Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Lean on me.




When you work at the only hospital that turns NO ONE away? Sometimes it gets kind of busy. And on the busiest times of your busiest days? That means either be taking a few flights of stairs to save time OR stepping into an elevator filled to the brim with me and you, yo mama, and your cousin, too. (Somebody missed that.)

Ha.

Okay so check it: I was up on the 11th floor at lunchtime today and was trying to get down to the ground floor. And OH--random sidebar--while I HAVE been known to bust out 11 flights going UP the stairs, as a rule, I almost never walk DOWN anything over 3 flights. (See: Knee replacement surgery - no thank you.)

Anywho.

After what felt like 300 trillion green arrow UP elevators coming and going, I finally see that luscious red DOWN arrow light up with a "ting." The doors slowly part and all I see is racks on racks on racks of people. All heights, all weights, all ethnicities. Some in Grady uniform attire, some in street clothes, some in white coats, and one dude in a hospital gown tied like a kimono with a Newport tucked behind his ear. They were shoulder to shoulder all the way to the front.

A lady right next to the key pad offered me a quasi-apologetic shrug from across the threshold of the lift. She looked around herself and said,"Pretty packed here. Next one?"

I threw my head back and diabolically laughed in response.

Okay, I didn't really do that, but she had me confused if she thought I wasn't getting on that elevator. With no shame in my game, I slid right on in next to her. She cleared her throat and pressed her back against the wall.

Sorry, not sorry.

A man in the middle of the pack said, "When you've been working at Grady long enough, ain't no such thing as a elevator too full." A lady in a Food Services uniform chimed in, "I know that's right!" We wanted to laugh but decided against it.

The next-to-the-keypad lady was looking salty especially after our little peanut gallery commentary. I decided to try cheering her up. "You looking over at me like, 'No this doctor lady DIDN'T step her behind on this already full elevator!'" Her face immediately went from aggravated to warm. "Mmmm hmmm. . .I see you judging me. Mmmmm hmmm. But real talk, I'm hongry. Not hungry--HONGRY." That made her laugh out loud.

Which made me happy.

The door opened on 7a and two more people slipped into crevices. Then a Grady elder with a platinum combover said, "Grady the only place where a crowd in a tight space don't damn near give me a heart attack. My fear of not getting to this cafeteria got my fear of this elevator BEAT!"

Everybody howled.

We stopped on 5 with a bit of jolt. A lady lost her footing and stumbled into the middle-of-the-pack man. He steadied her with his two hands. Then--I kid you not--he threw his head back and started singing in a LOUD, TERRIBLE singing voice.

"LEAN ON ME! WHEN YOU WANT LUNCH THEN I'LL BE YOUR FRIEND!"

I started clapping and joined in, "I'LL HELP YOU CARRY ON--come on, y'all!"
THEN--OMG--y'all!! EVERYBODY chimed in either singing, clapping or both.

"FOR IT WON'T BE LONG. . .TILL I'M GONNA NEED. . . . . SOMEBODY TO LEEEEEEEAN ON!"

We all exploded in cheers and laughter. Right after that, the doors flew open on the second floor and let out half of the people, including the platinum-combover man that was heading to the cafeteria. And a few moments later, the rest of us filed out on the ground floor. . . .offering these knowing smirks and giggles to one another as we slipped pass the folks trying to get on.

Best. Thing. Ever.

If you DON'T work at Grady, you'd think I made this up. But if you do? You know it's as plausible as rain on a Tuesday in Atlanta.

Love that this is the song he chose--especially because it embodies all that we do at Grady. I walked down the street humming and hearing Bill Withers smokey voice singing the rest of those words on my mental iPod:

***
"You just call on me brother--if you need a hand. 
We all need somebody to lean on.
I just might have a problem that you understand
We all need somebody to lean on.
If there is a load you have to bear 
that you can't carry
I'm right up the road, I'll share your load
If you just call me. . . . call me. . .if you need a friend. . ."

Seriously? Seriously.


Whew. Yeah, man.
***
Happy Rainy Tuesday.

Now playing on my mental iPod. . . . 

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