Wednesday, April 20, 2005

The Joker

Motheater's post reminded me of a former boss. She was very intelligent, both book smart and streetwise. She and I met when I was still an undergrad, working in the ER as a patient care tech (nice way of saying girl who did everything from perform CPR to changing shit-stained bedsheets). I loved the thrill of the ER although the back-to-back shifts and the constant hours on the go wore thin after a few years. Anyway, Di was one of my favorite nurses to work with and I was sad when she announced she was leaving the ER to head up a National Institutes of Health (NIH) study at one of the larger hospitals in Chicago. The NIH was like the holy grail for young wannabe researchers like me. Di took a liking to me and asked me to join her team. I was thrilled. The doctor who we were going to work is world-reknowned in his field and I knew Di was going to be a great mentor. Now I knew that some of the ER staff were avid pot-smokers. I don't think they ever came to work high but the parties were like a scene out of a cheech and chong movie. I never had a desire to smoke pot and I was genuinely more amused watching the antics of my friends when they got high. Everyone seemed to know how to handle their dope. Anyway, Di and Dr B were invited to Bethesda Maryland to attend a meeting of all the sites participating in this particular NIH study and they invited me to tag along. My plan was just to sit and watch, take in the scene. Because I was not part of the guest list, Di and I had to share a room. This was no big deal until Di opens her luggage and takes out a bag of what she described as premium weed. Again, I have never had an inkling to light up so I politely decline her offer of a toke and she proceeds to smoke half a rice paddy worth of pot. In deference to me, she only smoked in the bathroom and the living room part of our suite. Anyway, she's completely fine until 3 hours later when we're sitting in a huge boardroom with some of the smartest names in medicine. It first starts with her passing me notes that say "I'm hungry!" It then proceeds to her excusing herself multiple times for the next 2 hours trying to find something to eat. Dr B asks me what the hell is wrong with her and I, thinking quick on my feet, tell him that Di just got her period and she has horrible cramps. I knew from the look of horror on his face that was the end of that particular line of questioning. Anyway the rest of the meeting goes OK. When I told Di what I had said, she laughed for like 15 minutes. (Her embarrassment didn't set in until Dr B gave her a brochure on PMS several months later.) Di taught me a lot over the 3 years I worked with her. How to manage governmental funding. How to get my work published. How to make people think you are listening intently when you have no clue what they are talking about.

I'm still in touch with Dr B who turned out to be one of the biggest influences in my professional life. Di and I went in different directions both professionally and personally. Last I heard, she is close to finishing her PhD and I'm sure she's still enjoying her pot.


Blogger Primalsoup says...

Ah the mystery of PMS and chums, when my bro or dad ask me any uncomfy questions I throw that at them... that shuts them up! :)

Thu Apr 21, 06:15:00 AM CDT  
Blogger eM says...

A pot smoking boss type person! That's gotta be pretty cool :)

Thu Apr 21, 01:17:00 PM CDT  
Blogger Anurag says...

Pot is supposed to give you hallucinations. I don't get anything when I do it. The other day I smoked six smokes filled only with weed, and I was the last one to go to sleep. Everyone else was stoned. Some people blacked out after a couple of puffs. I was the one to see everyone out of the house, have a nightcap and then go to sleep. :((

Thu Apr 21, 01:20:00 PM CDT  
Blogger anumita says...

Loved this post. Reminded me of a lot of old pot smoking friends.

Tue Apr 26, 06:03:00 AM CDT  

Post a Comment

<< Home