Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Falling Down on the Job

It's probably not what you think...

Yesterday. I needed to get to work (to my desk, actually) ON TIME. Which means I have to clock in on the wretched time clock system on my workstation no later than 8:07 a.m. so I can take not one minute less than a 30 minute lunch so I can leave work at 4:30 so I can make it home to grab a few things for an appointment at 5:15.

I set my alarm clock about 20 minutes earlier than usual and got up after hitting the snooze button only once. The only problem was that my roommate's family was here, and everyone was still getting ready for Disneyland. The daughter (the one from Florida, who you may remember from the trip my mom and I took a couple years ago) was in the shower when I dragged myself out of bed. That was OK, because I got my clothes out and readied my breakfast stuff and was generally efficient with my waiting time. Then it was my turn.

The granddaughter took her shower while I was having breakfast, and then the son-in-law needed a shower, but since I hadn't finished my breakfast yet, I let him go ahead, rather than try to brush my teeth mid-breakfast. Eeeww!

But he took longer than I had counted on (I hadn't really given it much thought). When he finished, I brushed my teeth, grabbed everything, said my goodbyes (and told them I knew they were going to be SO JEALOUS of me being at work while they were suffering their way through the Happiest Place on Earth), and got in the car. That's when I noticed I was cold. I had forgotten my jacket. So I turned off the car, ran back inside ("Are you done at work already?"), grabbed my jacket and ran back outside to my car.

I ended up leaving with just enough time to get to work and still be able to clock in On Time, provided traffic wasn't bad. It wasn't, but my timing was close. I parked my car and walked very quickly to the entrance, and that was where my foot didn't quite clear the curb, and I went down.

My knees took the worst of it. I was wearing a dress, so it was skin on cement. Hard. My hands hit next, my left hand grazing the knuckles closest to the nails on my thumb and two middle fingers, because that's the hand that had my lunch in it. My right hand hit on the heel of the palm after letting go of my purse and sending some of the contents spilling, including my cell phone which opened up as if to mock me. And then, because I'd been walking so fast, my momentum kept me moving until my right cheek touched the cement, fortunately without any injury or pain. If it hadn't been for my knees taking the brunt of the damage, my face could have been.... no, I don't want to think about it.

One of the ladies at work was right behind me, and she asked if I was OK, but I had to be OK, because I had to clock in first and then survey the damage once that task had been accomplished. I walked quickly, without tripping up the stairs, and checking as I went to make sure I didn't feel any blood running down my shins, to my desk and clocked in at 8:06 a.m. Success with a minute to spare! Then I went to the restroom and washed my injuries with soap and water.

It's bad enough that I felt like a dope for falling down like a little kid, but my job includes tracking unusual occurrences and typing up some of them when they're reported. And this was definitely an unusual occurrence. I asked my boss if I had to write it up, hoping that I wouldn't have to immortalize my shame, but she said yes, I needed to do that. And I also had to send a copy to HR.

Later, my knees started screaming in pain at me, so I went to the mailroom and looked in the first aid kit, but all it had was teeny band-aids and some purple gloves. Nothing for pain. I walked down the hall to where the head pediatrician was in his office, and I asked him if there was something I could put on the abrasions to make them stop hurting but that would let me pretend that I wasn't seeking medical care (pediatricians see more of this type of injury than adult physicians do or I would have asked an adult provider). He told me to ask the nurse.

The nurse, whose office was right next door, told me that if I put some antibiotic ointment on it, it would keep the air from getting to the wounds, and it was the air that was making my knees hurt. She dug out a box of antibiotic ointment from a desk drawer and informed me that it was expired, which was why it wasn't in the first aid kit. As a nurse, she would NEVER suggest that I use expired ointment. As a friend, though, she was letting me know that it was an option should I decide I wanted to use it. But it was expired. Just so I know.

I didn't care. I took several of the little foil packets and used one to put some ointment on my knees and also my thumb knuckle, which was still bleeding slightly. I had just enough band-aids in my Bag of Tricks that I keep in my purse for my knees. My thumb got a red crayon-shaped band-aid.

The hardest part of the day was at night when it was time to pray. I do that on my knees with my elbows on my bed, but there was no way I was going to put my knees on the little rug I keep by the bed. So I climbed into bed and prayed sitting up straight, and even though I felt farther away from my prayers that way, it was still better than not praying at all.

Today I wore another dress to work, so my knees wouldn't have to rub against pants, and tomorrow it'll be a skirt and jacket. On Friday, Jeans Day, I'll have to see how I'm doing, because I'd absolutely hate to miss out on a Jeans Day just because I fell down on the job on Tuesday.


Tsofah said...

Skye: OUCH! I can empathize, completely! One would think the embarassment would be enough. But, NOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooo, the pain that yells at us and makes us fight back tears....sigh.

I pray your knees, and knuckles and fingers and ALL of you heal quickly!

Christina said...

Oh, ouch! No fun at all.

But then having to write it up in a report...well that's just mean-spirited.

Hope your knees recover quickly.

(Oh and while I can't recommend using expired medicine either, I've done it with perfectly fine results when in a pinch.)