6.13.2006

And she thought last Friday was bad...


On the short list of Things That Freak Me Out, you will find the girl from The Exorcist. The older film, not the remake, and specifically all scenes that involve convulsing, vomiting, frothing, moaning or otherwise making it very clear that the poor girl is possessed by the devil.

Friday afternoon I sat in my office, staring at my computer and despairing of ever fixing all the typos the Assistant had dumped into databases when I heard, from the front of the office, what sounded like the Assistant calling to me. Or talking to herself. Or… singing? In the next second I realized I was listening to some very eerie moaning and became annoyed that the Assistant was having a breakdown… or an orgasm? At her desk. I walked out of my office to investigate and as I rounded the corner to the reception area I saw the Assistant in her chair, in the clutches of a full-on seizure. Her convulsing body was blocking the path to the phone so I rushed back to my office and dialed 9-1-1. More accurately, I dialed 9-9-1-1 only after the first two tries in which I had forgotten I had to first press fucking 9 to get a damn outside line.

Of course, dialing 9-1-1 does not have the quickness and the drama as it must have had in the past, as I was promptly put on hold for what seemed like an eternity. While explaining the situation to the dispatcher, I corrected her no less than four times regarding our telephone number; in between reassurances that an ambulance was on its way, I called through the wall to the Boss Lady, who blithely ignored both the volume and the urgent tone of my voice.

(Later, she told me with a chuckle: “I thought I heard you calling me.”)

The dispatcher at last recited the correct telephone number to me, just as the noises at the front of the office slammed into silence. “Hang on,” I yelled to the receiver as I dropped it on my desk, “it just got wayyy too quiet out there.” I ran back to the reception area and the good news- the seizure had stopped. The bad news- the Assistant was slumped in her chair, eyes glazed over, tongue poking out of her mouth, not breathing.

I seriously thought I had a dead body on my hands, y’all.

I suppose it shows I’m a dog owner first, a non-parent next, and a person trained in CPR/first aid last last last since I immediately CLAPPED my hands together and sharply called the Assistant’s name, in more of a “get out of the damn garbage!” than a “Christ on a crutch don’t you die on me!” sort of way. She flinched, and resumed breathing, and so did I.

Then I went to get the Boss Lady and we ended up physically restraining the Assistant (she kept mumbling and trying to stand up for no reason) per the dispatcher’s instructions, while waiting for the paramedics and their trusty stretcher. Then I went to the emergency room while Boss Lady attempted to track down the Assistant’s husband who had changed jobs without giving anyone the new number (no one had his cell phone number, either, not even his children). At the emergency room I found out this has happened before, but not for years (she thinks) and the fact that she’s on medication for seizures just didn’t warrant a mention over the past two months she's been working with us.

(I guess she decided sharing marital problems or domestic drama was more interesting than “hey, I haven’t had a seizure in 3 years that I know of, but you should know, it might happen. And by the way, here’s my updated emergency contact information.”)

Yesterday the Assistant was back at work flitting between mortification and acting like nothing had happened. She had no idea what caused the episode, hoped she didn’t embarrass herself too badly, and was content to have a brief telephone conversation with her doctor about it; the doctor’s solution was simply to prescribe a stronger anti-seizure pill, no need to come in and see him.

Here’s where you’re gonna want to punch me in the face: We’re letting the Assistant go this week. Based on job performance! Based on job! performance! And you thought it was only Seizure Friday last week, but it was also Decide to Fire the Assistant (Since We’re Within the 90-Day Trial Period) Day! How’s that for timing? And of course, by “we,” I mean “I.” I get to tell her Friday morning that it’s just not working out, while Boss Lady hides out at home. The Assistant will get to work, I’ll show up, she’ll lose her job, then start her weekend early.

[sigh]

So you can imagine how uncomfortable I was yesterday when the Assistant was thanking Boss Lady and me for “saving her life.” Yeah, you’re welcome. And you’re out of a job.

2 comment:

Anonymous skyhawk said...

OMG!!! Wow, what a crappy week... for the assistant, of course, but you as well for having to fire her. Write it off to very lousy timing.

I'm sure you know this, but be sure to have all documentation related to her work performance at the ready, just in case she tries to go after your boss for unemployment... or worse, after her episode last week. Disability claims are a pain... I had a courier at DMC go after the company after we fired him for gross incompetence -- after he missed five bank pickups in a row. Incidentally, guess the reason why? (Hint -- we found used condoms in his vehicle after we let him go. Pause for "EEEWWW!")

Due to a bad back, however, he said he couldn't lift more than 30 lbs... and accused us of putting him on a route where he had to lift 50+. (This wasn't an issue for him in other areas, evidently.)

I left DMC before it was resolved... in the end, I think the company settled.

6:31 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

OY. I don't envy you!

6:09 PM  

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