At first I thought she was just trying to be helpful. She was a nurse’s aide on C-Wing and anytime she noticed one of the housekeepers had missed something she would come to my office or stop me in the hall and tell me.
“Did you see room 303,” she would ask. She knew I hadn’t. I’d follow her to the room and she would point to a mess on the floor or run her finger along the edge of a picture frame to show me dust had been missed.
“Okay,” I’d say. “We’ll get it.” But she wouldn’t leave it there.
“The housekeeper was already in here and “Supposedly” had cleaned everything.” She would use air quotes as some euphemistic gesture that meant housekeepers are known to be lazy, lying S.O.B’s that can’t be trusted. But I would just smile at her.
“Okay. We’ll take care of it.”
Before long it wasn’t enough that housekeeping may be missing this or not cleaning that, instead she would tell me if she saw them standing around talking to each other, or if they were on their cell phones or came back late from break or left early.
When it’s a clean / dirty issue, I’m all ears. But she quickly went from being helpful to almost being catty; it was like she was going out of her way to tell on people. I went to the charge nurse and told her what’s been going on.
“She does that to me too,” she said exasperated. “I should probably talk to her.”
“Talk to her? You should Cindy Brady this thing.” She looked at me with a questioning look.
“Don’t you remember that episode when Cindy was tattling on everyone? Everyone thought it was really annoying but then no one really said anything until Sam the Butcher cancelled his date with Alice because when he called Cindy told him that Alice couldn’t come to the phone because she was busy hugging the mailman?” The charge nurse just looked at me.
“Remember, Alice had entered into a jingle writing contest and she had just received a letter in the mail stating that she had won and that is why she was hugging the mailman?”
“What are you talking about,” she said laughing.
“Hit show in the 70’s about this lady and this fellow…” I started singing, “And they knew it was much more than a hunch, that this group would somehow form a family. That’s the way we all became The Brady Bunch. The Brady Bunch…”
“I was born in the 80’s,” she said. “I didn’t watch The Brady Bunch.”
‘Ugh,’ I thought. That’s the problem with this generation. They don’t have any good TV role models. It’s all Teen Mom, Jersey Shore and Honey Boo Boo.