Saturday, August 22, 2009

In Which Jer Gets Band Aids For His Booboos

I wrote this post this morning and am only now able to get to the internet to post it. Jer came out of the OR just fine and is now hanging out playing games on his new PSP! Mom's at the hospital with him and Connor and I've come home to take a much-needed shower and to post here. Wish I'd seen the comment about borrowing an army cot-- that was a great idea! Oh well.

Jeremy and I got a very special package in the mail yesterday evening, courtesy of Jess Wilson, Darby, and Kendall. I’m very happy to say that in addition to the sweet little gifts for Connor and I and the wonderful drawings (We especially love the giraffe!), Jeremy now has, as displayed here, band aids for his booboos. The orthopedic surgeon has promised to save them when she takes his cast off for cleaning today and put them back on afterwards, as no doubt they will aid the healing process. Thanks Kendall—he loved ‘em!

I also now have a whole herd of birthday goats—and since they’re the paper or electronic kind, they haven’t even eaten my upholstery! Loki is unimpressed by our new family members, but I sure like them. It’s also pretty funny to watch Jer reading the cards and e-mails people have sent that I've been printing out for him to read, as a lot of them make references to things I’ve written in my blog and he hasn’t had a chance to read it for about a month. He was a little confused about the references people kept making to him having a stubbed toe, for instance. Also the coconut crab hat.

Anyway, I’m sitting in the surgical waiting room right now, as Jer’s left leg is cleaned out in the OR for the sixth time. Basically he goes in every other day right now. There’s some badly dubbed anime playing on the television. Otherwise the room is totally silent; I’m the only one here. I had to turn the lights on when I came in.

Had a down moment yesterday afternoon; I went out to the PX to get myself a camping mattress (I’ve been sleeping in a rocking chair as the floor we’re on isn’t set up for people spending the night (they are making an exception for us, which is very nice of them), and it is Not Working) and I desperately needed some caffeine. I’m not normally a coffee drinker, but they had those Frappacinos there, which aren’t really coffee but more like some sort of vaguely coffee-flavored smoothie, so they don’t really count. Anyway, I knew Jer would want one too, and I went ahead and got him some snacks he particularly enjoys too. I dragged myself up to the register, and while I was putting the camp bed and the coffee and the candy up on the register, I accidently dropped one of the Frappacinos on the floor, where it shattered into a million pieces. Glass and caramel-flavored deliciousness went everywhere.

“I’m so sorry!” I said to the cashier behind the counter. “Please charge me for that. Do you mind if I grab another one? You can put my stuff aside and I’ll go to the end of the line.” The coffee was in a refrigerator at a register two lines down.

The cashier threw her eyes up and gazed at the ceiling for a moment, as if to ward off idiot customers. “There are people waiting,” she said.

I was too exhausted to fight about it. I figured I’d just go back after I’d checked out, find another one, and pay for it in a different line. “All right,” I said. “Please charge me for two then-- the one on the counter and the one I broke.”

She glared at me. “You know, I don’t know whether or not we make customers pay for things they break or not, but I really think you should.”

“I know,” I said miserably. “Please charge me for it.” She checked me out in stormy silence.

To make it even worse, I’d discovered I’d left my military ID, which is required to check out at the PX, sitting on the dash board of my car. I offered to go out and get it and then just go to the back of the line, but she told me she’d just check me out “so I could just go.” Everyone was staring at me by now. I fumbled out my credit card, red-faced and defeated, and paid.

“I’m sorry,” she said, turning to the other customers in line as soon as my transaction was finished. “But you’re going to have to go to another line. I’m going to have to close until we get this mess cleaned up.”

So in other words, she was going to close the whole time and had only waited to tell everyone to go to a different line so that I wouldn’t get another coffee. I've never had a problem with any cashier at the PX before; normally they're wonderful. Maybe she’d just had a bad day, or there were things going on in her life that were making her prickly. Ordinarily I’d just be rather irritated, and I’d probably have handled it a lot better. But I wanted to get back to Jer and I was totally exhausted and the last week had been so horrific I didn’t have any reserves left. I fled the store with just Jer’s coffee and broke down out in the car.

So I didn’t go back for my coffee and I had to drive around a while because I didn’t want to go back to the hospital with my face all swollen and puffy. It seems so silly that such a small thing ended up making me lose it, but it was that I had looked forward to drinking that stupid Frappacino—I’d been craving it all day—and I’m vulnerable enough right now that it what should have been an awkward moment ended up being a much bigger deal than it would have been otherwise.

Stupid coffee. Stupid cashier.

Anyway, the camp bed I slept on last night worked wonders, and I feel one hundred percent better today. It’s absolutely amazing how much better a good night’s sleep will make you feel, isn’t it? I didn’t realize how much of my mood was due to sheer exhaustion. I think they design those hospital rocking chairs so there’s absolutely no way to sleep on them for more than an hour at a time without your neck cramping. The little bed worked really well—though I think the bare cement floor would probably have been a step up from the chair. At any rate, I feel much refreshed, and I’m going to stick around here until Jer’s back from the OR and then go home and get cleaned up. Then I’m off to run errands!



psychologizer said...

