Wednesday, November 29, 2006

LOST

LOST

Story contd.

It was good to be part of the work force again.  I liked the Sister – she was like a robin – small with a curved bosom and tiny stick like legs.  After a couple of days she complimented me on how nice the children were looking and I knew we would get on well.  The other Staff Nurse, Nurse Kerry I was not so sure about.  Mostly she was in the side wards looking after private patients but I could tell from the questions she was asking that she was not entirely welcoming.  At coffee time she asked me when I would take my fortnight’s holiday as she intended such and such a time.  I said I usually had two weeks in the summer and two weeks in the winter.

‘But you’re only entitled to a fortnight, as a part-time nurse.’ she said.
I knew this wasn’t so from my experience in Sheffield.  I told her that we had had a month a year there and then thought no more about it.  I was relieved when she was off the ward as she watched me like a hawk, waiting to criticise anything I did.  I reckoned if Sister was happy with my work, it was no concern of hers.  I had just finished a bed bath and was cleaning the trolley in the sluice when she came in watching my every move.

‘Oh don’t you wear your wedding ring?’ she asked.
‘Of course I do.  I never take it off.’  I looked down at the third finger of my left hand and it was naked.  I had lost weight since I had been married and it must have slipped off in the water whilst I was washing the child.  The water that I had just emptied down the sluice. I’d been married for just a year and the most important symbol; my gold wedding ring had just gone down the pan. I felt a quick chill of fear and my heart pounded.  Was this an omen?  Was my marriage going down the pan also?

Sister was very sympathetic and rang for the engineer.  He examined the sluice and undid some valves but after he had poked around a bit he shook his head; the force of the water and the flushing had swooshed my ring in to the bowels of Stockport – gone for ever.  When I told William he was not pleased but when he saw how upset I was he said it was no problem – we would get another but it would have to be an inexpensive one.  I didn’t care about that – it could be five thousand carat gold but it would never replace the real one.

The next day I had other things to worry about.  Matron sent for me and said it had been brought to her notice that I had been unsettling the other nurses by telling them that the holiday system was unfair.  Then she went into a long spiel of how much she admired my old matron and the Training School and she had always done her best to be fair to everyone until I ended up assuring her that I would happily accept the conditions of the hospital as long as I worked there and what I had said was purely an observation.  I had no intention of inciting nurses to revolt – far from it.  Unions were beginning to appear in nursing and to me the possibility of nurses going on strike was totally abhorrent.  The patients – the children - came first, now and forever as far as I was concerned. Things are different now alas.

When I got back on the ward I noticed Kerry was avoiding me which suited me fine.  From now on I would be very wary of what I said to her.  My first instincts had been right.  She was a devious, cowardly sycophant and if my good relationship with Sister upset her –hard cheese!


11 comments:

apprentice said...

What a cow! What a shame losing your ring, that sort if thing is so easily done, especially with soapy hands.

My dog ate my engagement ring when he was a pup, chewed my hand and the ring, and the stone fell out and got lost.

apprentice said...

What a cow! What a shame losing your ring, that sort if thing is so easily done, especially with soapy hands.

My dog ate my engagement ring when he was a pup, chewed my hand and the ring, and the stone fell out and got lost.

Z said...

Huh. She was jealous.

PI said...

apprentice: you're right; cow is the word! She had false teeth and a fixed grin that never reached her eyes.
Puppies! At least they are lovable.

PI said...

Z: a human fault but to go and snitch to Matron with a trumped up tale is beyond the pale. She tried to make uop for it by being ultra nice but I could never trust her again.

R. Sherman said...

The EMBLOS lost three, count 'em," three rings a bought her early in our marriage. Always the same: she would remove the ring while washing her hands and forget to put it back on.

I didn't mind, though. The evenings when she told me the "bad news" were always quite enjoyable.

Cheers.

PI said...

Randall: I think when it got to three I'd 'forget' to tell you. In fact I did that recently when my Australian opal ring disappeared. Eventually I found it under a bed (the perfect housewife!)- was I relieved because having bought it on a trip to Australis it was irreplaceable. The mother of one of my patients had a superb rock and she always put it in her mouth when washing her hands. Whilst we were in Instow MTL bought me lovely pearl earrings and the jewellers wife had a beautiful diamond ring - bigger than mine. She said she NEVER took it off - even when grouting tiles - it was easier to clean the ring.

Guyana-Gyal said...

I kept thinking that that dreadful woman stole your ring, Pat.

I can never understand the way some women are in the workplace...we go to work, to do our best, yet there's always someone who doesn't want to see this happen.

I was burnt by one like your workmate too.

Those women are so dreadfully insecure, so unhappy, they can't bear to see others doing well. It sounds like a cliche observation but it is true.

PI said...

GG: that never occurred to me - let me think... I think what she couldn't stomach was Sister praising the way the children looked.

Theblonde said...

Just been catching up with your 'story' and 'asides'. Incidentally, my Fuschia is still flowering now, must be the milder climate that we get up here in the 'Burbs'.

PI said...

the blonde: we've just been having storms and gale force winds. Last night in bed I was sure the french windows were going to burst open. Bit too exciting!