When I Get it, You’ll Get it

I don’t really know what nut or bolt is loose in my brain that sometimes makes me put more effort into procrastinating than it would take just to do the thing I am avoiding. A classic Kori example is this massive mountain of dishrags that I collect on my bedside table. It is often so well accumulated, that it graces my floor with a cotton avalanche everytime I pass by it. My bed is where I sort my laundry, as it is the second biggest shelf in the house. (The floor is the biggest of course, but I try to avoid getting dust bunnies on the clean clothes right out of the gate.) I don’t know why, but the task of putting those dishrags up in the kitchen in the drawer where they belong suddenly becomes the most inconvenient thing ever. The long trek to the kitchen in the next room suddenly becomes as if I had to cross a Lego desert barefoot carrying an armful of rabid roosters. Do roosters get rabies? Apparently not according to this. But try to imagine it anyway. In reality it takes less than 30 seconds to fold, stack, and put up my dishrags, yet I watch my pile accumulate for days until I can no longer see the other pile of miscellaneous crap that I usually keep on my table until I’m forced to clear it so I can use my ceiling fan. (If you aren’t from Arkansas, you may now reread that story and replace the word “dishrag” with “kitchen towel.”
     I discussed in a past article
Why I’ll Never Be Good at Adulting how I have a lot of experience avoiding talking on the phone. Well, I just returned from a three month maternity leave where the only earnings I drew were earning medical bills in a pile on the counter. Most were from the whole baby birthin’ thing, but a few were actually from the surgical clinic because I had to have butt surgery four days before my due date on some Hellish hemorrhoids. See details here. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been getting calls from a number I suspected was the clinic wanting their money. But, they weren’t leaving messages yet, so how serious could it really be? Better wait until I actually have money than to answer, take a reprimand from a stranger, and not be able to pay anyway. I’m really not used to not being able to pay my bills, I’m so tight I could probably poop diamonds if I ate a little coal. I consider myself an excellent money manager, mostly because I’ve never had a whole lot of it to manage.
Finally payday came. I had my doubts, but it was finally here. Like most folks, I had a bit of a “payday errands/to-do list.” Paying that particular bill was on the list, but I was doing other things when the call came again late morning, this time with that very gruff voicemail that makes you feel like a kid that doesn’t have your homework done. Dude, chill, what do you think I am a drug dealer? I get paid every two weeks and not at all for being home on leave. When I get it, you’ll get it. Luckily for both of us today, I have it! So when I got home, I called the mean lady back with the plan to be extra super overly polite, blow sugar up her butt, and pay my whole balance off, even if it were quite steep. I was pacing the whole house, careful not to step on the grout between the tile, as I always do while having phone conversations, when the lady anwered and actually spoke to me with a smile in her voice. Its amazing the different tone you get when you are trying to give away money. I joked with her a bit and asked what the damage was and abruptly quit pacing and tried to hold in hysterical laughter when her reply was “twenty-seven dollars and forty cents.”
“Did you say five hundred twenty-seven?”
“Twenty-seven dollars and forty cents.”
The whole thing was a tad like expecting a leg amputation, but getting your toenails clipped. Any stress I endured was absolutely of my own making. Note to self: just answer the phone, it doesn’t bite. It definitely isn’t worth a butthole bill going over to collections.

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Kori Reeves, Registered Nerd