That bitch is lucky I wasn't there. After having to wrangle cashiers as part of my job for two years, I have little patience with sucky ones and know just how to talk to managers to get things done. I don't suppose you want me to call and complain for you? I tend to get people free stuff when I do....

Anonymous said...

You might want to take the first commenter up on that offer.

Your low point yesterday is just how it happens, eh? The load is heavy, the reserves are low, the final straw.

Thank goodness you are better today.

Them are some wrappings on Jer's legs! Kendall et al know how healing really works.


Anonymous said...

I told my husband when he complained about those chairs that I think the hospital designs them as payback for new dads. Mom's have all the pain and stuff of labor. Dad's can't get off that easy. Hence the horrible chair. I can relate. When Gloria had Elayna I was crammed into one of those chairs trying to sleep. AWFUL. So glad you got a cot and were able to catch up on your sleep.

Sorry that the girl at the PX was so horrible evil. I think you should call and register a complaint with the manager there.

Hope you are doing much better now.

Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear about that cashier..:( So sorry it made you feel so bad!...I've had those moments...Say Hi To Jer...

Julia O'C said...

Aw, Jess. Go easy on yourself. You're dealing with an awful lot right now. Adding craptastic cashier to the mix would send just about anyone over the edge.

I know for a fact that Hello Kitty band-aids are particularly healing. At least, that's what my 4-year old tells me.

Thinking about you guys, and sending happy, healing thoughts & prayers.

xraevision said...

Sorry you didn't get to enjoy your tasty "coffee," but don't you think one minute more about that rude cashier. Trust me, after 20 years in customer service, I can tell you that there is such a thing as Retail Karma. (Funny that your fancy blueberries vs. wild blueberries post comes to mind!)

Jeremy's Band-Aids are looking great! I'm sure the comic relief helps the healing. Just ran out of Band-Aids here and will buy another box of Hello Kitty, so I will be reminded of you guys every time I have a minor cooking or sewing accident (which is fairly often!)

Anonymous said...

Been lurking around here, checking to see how your family is doing.

Isn't it the most surreal thing when that kind of coffee incident happens? It's the biggest deal for the cashier, meanwhile your husband's heel is "pulverized" and he's been in and out of the OR all the time!

Katy said...

I'm sorry but I would feel duty-bound to straight-up complain about that cashier to a manager. The thing is, on a military base, you really never know what someone is going through. Maybe someone has just heard that their husband or wife has been injured or killed or maybe they haven't spoken to their spouse in weeks and they're just worried sick. PX jobs are cushy and usually it's other spouses working there. They should know better. Would have served her right if you'd just started crying in her face.

Kind of off topic here, but I bought Charlie a mobile for his hospital bed right after he was born. We set it up and it began smoking! My MIL went back to return it and she was so angry she just gave the manager the whole story--near death, priests and everything, finally doing better, and them selling us a defective, smoking mobile. Manager said that if there was anything wrong with the new one, she'd been my MIL in front of the store with the next replacement. Sometimes you just have to tell people how it is.

Katy said...

Uhhh, that should say "meet my MIL" Maybe I should go to bed now.

Lora said...

I do believe that I would have broken down as well after all that you had been through. Not to worry my dear, you are a very strong woman and it is quite understandable that you were so upset over what would otherwise not been such a big deal.

Oftentimes, I break down over things that other people/friends think aren't significant but oh well...that just how life goes I guess.

Glad to know that you are feeling much better after getting some really good sleep.

Hugs to you and Jer!

Greymare said...

I'm glad Jeremy is getting to read all his cards and well wishes! The bandaids are awesome.

Anonymous said...

oh my gosh, where to begin - first of all, the girls were THRILLED just now when i showed them the photo of the hello kitty band-aids at work. well, darby was. kenz and i will come back a few times and hopefully she'll be able to make the connection.

we are so happy that our little package made its way to you. hopefully it offered a moment of comic relief. (oh, and darby was over the moon about the shout out for the giraffe!)

as for that cashier? sister, your camel is buried in a big ole stack of straw right about now. the 'little things' - the every day arseholes with zero compassion or civility and those little everyday mishaps - they are killers when we're trying so hard to keep it together for the big stuff. you are stronger than atlas - don't beat yourself up for one human moment (or 20)

our hearts are with you!!

leah said...

Mean people suck. And that cashier was definitely in that category. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that someone is flustered or exhausted. Sheesh.

Those bandaids are enormously cute, BTW. I wish I was that clever!

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's pretty low. Even when you're having a bad day (well, if) and you're in a position of customer service you should still have the decency to at least be nice. There's NOTHING worse than a person in a position of service cutting you down. It makes you think...if only they knew...

melissa said...

Hey, I have just recently started following your blog. Hope Jer improves soon!!! Hugs to you, Connoe and Jer!!

terena said...

Are you kidding me? That cashier needs to find a new job, preferably one that involves cleaning bathrooms on her hands and knees.

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