Thursday, October 18, 2007

ER nonsense

I'm starting to loathe emergency rooms. Whenever I get belled to an ER, it's a worthless experience. I do make some money, so it's not completely worthless, but I'd gladly give up the money in exchange for never picking up bums. Last night I got a live one -- an Hispanic male, perhaps 50, almost too drunk to speak, and that was after he had been "cleaned up", including a washing and a new set of clothes. I wouldn't have wanted to see him before the alleged cleaning.

The ER doc asked me what the fare would be to San Ysidro, which is right along the border with Mexico. It's around $45. "Okay," she said. "This gentleman has $90 in his pocket. He'll pay cash." She and an orderly went back into the hospital, and the "gentleman" sat in the back seat.

Him: How much gonna be?

Me: $45 or so.

Him: Bullshit.

Me: You have to pay, or you don't go home.

Him: Bullshit.

I turned the car off and went into the hospital. I informed the ER doc that he refused payment. Obviously, I'm not driving anyone free of charge. So she gave me a hospital voucher, meaning they'll cover the cost.

The ride itself was uneventful, except that he kept babbling. Initially I made an effort to understand him, but it was fruitless. I put on some talk radio and turned it up loud enough to drown him out. Reception wasn't good way down there, but static was better than his babbling.

I got him to his address, which was a residential house in San Ysidro. Surprisingly, he recognized it. Sometimes they can't. In those cases I usually point at a house and just say, "Go." This one was slightly better. No tip, but at least I'll get the fare from the hospital.


4min said...

kinda cool that the hospital has a plan for this.

Ted Martin said...

It's very good. I don't really mind helping out, plus I do get paid. This blog is often a simple venting tool. I'm not really the crass person I sometimes sound like.