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Lessons Learned

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You know that feeling of complete helplessness you get when you see the disaster that a sequence of events is leading to, but all you can do is watch them unfold? I had the pleasure of this experience recently while dumping a bedside commode into the toilet at work. Upon opening the lid I knew it was going to be a two-flusher. There are two kinds of bedside toilet users. The first is the one that calls everytime there are two drops of urine in it to be cleaned out. Understandable, since as you might can tell from the name, its a toilet that stays beside your bed. The other type person is usually one who is grasping for independence anywhere they can. Also understandable, since if you are having to poop one step away from where you sleep, you may be feeling stripped of a little dignity. These folks do not want to ask for anything, especially for their pots to be poured out and cleaned by someone they just met. As you can imagine, after a few uses, they eventually fill up and they HAVE to call. The user of this particular commode, was of the latter persuasion. That is how I found myself bent over the toilet in a small, crowded bathroom, trying to manage 15 pounds of diarrhea soup garnished with 5 pounds of wet toilet paper.  I feel the need to describe a nurses pockets at this point in the story. A given set of scrubs has 4-6 pockets on them and I am not kidding when I say that if there were thirty pockets, we would still fill them up. I am usually the charge nurse so on top of my usual collection of alcohol pads, blood sugar lancets, bandaids, ink pens, gauze pads, my personal phone, stethoscope and my report sheet, I also carry the charge nurse phone (a freakin’ BlackBerry) and a ring of keys big enough to make any custodial worker envious. I can’t let the pounds of crap that constantly overflow my pockets slow down my nursely duties. I wasn’t even thinking about it as I carefully poured the contents of that pot into the toilet, careful not to let any stray clumps splash too much. I wasn’t paying a lick of attention to the folded piece of paper that I write all my patient information on, inching its way out of my top a little more with every movement I made. I didn’t notice a thing until it fell… right into the foulness in the porcelain bowl. Naturally, I was mid-pour with plenty to go, unable to stop what I was doing and do any kind of salvaging. I was then faced with a choice. Do I take the gamble? Do I flush the whole thing and pray the paper doesn’t cause an overflow? No, I can’t chance that. Not in a hospital. I’m left with one regrettable option. “Glove up, Bitch, we’re goin’ in for retrieval.” I realize that any documents with sensitive patient information should really go in the shredder box at the nurse’s station, but if I get fired for opting for the regular bathroom trash in this situation, I’d leave with no regrets.
So, there ya have it. Never fry bacon shirtless, never twirl batons in a lightning storm, and never dump poo with important things hanging out of your pocket. Lessons learned.

Chapel Ladies

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At my place of work, we rotate weekends. So, every other Sunday I’m at the hospital getting my “nurse on.” This past Sunday I was be-boppin through a fairly steady morning, playing a little bit of desk clerk, charge nurse, floor nurse, and aide. I felt really “in the zone.” Like a graceful, yet epileptic swan to water, I was answering call lights, charting, and putting out miscellaneous fires when I got a call from our orthopedic surgeon. I know orthopedic surgeons aren’t exactly known for being incredibly kind and compassionate,  but ours is a lot like Santa Clause if he joined a gym and spent a week on the beach. He is so super sweet. He also usually conducts a small service in the hospital chapel on sunday mornings. Here is basically how our conversation played out:

Doc: Hey! Little Karri who is charging today?
Me: Looks like you’re stuck with me, boss. What can I do for ya?
Doc: Oh great, listen Courtney, I really hate this but I need a huge really important favor…
Me: What do you got?
Doc: I just feel terrible but there is no way I can come to chapel today and its just so important… there are these two little ladies that come to chapel every single Sunday. Is there any way you can run down there at eleven and meet them? Let them know I just can’t make it today?
Me: Uh…. sure… yea, I can do that. Absolutely.
Doc: Oh thank you thank you… Hey listen, Karr…Kor…I mean Courtney. If you can, could you lead them in a quick prayer for our patients and staff?
Me silently: Yea right. When pigs fly.
Me aloud: I’ll see what I can do, Doc.

After hanging up I glance at the clock and see that is is eight minutes until eleven o’clock. Great, I have about five minutes to figure out how to get out of praying aloud, which to me, feels a bit like showering on stage. I know, I’ll ask one of the to do it first! Muahaha it’s the perfect evil plan!
When I arrive to the chapel, I find two of the cutest little ladies ever. They are decked out in their Sunday dresses and matching hats and oh, so happy to see my disheveled self grace the doorway, complete with dirty scrubs and a sloppy ponytail.
I relay the message I was charged with and then made a fatal mistake in my grand plan. I paused.
Those ol’ gals are pretty darn quick on the draw. They saw opportunity and snatched it like the last roll at the dinner table. They looked at me with big, glassy eyes peeping out from wrinkled-paper-sack-looking faces and genuinely as can be, asked me if I would lead them in a word of prayer. I took in a big breath with every intention of politely declining and suddenly heard, in my own voice, a quivering “okay.” Then, after a long pause, I stumbed through an eternity of the choppiest, most awkward prayer ever delivered. I was literally sweating like a you-know-what in church. I am such a sucker for old people. If I ever get locked up for murder, I want everyone to know that an old lady probably asked me to do it. Ultimately,  I don’t guess it hurt me even though it was the hardest thing I did all day.  Either they really appreciated it, or two blue haired ladies had something to giggle about over their Sunday dinner. Either way, maybe I made someone smile that morning.

