Robbing Peter to pay Paul

We’re at the residence of an elderly woman who doesn’t speak much English. I’m not even sure why she called, as she does not appear to be sick in any way, but I know she wants to go to the hospital.

She keeps asking us to call her son, but she doesn’t know his phone number. She keeps trying to hand us her phone, as if we know what his number is. And when she does dial a number, it’s busy.

(It later turns out that she dialed her own number since she lives with her son, who wasn’t home.)

She also keeps asking us to lock her front door on the way out. Like a hundred times. But she doesn’t have any keys. And it’s a deadbolt. No one else is home.

“How are we going to lock your door without keys?”

“Climb window.”

The female fire captain snaps, “We’re not climbing anything.”

I love it when female firefighters are even less polite than the guys.

Anyway, I tell them they can go back in service and we put her in the ambulance. We close her front door.

I don’t really give a shit about her apartment; it’s really not my problem she doesn’t have her keys. It’s one thing if she called for an actual emergency, and it’d be understandable if she didn’t have her keys ready, but this is no emergency. Much like how people should have their damn purses ready (and meet us at the fucking curb) before they call us for some bullshit instead of making us hunt them and their purses down, she should have figured out her key situation before she called, if she’s so concerned about her door being locked.

But, my basic goodness prevailed. Over my spite.

I go back into her apartment, lock the front door, go out the sliding patio door and climb over the patio wall. Of course, now it means that the patio door isn’t locked, but at least it appears that I made the effort, and perception is everything. She, of course, doesn’t understand that what I just did made no real practical difference. Her apartment is no more secure than it was.

Her son shows up at the hospital. He doesn’t know why she called 911 either.

“We locked the front door but the patio door is now unlocked.”

“I know. I went by and locked it. Thank you very much.”

Customer service indeed.

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