The time I accidentally fed soap to some coworkers
One time at work I accidentally tricked coworkers into eating soap. :(
In retrospect, I can actually see exactly how this was a terrible idea. Hindsight is 20/20, as they like to say.
Maybe it was because I was working night shifts at the time, and I just wasn't on my A-game? I'd like to think that over a decade in nursing experience has given some form of critical thinking skills, regardless of the hour that I happen to be awake. Though that was a big part of why I decided critical care transport probably wasn't for me. 24 hour shifts, and a 3 minute out-the-door policy (no matter what time you got the call) was not always easy. I still twitch when I hear Apple/iPhone alarms; those were our company phones that we kept with us every second on the job so that dispatch (or whoever else happened to be watching our activity) could check in.
It could be 3am; I could have laid my head down maybe only an hour or two prior - after finishing a previous transport job, and that would be the only sleep I may have gotten for the shift. The iPhone alarm goes off -
An accurate recreation of my memories/experience with iPhone alarms
-and you'd quite literally stumble out of bed and trip your way towards the door to your quarters, veer left to the dispatch office for a quick briefing, then stumble across the office towards the exit and the rig you've been assigned for the shift. I discovered that sleeping in my uniform simplified the 3 minute rule drastically - especially if I never removed my tactical boots for the entirety of the shift.
Such is the world of transport. I learned a lot at that job. One of the worst things I learned was how terribly people treat EMTs. That was eye-opening. I remember how disrespectful some of the nurses were to me for simply asking questions about the patient I was receiving from them during our hand-offs. Now mind you, I was working as an RN in a critical care transport rig. But that isn't what many of them saw or realized unless I pointed that fact out.
For Pete's sake, people. Be nice to EMTs. One of the most underpaid, underappreciated, overworked jobs out there, and people are constantly kicking them when they're down.
I decided that critical care transport wasn't the right fit for me at that particular juncture in my life. Maybe down the road it could be a better fit, but for here and now I decided to return to the bedside and I took up work in a Seattle ICU. There are no iPhone alarms in this environment, but like any in health care it certainly comes with its challenges and hardships to learn and grow from.
Getting back to this entry's title - this particular learning experience happened earlier on, when I was working nights.
Now, back in the pre-covid days, people didn't bicker about if masks worked or not. We simply wore them in the presence of sick people in the hospital so we wouldn't get sick - and it worked!
Ok let me rewind because I'm already off track again.
Back in the pre-covid days, from time to time we (the staff) would throw small potlucks. They were lovely.
You know what a potluck is, I don't need to go too much into detail on that one.
But what does merit detail is how I managed to unintentionally feed my coworkers soap.
Shortly after starting my ICU job on nights, I took up soap making. Why? It started as a joke between me and a friend. Being awake at night led to Tyler Durden jokes about me, which naturally led to soap making jokes, and then the statement that I made soap (when at the time I didn't). My friend didn't seem to really budge on this notion that I made soap.
The conversation planted a seed. And long story short, I started making soap.
If you're thinking about taking up soap making, make sure you take the time to explore your ingredient options to ensure your product stands apart from the rest!
I started making really, REALLY good soap. People loved it. I still stand by the quality of soap that I make. Heed my words, mortal - if you want to make a quality soap, it always, ALWAYS boils down to quality ingredients. Tyler Durden would agree. Are you using water for your base? Or are you using something fancier like goat's milk, beer, or tea? Are you using cheap oils? Or are you leaning towards a skin-friendly castille soap with a heavy olive oil content? Get with the program - you want your soap to be good, make it from good stuff.
This soap was so good that even our burn patients were commending it. I gave some bars out to patients we were discharging and learned that apparently this seemed to be one of the very few soaps out there that their delicate, healing skin could handle. If that's not a yardstick for quality, I don't know what is.
So again - you're wondering "Michael Apollo Lira - HOW DID THIS SOAP GET FED TO YOUR COWORKERS?"
Alright. So there was this potluck, right? And maybe, just maybe, I forgot that there was a potluck that evening.
"Michael - what did you bring to tonight's potluck?!" people were asking. And frantic to come up with something, all I could find were the bars of soap in my locker. Ok, so it's not food, but it's still something nice to give to my coworkers and to be a part of the giving!
Well, except there's only a few bars, and there are a lot of coworkers...what do I do to fix that? Maybe if I cut these bars up into little sample-sized cubes? I could stack them up neatly on a little plate here for people to see them...that looks kind of nice! Little soap cubes! I'll just put it off to the side from the other food, so people will still be able to see it, but it won't be mixed in with all the food.
It might be relevant to mention that the soap had an off-white color to it. Sort of a very soft pale, creamy hue to it.
Know anything else that you might see in cube-form, off-white in color, stacked on a plate at a potluck? Yeah, people thought it was cheese. OF COURSE THEY THOUGHT IT WAS CHEESE - I can say that now in retrospect.
So, expectedly, people were adding the cubes to their plates when dishing up. And people were pretty quick to criticize the god-awful cheese, wondering just who the hell brought something so terrible.
The soap was quickly removed from the potluck. But that story, well, it's still one that remains on the unit.
I'm so, so sorry.
We all still laugh about it sometimes.
In the spirit of voice acting, the associated lesson with that story is don't push out a product in haste! You might feed somebody soap as a result! By that I mean, plan ahead appropriately if you have a project that will take a little time. Hasty decisions can really sabotage an experience - and when you look back, you might cringe a little bit. While people love expeditious service, also remember that taking a little time to ensure quality could be even more important - especially if you don't want stories to circulate about that time you delivered a bad product to a client!