Why I’ll Never be Good at “Adulting”

Sure, I go to work. I pay my bills. I’m a decent budgeter. They even let me openly leave the store with booze and R-rated movies in tow. However, I think there are several things about being an adult I’ll always be inept at,  either because I just can’t get it together, or have zero desire to.

1. Mailing Birthday Cards
I can’t tell you how special I feel when I reach into my mailbox every August and, expecting the same agglomeration of bills and credit card solicitations, withdraw a colorful, hand addressed envelope with my actual name on it. (Whoever “Current Resident” is really needs to talk to the postal service about their true address.) I get a handful of birthday cards every year that I proudly display on the fridge for at least a month. It is sooo much better than a facebook message. (Although I enjoy those too.) The thing is, I wish so hard that I was this thoughtful, but I don’t think I’ll ever have it together enough to do this. I’m the lady that some years, writes out Christmas cards and forgets to mail them. I do get my thank you cards out after wedding and baby showers, but to be honest its because my sweet grandma calls and reminds me to mail them every day until they are out. Its not that I’m not just SO grateful, I am just that scattered.

2. Folding laundry
I hang up the “nice stuff” and I’ll even fold and stack bath towels. As for the rest of it, I employ a highly sophisticated “wad and stuff” method. Why neatly fold and stack if you are going to ransack your way to the bottom of the drawer for that perfect pair of jeans, leaving them wadded and stuffed anyway? I really think it makes sense to cut out the middle man here and save a lot of time. If you are wondering if I iron these clothes because undoubtedly they get severely wrinkled, of course I don’t.  If something really must be free of wrinkles, tumbling in the dryer is more than sufficient. I dont really understand why this isn’t the common way of laundry.

3. Raking leaves
There’s a part of me that believes that raking leaves was invented by the worlds most OCD control freak. We want the beautiful oak tree in the front yard, but as soon as its foliage finds its way to the ground, its suddenly “undesireable.” So people commence in this time-consuming, mundane task where the resulting product only lasts about a week and then needs repeated. To me, its a bit like trying to sweep on the beach or washing a mudhole. In my opinion, the yard couldn’t be more beautiful than it is when God’s creation just does its thing. Of course, I live in the woods, so I might be biased. I love leaves on the ground because it keeps away grass that I have to mow. You can imgine my thoughts on that task as well.

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My actual yard.

4. Talking on the Telephone
Nobody likes to have to call the insurance company/social security/credit card people/phone company. But I hate it so bad that I spend all this time trying to avoid it. First, I go to the website to see if my business can be handled online. If not, I then tend to seriously procrastinate the call. I make excuses like “I can’t do it today because I need to go grocery shopping.” Its all very irrational to avoid a 5 minute call. Then, when I do call I am the weird person who prays for an automated system.  “Heck yes I’ll press 1 for yes and 2 for no!” If there is no such luck and a human person answers, I have to ask them to repeat themselves a hundred times. The reason a mix between my cruddy hearing, their accent, and my nerves. Also, if they ask me a simple question like my name, my very delayed answer may very well be “August 28, 1990.” It’s pretty stressful. I hate myself for being bested by a simple phone call. Its no reason to get that anxious.

Honestly, I don’t think any of these things make a person “responsible” or “irresponsible.” I think I have a hard time letting things that  can’t justify as “important” get higher on my list of priorities than playing with my son, or hanging with my husband, or making awesome memories with my friends and family. Yes, a bit of it is my lack of structure and organization,  but that’s how we do it at our house. Fly by the seat of your pants. Roll with the punches. Have as much fun as possible along the way!

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