Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Elevator Observations Part II

"Can you mash five please?" I asked as I joined crowd of people huddled in the 'A' elevators at Grady this morning. The unspoken rule is that the man (or woman) closest to the keypad is responsible for firming up the destinations and pushing the right buttons. I take that back. Mashing the right buttons.

It's official. Without even trying, I have blended into Atlanta, and even more, into Grady. The language that sounded kind of funny to me when I first started working here has now become second nature. I not only understand the words I hear around Grady- I find myself using them.

Case in point:
Me: "Hey there, Mr. Johnson- what you know good?" (How are you?)
Him: "I don't know nothin', doc!" (I'm fine)
Me: "You still running off?" (Are you still having diarrhea?)
Him: "No.. . but my stomach started hurting a little bit again."
Me: "Where 'bout?" (Where is the pain?)
Him: "Right there where you're mashing. . . ooohhh" (The place where you're torturing me now)
Me: "That's where your pancreas is and remember, it's flared up. Did you ask for the pain medication we prescribed for you?" (You have pancreatitis and we prescribed you some pain medicine)
Him: "Yeah they brought it, but it ain't no count." (I took the pain medicine, and it wasn't very helpful.)
Me: "Really? I'm sorry about that. How long have you been in pain?"
Him: "I'ts been a minute." (A long time)
Me: "I'm sorry. Let me try something different, okay? I'll notify your nurse."
Him: " 'Preciate you, Miss Manning." (Thanks, Dr. Manning)

See what I mean? I'm not kidding. . . .I'm slowly morphing into a true Southerner. I habitually "ma'am" and "sir" now, and I don't even flinch at the terms "high blood" (hypertension), "low blood" (anemia), "sugar" (diabetes), and "nature" (anything related to a man's ability to get a . . .well you know.) And just when I thought it was safe to still tell people I was from L.A., the other shoe dropped. I started mashing things.

Well. . .I'm not fighting it anymore either. I am a part of Atlanta, Georgia now- and even more, I am a part of Grady. So go ahead. . . . push your buttons in California, and press your buttons in New York. In Georgia, we mash bugs with our shoes, we accidentally mash our fingers in doors, and yes, we also mash elevator buttons. You got a problem with that?

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"Tell me something good. . . tell me that you like it, yeah." ~ Chaka Khan

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