Tuesday, 12 April 2011

I hate...loathe and detest even...people who "work" in the field of 'Human Resources'.
It is a completely irrational but quite visceral response over which I seem able to exercise little control.

I remember my first job,employed on Libanon Gold Mine,as a Trainee Assayer.There was a 'Personnel manager'...a miner who had been injured and was moved sideways;and his assistant,the 'Personnel Officer',a bored and dipsomaniac MILF, and the wife of the one of the Managers. All they really had to do was file paperwork with the Tax Office and the Insurance company...oh...and keep the 'Leave Book'.
And in truth...that still appears to be all they actually do...apart from building their own empires.

They appear to be people who lack the wit and wisdom of an accountant;who are not compassionate enough to be a traffic cop;and who lack the courage required to be street sweeper.
They are people who do odd little degrees in suburban universities based at strip malls, their entire curriculum really nothing more than that taught in a single 3 month 'Organisational Psychology' module at UCT.

In fairness,my antipathy is based partly on my experiences of working with HR staff in all my various jobs and roles in nursing.
There was the HR manager and her Administration Assistant who were ripping off the Private Clinic in Johannesburg,- at which I was the Nursing Manager-, by accepting bribes for jobs;and who set up their own agency to hire daily paid staff to the hospital.
There are the current shower at the organisation who employs me who after 5 years still do not have my correct address on file.
The HR person who wrote to me last week to thank me for attending an interview to which I was never invited.

So...there I was on Sunday afternoon...a beautiful hot and sunny day with clear blue skies...which meant that the waiting room was packed solid.

TheGranny,our most experienced Triage Nurse,aware that there was a 3 hour wait to see a nurse practitioner,had sent a young woman for a finger x-ray as she had an obviously deformed looking finger,after falling backwards in the garden.

I eventually got around to seeing her and went to look at her x-ray.

She had dislocated the distal phalanx of her little finger...it was stuck up and out like she was practising having tea with the Queen.

The social and medical history had elicited the fact that she was the HR Director for a large local business.

And she was one of those buttoned down,sniffy and pretentious,sulky yet passive-aggressive people who seem drawn to jobs like HR...and the Tax Office...and guarding concentration camps.

"Right Ma'am...well...you've dislocated your little finger...there...and there",I said,showing her the 2 different x-ray images.

What needs to be done about it...?

"Well...I'm simply going to reduce that for you by pulling the bone back into place..."

Is it going to hurt...because it already hurts me a lot...?

"Probably....a bit...it requires some degree of brute force to be honest....I need to pull the errant phalanx slightly up and then directly forwards...and then...keeping the traction on it,allow it to slip down back into place."

So its really going to hurt me...?

I shrugged.

Gosh...you're quite harsh...

"Well....we treat people like adults here...and you told me that you didn't take any analgesia when the accident happened because you don't like taking tablets...
...and I see from the notes that the Triage Nurse also offered you some pain killers which you also refused...
...and which would have been working already...
...but what I am going to do is to give you some Entonox...which will dull the pain and hopefully just make you not care about what I will be doing..."

Can I overdose on the Entonox....?

"A good question and the answer is...'no'...you will simply drop the mouth piece if and when you get too woozy... "

Are you sure...?


I gave her the mouthpiece and encouraged her to breathe deeply.Her insipid little Belgian boyfriend was sat next to her,looking on in horror and bewilderment.

After about 3 minutes of her taking nice deep lungfuls of the gas I went to the Imaging Room to just quickly check the x-rays to make doubly sure that I had the correct picture and plan in my head.

I walked back into the room.

She giggled.
OhMyG*d...you look just like George Clooney...

*Uh oh...too much Entonox...*

I picked up her left hand,holding it firmly in my left hand whilst I gripped the tip of her little finger with my right hand....and pulled...and felt the satisfying 'pop' as the bone successfully relocated.

"Okay...that's gone back then...we'll just get a check x-ray to make sure everything is alright and then you can go home...I want you to just lie on the bed for a few minutes...you seem to have had a lot of the gas..."

She giggled again...
When you took my hand I thought you were going to ask me to marry you...

"Please give me the mouthpiece back...and please let go of my hand..."

She giggled yet again
...and I would have said yes...

"Julian...pass me the morphine please..."

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