Profile Image

Drove me home from emergency room.


“Do you have a room yet?” my boss texted me. I didn’t have a strong enough cell signal in the ER to answer her calls.

“Bed #34.”

“10 minutes. Do you need lunch?”

My stomach growled. “Yes please.”

I had to accept Orly’s offer of help. I’d already told my coworker Michelle, who’d found me slumped over and passed out, to stay at the office. I felt guilty and embarrassed. But having lived in LA for only six months, I didn’t have any close friends to call.

I'd also only been at my job two months. I didn't even consider it a real job: it was a temporary assignment. Though my boss had already asked me to stay longer, I’d been playing hard to get.

Sitting at a desk all day had made me antsy for adventure, so I’d booked a weekend trip to California’s Eastern Sierra region to canoe Mono Lake and wander the streets of Bodie ghost town, where no amount of stabilization by the state parks system could’ve prevented me from running straight into a disembodied door frame, not noticing its low clearance with no actual building standing around it. I knew I’d given myself a goose-egg on the forehead, and I knew it was the type of impact that could cause a concussion, but I felt OK for the rest of the day, so I dismissed it.

Monday at work, my headache worsened. Nausea arose. Dizziness prevailed. And before I could call out for help, I was out.

Orly arrived to the emergency room to find me dressed, dismissed by the doctor, and ready to depart. She sat me down and fed me. She begged me to come home with her so I wouldn’t have to be alone.

“I think I’d rather sleep in my own bed…” I said, still disoriented and a bit delirious.

“OK well, I’m not driving you to your car, I’m driving you home.”

At my building, Orly pleaded with me to take care, to check in hourly, and to come home with her if I felt worse. “Sandi,” she said, “We have to get you insurance. Regardless of whether you stay with us or not, we have to get you insured.”

“I want to stay,” I said, grateful, overwhelmed. “I feel so lucky to have you in my life.”

“OK, good, call me in an hour,” Orly said with a smile.

by avoidingregret in Six Words About Work - Bosses on Aug 09, 2011 | add favorite | T-shirt

Share on Facebook Share on Tumblr


Contemplative says,

This is a very touching and "feel good" backstory. And might I add relatable. I just started my new job when, three weeks in, I ended up hospitalized for 10 days, my grandmother died the day I was discharged, and after the funeral there was family upheaval to distressing to mention plus I moved. My boss, whom is very nurturing, owns a family run business as her pilates studio with her son. They sat me down, told me how much they admire me, and that they were so glad they had hired me.

Fast forward about five months later. A decision to go inpatient. A toughy. The narcolepsy was so severe friends and family were worried and my quality of life was suffering. I couldn't leave them stranded...again! My boss and her son held an impromptu intervention outside on the front steps. "You need to take care of yourself first," they implored. "I don't want anyone else working here except for you," the son muttered with love. I was torn as what to do. The stress of the decision itself made matters worse. "We love you!", enough said.

When the hospital staff lost my carefully crafted and lengthy medication list, I was more than relieved and grateful when I called the studio after hours and she answered. Knowing she was worn from a tremendously long day, I had no choice. The office doesn't have a fax machine so I asked if she would drive to the ER and drop off a copy of my medications which I supplied to them, you know, "just in case." Without hesitation she relied, "I'll be there in 10 minutes." And she was. Good to her word and extending welcome arms when I returned. I don't consider her my boss but as part of my adopted family.

DynamicDbytheC says,

It is lovely to hear some positives about bosses and work places. When I told my boss, for the third time in two years about yet another cancer, my breast cancer, she cried. I had no tears left and calmly told her the plan. After my 2nd and final reconstructive surgery, I went back on light- duty two weeks later because I wanted to be out of the house, around other people, distracted and outside my own head and around people who I love and love me, my co-workers.

Leave a Comment or Share Your Story

Please Sign In. Only community members can comment.

SMITH Magazine

SMITH Magazine is a home for storytelling.
We believe everyone has a story, and everyone
should have a place to tell it.
We're the creators and home of the
Six-Word Memoir® project.