conversations with my coworkers – part 5

by ada

Neighbouring ward at 3.30 am. I’m helping out the night shift nurse, a tough German guy with a slight air of brutality around him.

me (trying to do some small talk): So, and how is it in Germany? Who does the washing, dayshift or nightshift?

coworker: You are not allowed to wash the patients during the night! It’s against the laws!

me: What laws?

coworker: The sleeping laws! (Opens the door of a room with a crash and turns the lights on. All three patients in the room wake up startled.)

me: (confused): Well, in Hungary we do wash them during the night, because during the day you really lack the time for it.

coworker (slams the door. All the doors on the ward resonate. The patients look like they had just got shocked): But you are in the EU! Report them!

me (amused): EU? Hahaha! It’s Hungary, man, it’s not “the EU”! Whom should I report anyway? The whole Hungarian Health Care System? To whom?

coworker (gets really excited): Patients have the right to sleep! (Hearing this, the patients try to hide under their blankets.)

me (trying to get him calm down while hearing how other patients begin to wake up in the neighbouring rooms): Okay, okay, they do, they do.

coworker (start to shout very loud while tearing brutally the blanket off one of the patients): THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO SLEEP! THEY CAN REPORT YOU IF YOU WAKE THEM UP!

me (cautiously): Well, you are waking them up right now.

coworker (yells at the totally terrified patient who tries to get his blanket back): DON’T MOVE! (turns to me) I NEVER WAKE ANYBODY UP!

me: What if we just do the job quickly and then I just go back to my own ward?

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