“If you want to survive the recession…” the Hospital Director rose from his chair, slapped the table hard and thundered “…you must start pinching pennies from today.”
We had gathered at the auditorium to listen to a pep talk from the Hospital management. They had planned to discuss revenues, litigation problems, rising cost of healthcare, doctor – nurse patient relationships and missile-anus (that’s how the Director pronounced ‘miscellaneous’) other issues, but ended up spending the whole afternoon discussing IPL and recession. As I was not quite inclined to dig into the snacks, which had turned cold anyway, I ambled back to my chamber, with Susie in toe.
“What did Director saab say today?”
“What did he say!?”
“He said something about recess…”
“No….I mean what he said about that recess or whatever……I cannot do saar….final”
“Come on…what he said is quite reasonable. And I feel its the best thing to do in difficult times.”
“What no saar? Oh come on Susie” I tried to reason with her, “Director saab is a wise man. He has seen more ups and downs in life than the both of us. And what he said isn’t very difficult to follow in life!”
“No saar. I cannot do that. You can do it if you want. Final.”
“Can I know why?”
“Saar I cannot tell you why, but if Hospital forces me to do that, I will complain to Nurse Union.”
Susie sat down on her chair with a nasty frown on her face. I was getting increasingly exasperated at her obduracy. This girl needed to understand that pinching pennies was the best way to beat recession. Just don’t splurge on those bucketfuls of lipstick, perfume and sandals and you shall end up saving a decent amount of money.
“Okay Susie…I see that you are agitated.” I sat down next to her and patted her in the back in a …well….friendly kind of way. “I think we can sort it out. It is, after all, not as difficult as you are thinking…”
The frown on Susie’s face only aggravated.
“See, I’ll tell you. Once you know how to do it, you’ll rather enjoy the whole thing.”
“Saar, please….I don’t want to know….and I don’t want to enjoy also.” Susie was almost tearful.
“Soo-ssie! This is most unfortunate. You have to listen to me. You must start pinching pennies as Director saab told us or you must be prepared to face hard times. After all, it is our duty to pinch pennies, and we must spread the message across to the society too. You, me, all of us have to pinch pennies. The Prime Minister has to pinch pennies, Obama has to pinch pennies, the whole freaking world has to pinch pennies if we are to survive the recession…”
That was a rather impressive speech. Susie looked up.
“Saar, are you sure it is good for my job?’
“No one will complain naa…saar?”
“Come on Susie…..why should anyone complain?”
“Is it part of treatment saar?
“Of course, Susie” I patted her back yet again, this time in a friendlier way. “Some treatments are really difficult!”
“It is painful saar..”
“I know it is painful Susie. But we must overcome fear and pain if we are to crush our worries and secure a bright future for ourselves, our families and and our profession.” I was nearly choking with emotion.
“Okay saar. If you really say so, I will do it.” Susie appeared to make up her mind.
“Wonderful! You must begin today!”
“Saar, I will do it today only. Will I have to do it with my hand or with the forceps?”
Now what was this? What has forceps got to do with recession? I knew nurses have a habit of trying to do everything with forceps…but this??
“Whatever suits you Susie.”
“Okay saar. If it is part of treatment, I will do it. Whose penis do I have to pinch first in the recess saar? Director saab’s?”