The Heir to the Throne works with me, doing data entry. He likes it, because it's the perfect job: get paid to have essential no human interaction. It's perfect for him.
He enters all of our pages into our software, so the nurses can stay busy doing nursey stuff. Put your aces in their places, as McDonald's teaches. Essentially, he gets to see all the topics of the pages as they come in, but never really hears too much about the end result. He looked forward to starting there, because he knows about all of the weird things people call us for. Sadly, it's been pretty quiet there since he started, but I think yesterday took the proverbial cake.
I was over checking out the situation with another nurse. The boss had shown up on a weekend, which is unusual, but we were trying to solve a software issue someone was having, so she dropped in to play tech support and see some staff who normally don't see her. I walked over to see if they'd resolved the software issue that had plagued my co-worker for weeks, when over walked Thomas.
"I want to know how this call ends," he said. "Why," I asked, because he rarely expresses much interest in the calls. "You'll have to read it yourself," he said, so I headed over to read the incoming email, which read
"thinks the babey ait the cat"
Granted, this particular answering service is not known for its accuracy. They do give us some amusements, like paging a name as Yoda instead of Yoder. They drive us nuts with the misspellings and, when we call to have the doctor paged, they page the nurse sitting in the next cubicle instead. One of my co-workers calls them The River People, because she's sure that they are a by-product of some Deliverance-like environment. Either way, I'd never seen anything like this, and we all started arguing over who was going to take this call.
I had a trainee who was asking how they wouldn't know if the baby ate the cat, but how would the baby do that anywhere, when the call disappeared from the screen. Suddenly everyone started pointing fingers at each other, griping that they never get the good stuff. When I looked it up, I realized that my friend Ann had snagged it from home, where she works, complete with lap dog and bunny slippers. Man, the home agents are not supposed to get these calls, because we miss all the fun discussion afterward if no one in the office gets it.
I watched for a while, wondering how a mom wouldn't know if a kid had swallowed the cat. Wouldn't the tail be hanging out? Would he yack up a hairball? Ann hung up the phone, and I promptly called her to get the scoop, and read her the riot act for taking the most interesting call of the day. She answered with her typically angelic voice that meant that she hadn't looked at the caller id to see that it was me, which always then turns into giggles when she realizes it's me.
Turned out the cat was safe when mom found the kid sitting in the litter box, and thought that he might've eaten cat POOP. This, for those who are less informed, is not a big deal, and you just need to watch the kiddo for any GI signs like vomiting and diarrhea, which rarely show up. But, jaded as we are, we got some leverage from this discussion, which meant that Ann had to go into a description of where the cat poop was smeared on the child's body (basically head to toe), what kind of cat it was, the consistency of the poo, etc. At this point, my trainee probably started reconsidering her new career, but we had fun with it for the rest of the day. Amongst all the vomiting that seems to be taking over our city, the labor patients who all were delivering yesterday, and the stray "I have to go on a job interview, does alcohol/marijuana/insert drug of choice show up on a urine test", you gotta admit, the possibility of a baby eating a cat seems fodder for some pretty interesting discussions.
Discussions which, of course, made me think of Mikey, the Life Cereal kid back in the day, whose cat disappeared shortly after his brothers agreed "give it to Mikey, he'll eat anything." Click to see the video.