Tuesday, December 14, 2004


Join me my friends as I lament the apparent death of commonsense. Through a variety of recent experiences I have come to fear that commonsense has abandoned the world.

Example 1: As many of you know, last week I was in the hospital to have surgery to remove my thyroid (I am recovering nicely, thanks to the prayers of many CRM readers). Now, in case you are anatonomically-challenged, the thyroid is in the neck, just below the voice box. On of the common side effects of this kind of surgery is a temporary lose of voice. A less common one, though potentially more serious is a sudden swelling of the neck cutting off the airway; so to be safe they left a "kit" next to my bed in case they needed to cutting into my neck again to allow me to breath. This stay at the hospital was less pleasant, not because of more pain and discomfort (I actually had less), but because of the poor care I received. Now for lunch (two hours after surgery) they gave me chicken -- hardly a "soft" food. But here is where commonsense really took a holiday, in the middle of the night I needed to get up (you can figure it out why) and needed help because I was hooked to an IV. I buzzed for the nurse, she responded through the speaker. I guess I was too hoarsed that she could not hear me. I waited for her to come -- nothing. I buzzed again, and the process repeated. Finally on the third try she came to see what "games" I was playing. Now excuse me, but as my nurse she should have been aware that I had just had THROAT surgery and might not be able to talk. What if my throat had swollen blocking my airway? Playing that "game" might have been fatal.

Example 2: We have reserved parking spaces for the priests of the parish, and they are marked with big signs saying "NO PARKING! Reserved for Clergy." Of course we always have people parking in our spaces, even when there are plenty of other spaces available. Now one of my colleagues had the same car parking in his space for over a week, and he kept leaving a note. Finally he had enough and blocked the person in so that they need to come to the rectory. It was one of our HS students and his first response was "I did not see the sign." When given a puzzled look, he then responded, "Well, I didn't think it meant me." So the sign he did not see he didn't think applied to him. Am I missing something?

Example 3: We provide coverage for the local hospital, thus one of us always is carrying the beeper. Obviously we give the hospital the beep number, and they are told to call the beeper, and ONLY if there is no response to the page to call our "emergency line" since that line rings throughout the entire rectory. At 4am this morning the emergency line rang and rang waking the whole house. When the duty priest answered it was the hospital and the person said, "Hi Father, this is the hospital. The woman in Rm --- would like to see a priest sometime, but it is not an emergency." NOT AN EMERGENCY AND THEY CALL AT 4 AM IN THE MORNING! And to make it worse they did not even try calling the beeper; instead they chose to wake up the whole rectory for a call they could have made 5 hours later during "business" hours.

Let's pray that commonsense returns to our land.

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