Friday, January 6, 2017


I received a group text at 7 am, from the new Chief. This is unprecedented.

"I hear there is a flood. One of the main ducts in the men's bathroom busted. Dr. Music is already there, he told me about it. I'm on my way in now."

Flood is an understatement. When I got there, the carpet was saturated with water. Dr. Music had texted me earlier on my way in. "Your office is the only one that is spared."

Thank goodness, for once, I was at the opposite end of the hallway.

God it stank. Walking around in our snowshoes we were squishing water. Everything on the floor of the pathologist's offices and transcription was ruined. "What's the plan?" I asked the transcriptionists, one of whom was sitting on her desk. "There is no plan yet."

I learned from a maintenance man in the doctor's lounge that some offices below us were even in deeper trouble. Max, the admin who helped me with my office temperature earlier in the week, was hit the worst - apparently his office is right below us. He had to be moved immediately - his desk, files, everything was ruined. His office was right next to the data center, so the EMR (electronic medial record - Epic) was at risk. Sure enough, it went out for almost two hours, crippling the entire hospital for the morning.

Someone told me, when I was wandering, that it was the result of a sink being ripped off of a wall in the men's restroom. "It was vandalism. Obviously premeditated. Who could have done this?"

I had three needles in bronch before noon, so I was too busy to figure out exactly what happened. What could rip a sink off of the wall, and leave it to spew for hours before our early morning path crew discovered it?

At one point a little after noon I wandered into the transcription area. Asked our head transcriptionist if there was an investigation. "Well, I don't know about that, but when I went in there this morning, I saw a small foil open square package on the floor of the bathroom, as they were cleaning up the mess."

I'm going to be clear here, because I laughed so hard and told this story all afternoon. The women got it, but for most of the men I had to spell it out. It was an empty condom package. Maybe unrelated, but some two people were probably doing something on the sink in the wee hours of the morn for it to break off of the wall. This bathroom is pretty remote. Maybe lab staff, maybe janitorial staff. Whatever they were doing, it crippled us and the entire hospital.

I imagined them in their passion and distress. They probably got really wet. Hopefully not hurt. But it would have been nice for us if they had blown an anonymous whistle. It wasn't cold temperatures, but passion, that took down path, and briefly, the entire hospital.

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