Thursday, January 23, 2014

A Lesson from NYC

Years ago, when I worked in NYC, I returned to work after a leave of absence due to an appendectomy.  One of the General Managers that I worked with was asking me about my trip to the hospital and I explained that it was grueling to wait in a NYC hospital for over 14 hours before the decision was made for surgery. I waited in the waiting room over six hours and it was tough to sit in those chairs in pain. I have a high threshold for pain, but it definitely was a tough wait. It is hard to argue with the situation when people are pushed ahead of you for life or death situations. The emergency room "line" is much different than a line at a local deli, to be sure.

In a strong New York accent, my General Manager proceeded to tell me that I had everything wrong when it came to waiting in the ER. He said, If you ever have to visit an ER room in New York City again, you need to let them know you need help immediately. Amazingly, he told me that when he had a heart attack in New Jersey (said with a thick accent :)  that he refused to let his wife drive him to the hospital. He personally drove himself through the tunnel (with his wife in the passenger seat) to his preferred NYC hospital, parked the car calmly, walked across the parking lot, entered through the sliding glass doors in the Emergency Room wing and then dropped to the floor, grabbing his heart. He told me, "that is the way you push through the line in the ER in New York City".

Duly noted--

Every time I tell that story, I laugh right along with those I am telling the story to, and it is a true story. I also share, "Keep that in mind if you are ever in need of help in a hospital."  ;)

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