The ICU has the best vending machines after the cafeteria. I took advantage of a lull yesterday afternoon to dash over to get some candy. There were no peanut M&Ms, but I spotted some Skittles. They would do. The vending machine held on my my Skittles. The coast was clear, so I tried to give it a shake. Nothing. Some people might have taken that as a sign that they shouldn’t be buying Skittles the week they finally worked out more than two days in a row. I decided that I needed two bags of Skittles. So I returned to the station for more money.
I started counting nickels and dimes when the phone started ringing. I was in a hurry to free the dangling bag before someone else did, but I reached for the phone automatically. I hate that I do that even though there are others in the station who clearly aren’t doing anything as important as I’m doing that moment. Like going on a candy run.
Feeling the pinch of time, I opened my mouth and said:
“How am I supposed to help you today?”
I froze. I didn’t just say those words. I used a tone. There was silence on the other end for a beat. Then I took an order from the physician. As I hung up the phone I turned to the nurse next to me.
“Did I just say…?”
“Oh, yeah. You did.”
“I need some candy. Now.”