling incoherently. She's about 150 pounds or so, and hubby tells me that I'm going to have to "pick her up and take her into the bedroom" - which is at least 30-40 feet away. Cool, at least I'm not tired or anything! Let's do it. I pick the woman up (no small feat, since it's just me - and I'm a weakling) and half carry, half drag her to the bedroom. She asks me to put her "on the comode." WHAT? The husband says she needs to go to the bathroom, and I have to put her down on the terlet. I cringe, but I do it, and then the woman says, "Can you help me take off my pants?"
"I need help with my pants." It's about this time that I remind myself that this aspect of the job is never mentioned in the brochures. I grit my teeth, close my eyes and work the pants like a band-aid, "RIGHT OFF!" Finally satisfied, the husband thanks me and I drag my lifeless form out of the house.
And the night went down from there. By 2am, I was getting the "head bob," when you almost fall asleep, but jerk yourself up beforehand. This almost caused me to hit the traffic median three times. After the third near-miss, I said "Screw this," and found a nice parking lot in which to sit. There I fought sleep, and answered the occasional radio call, until it was time to go home. Now I have two days off to recuperate and get the vivid imagery of the woman's pants out of my mind. Bleech!
And you think your job sucks . . .