"District police, this is @@@, how can I help you?"
"My son received a ticket," she laughed, "it says he wasn't parked in a designated parking space."
I paused. "Yes that does sound like a valid reason to issue out a ticket..."
"Well where can he park then." She began to sound irritated.
"Well ma'am," the door of the office opened, "he needs to make sure he parks in a marked parking place or he will get ticketed..." I trailed off as one of my officers pulled a half-conscious young woman into my office.
"Well that just doesn't sound fair to me," she argued.
"I'm going to lay you down on the floor ok?" the officer continued as he proceeded to lay her down in front of my desk.
I continued doing my job, "If your son wants to contest his ticket, he'll have to come into the police station and fill out an administrative review."
"Well can't I just print one out online?"
"No..." I hesitated as the officer held the girl's head when she went into seizure. Another officer entered, grabbing her feet. "...he's going to have to come in himself."
"@@@ can you hear me? The seizure was 15 seconds; her heart rate is normal; she's not breathing. @@@!" She began coughing. "Everything is ok, we're here, the nurses are on their way."
She has my name.
"Well, fine where is it then." The woman continued, obviously irritated by the distraction in my voice.
The nurses were here. "Oh it's @@@," she sighed, "did she have another seizure?"
"Yes, two so far, two minutes apart lasting fifteen seconds," they paused, "she's going into another one," I heard a loud thud, "can you hand me a blanket for her head please."
"There are police vehicles located outside..." I continued. I could see her violently convulsing again.
"Ten seconds long this time. Two minute interval. @@@? No she's out again."
"She's holding her breath again."
"The paramedics are here."
It's the absolute worst feeling. Helplessness. The inability to create change; to step in a fix a problem; to save someone.
The woman on the phone continued, "You know this is really inconvenient. Maybe if you posted SIGNS my son would have had the chance to park where he was supposed to."
"She keeps holding her breath after each seizure. Make sure she's breathing."
I took a deep breath. I didn't realize I was holding mine. "I do believe there are signs posted but I understand if they aren't clearly visible I'll have to alert my supervisors so someone else doesn't park there by accident."
The fire department was here.
"Can you hand me the I.V." I felt nauseous. Needles. Big needles.
"@@@ can you hear me? You're ok. Everything is going to be ok." And I felt ok. They knew what they were doing. This girl was safe.
The phone rang. "District police this is @@@, how can I help you?" The fireman and nurses looked up at the name.
"No but I can transfer you to business services." I paused and looked up and they looked back over at @@@.
"No, I don't need to go to the hospital." A weak voice protested. "This happens all the time."
"When was your last seizure?"
"How many did you have?"
Bitter Waiter by the minutes
2 days ago