Although I am working with him for two days, starting tomorrow, so I'll have tons of new material.
Which is the only thing that's keeping me sane right now.
Anyway. Working with Keith--although this post is definitely not about Keith--got me thinking about the other people I work with.
First on my list of People I Love are Marcie and Kitty. I love them for different reasons. Kitty I love because, although she's a child genius and graduated from college at, like, seventeen, we have lots in common. We read different-but-overlapping books (she introduced me to Miss Peregrine's; I'm introducing her to Gerald Durrell and Dorothy Sayers and Ellis Peters), we like the same music, mostly, and we both have a ladyboner for history. Her ladyboner is for Asian history, mine is for European, so we have lots to talk about. Plus, we both like to cook, so we have mini-potlucks every time we work together (good for my recipe book, rotten for my waistline).
Marcie, in addition to being sweet and funny and silly and gorgeous, is one of the finest nurses I have ever met. The only criticism I have about her is that she doesn't use the big brass balls I know she has often enough, and so gets steamrolled by the likes of Keith and some of the more clueless residents. However: if I have a thorny problem, or a tricky question, I head straight to her. You can see her mental Rolodex flip-flip-flipping as she comes up with the exact answer you need in a matter of seconds. Plus, she has the best assortment of facial expressions I've ever seen. And she loves her dogs.
Coming in a close second are Deborah and Jim.
Deb is six feet tall, clocks in at about two-fifty, and has amazing biceps. Oh, and purple hair. And an attitude. And is the person you want on your side, whether you're in a fight or a code. She's also a great drinking buddy.
Jim is as large as Deb, but has a manic energy that she keeps under control. He vibrates all over the floor--kind of scary in a person of that size--and has a huge, booming laugh. It's not often you hear laughter in the hospital, so it's nice to hear his. He likes football, and beer, and cute fuzzy bunnies. If ever I need a hug, it's Jim I want. Since I am not a huggy person, I can't think of better praise.
We have a whole assortment of other folks: Liss, who's as likely to fall over her own feet and run expensive equipment into the walls as she is to look at you; Debbie, who is nearly to retirement and has no qualms about telling you she just farted in the med room; and Marty, Marty, and Marty: all three guys have the same name and could not be more different. One's from Uganda, one's from East Texas, and the third is from San Francisco. In order, they like soccer, shooting, and sailing.
There's also Kamal, who, along with Minna, will be starting Ramadan fasting in a week. Things always begin well during these warm-season Ramadans, then begin to get kinda tetchy toward the end. Kamal looks ashy and exhausted, and Minna starts dropping things and wandering around in a daze. (Yes, you can eat before and after sunrise/sunset, but come on: the days are long, the nights are short, and you have to sleep sometime.) I'm looking forward to Ramadan backing up to a time that's not quite so wearing on the nurses and residents.
And there's Randy, who lives umpteen miles away from Sunnydale, out in the middle of freaking nowhere, and does dryland farming and ranching. He has two years' worth of food stored up, all-terrain bikes for his wife and kids (with mounts for rifles on each), believes strongly that the world is going to hell, and brings us fresh eggs. He's the one who greeted the two Israeli nurses who were here on a research trip with a snapshot of the cougar he'd shot on his land*. He has a moustache worthy of respect and exercises by running his forty acres and pitching hay bales over his head every time he comes across one.
Basically, I work with an assortment of cartoon characters. Given the antics of my dog--who leaned over the plumber's shoulder yesterday and wagged his tail gently as the plumber explained every step of replacing a gas valve to him--and the behavior of the cats, who continue to find new high places to hang out (on top of doors? REALLY??), I am beginning to think I live in the world's best alternate-reality novel. Kind of Pratchett, maybe with a few of Gaiman's flying square-rigger ships thrown in, and a bit of Heinlein when it comes to people like Deb. And Minna, who, when I had trouble finding a can opener before a potluck, took a huge knife in hand and said, "Give that can to me. I am from a third-world country; I can get in to it."
I am a lucky person.
Even adding Keith to the mix.
But this post is not about him.
*Yeah, I'm not crazy about his shooting a cougar either, especially given that it was a female. However, he has an eight-year-old son who raises goats for FFA, and who goes out to feed them at sunrise and sunset. Given that a cougar will happily attack anything the size of an eight-year-old, I can see his reasoning. Things are different out there.