Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Deal me in

All generalizations are pointless, including this one. But have you ever been in a hospital?

The nursing staff work like crazy to take care of their patients. On the occasions when I have been the guest of honor at one of our local hospitals, I've been mighty impressed with how hard the nurses work when caring for my knee and spine.

On the other hand, out in Washington State, some people elected a woman named Maureen Walsh to be their state senator. I don't know anything about the woman, except that she recently said (out loud) that she thinks nurses should be exempt from legislation guaranteeing them uninterrupted meal breaks and mandatory overtime because they "probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day."

There seems to be an American tradition that I like to call Talking Smack About Jobs You Couldn't Do. The greatest example can be heard on any "sports talk" radio station, where you can hear people who never achieved any sort of status playing any sort of sport, or coaching one, talking about how Joe Schlabotnick should have caught that ball, hit that ball, stopped someone from catching that ball, and you know the rest. The hosts of these broadcasts never stop to ask for the credential of the caller, who is usually "Glen from Glen Burnie" or "Randall from Randallstown."

Same with nursing or auto repair or serving at a restaurant or selling real estate or teaching algebra or mending clothing or installing toilets or fighting fires or arresting criminals. Everyone's an expert!

It was April 16, a day which shall live in infamy in Walsh's memory, that she chose to make her dumb comments about nurses. About three minutes after she sat down ten minutes too late, the Washington State Nurses Association blogged about what she said, and the next thing you know, so many internet enthusiasts were getting on the site to read all about it, the WSNA website went kablooie.

And I'm not saying that any nurses were behind this retaliation, but Walsh's mail soon brought her 1,700 decks of cards.

She also received 10,000 emails and 35,000 phone calls, but you can't play poker with them.

But if you're a nurse, you're too busy anyway.

Walsh, to her credit, has apologized for her dunderheaded comments, and now plans to give out the cards to nursing homes, veterans, and senior centers.  She is asking fellow senators for ideas about who else needs 52 Bicycles. She is seen above posing with some of the cards and a grin that appears on her face for no good reason.

Walsh has also promised to respond to a Change.org petition that challenges her to follow a nurse on a 12-hour shift.  That should be the longest 12 hours of her life.

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