THE LOCUM DIARIES (23)


Day 23…

Back to work!

I was enjoying my ‘enforced’ holiday so much that I didn’t feel like resuming. In fact, it felt like I was getting tired of the routine but when you look at how empty your pocket, wallet and bank account is and how end of month is almost here, you’d realize that ‘man’s not tired’ mehhhn.

I got in today to a lot of ‘Hello Dr. George! Longtime!’. I didn’t realize I had stayed away from work until I actually checked, 4days! That’s ‘long time’ enough for them to miss me (I’m that special*winks). I got into the office feeling all new (even my office felt new lol), I sat in and for most parts of the evening, I was either listening to radio ,reading books or doing both. At some point, I was so bored that I slept off! The time seemed so slow, I mean, how do you doze off for what you think is about 25mins and you wake up and look at the time and it’s just 8.00pm?! Mehhhhnnnn! i was just devastated. You know there are times that you sleep just to pass time, this evening was definitely not one of them. At some point, I was considering leaving. I mean, there’s no patient, it’s a super slow day, Oga isn’t around…‘what am I even doing here?’ Where there are a lot of places/meetings I should be in. I was so close to leaving but some extra terrestrial forces kept holding me back. I finally succumbed. I decided to just go outside the building, sit down, ‘collect breeze’ and listen to radio (at least this should help while away time till when I’m ready to leave). I decided I was going to leave at 9, since there was absolutely nothing to do and I was checking my watch regularly (even though the time kept moving at snail speed’).

9.10pm and I was about to go in and ‘move’, Oga came in. Apparently he had gone to church and had come in to see a patient who had called him earlier. ‘Good evening sir’ I greeted as he walked in. ‘Anyway, there is no problem, me I’m sha going’ I said as I went into my office to carry my bag. As I came out, I decided to just enter Oga’s office, ‘make e no be like say I come work, waka comot and I no show face for him side’. I went in and observed, ‘I’d leave after some minutes’ I said to myself. Minutes turned to more minutes and I was still in his office,my legs stuck. For every time I wanted to leave, I felt somehow, ‘what if this man now sees that I want to leave when he’s still seeing patients, he gets angry and now deducts each foot step from my salary?’ and you know end of month haff almost reach so he might be looking for ways to cut salary. All these thoughts went through my head with every patient that came in. Did I forget to mention? It seemed like all the patients were waiting for Oga to step in to the hospital before they would come out cos hospital that was empty all evening suddenly became flooded with people who wanted to see Oga! (these patients must have a whatsapp group!). With each patient who came in, it became more difficult and ‘somehow’ to leave and now time suddenly started flying like antelope. It was almost 10 and I was still in his office, doing nothing apart from standing,looking and probably accompanying him to see a patient or 2 in the ward. The last people who came in to see him were relatives of a patient (the cerebral palsy appendectomy guy) who wanted their child to be discharged. Oga was already tired and somewhat cranky when they came in (he too must have been wondering where all these people came from). So the father started explaining about how he’s supposed to travel the next day for a burial and was hoping the family can go home but that he won’t be able to pay up the balance cos of the current situation (traveling at short notice and he hasn’t being paid from his business deals) that Oga should let him go and he will pay when will come back. Oga looked at them and said NO. I wanted to leave o, but at this point, I knew things were about to get more interesting and I wasn’t going to miss this for anything (amebo like me*lol). I looked at the balance (to even see if Oga was just trying to be wicked & inconsiderate and lo & behold!it was more than 150k! ‘Chimooooo!’ i exclaimed in my mind! And as Oga looked at them nonplussed, I could imagine him saying ‘if na you, you go leave am?’. The parents started taking us through memory lane, about the days of humble beginnings, how they had being his fans, the goodness of the lord in the land of the living, how they are more than the money, the chain of businesses he has, blah blah blah. It was a long journey that lasted for minutes and I think I even dozed off while standing (thankfully I didn’t fall). After the whole history, Oga still said NO. I could see that they were stunned and a little angry, but Oga didn’t bulge one bit. He still stood by his NO and even had to explain to them that he hasn’t even discharged the boy and he’s not fit to leave yet cos of one or two findings during the surgery. After all said and done, they left. Oga looked at me and said ‘running a private practice is not easy’, i asked, ‘Sir, how do you get to manage these situations cos I know that this isn’t the 1st time’. ‘Come closer and take a look at this’ he said. He opened the debtors page on the hospital software and what I saw literally threw me off balance…There were more than 2500 debtors! With a lot of them owing more than 200k! He kept scrolling down and all I saw was thousands! I could bet that all the debts if put together would be running into hundreds of millions. ‘That’s what they do’ he said, ‘they come, you give them the best of attention & treatment, they tell you they are coming and they disappear’, ‘ these debts records that you see are just the ones we started inputting into the software 3 years ago, we haven’t even talked about the ones that are still in the paper case files o’. I could feel his pain, but then…I had to leave. It was almost 11pm. I bade him goodbye and I left..albeit with a heavy heart…’these are the people who will make Oga not pay me well, may God help him’ I said’ as i left the hospital.

debtors

 

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