I normally don’t hitchhike on another person’s writing. But, I think it was fated. Cause, I never had anyone ask me (even rhetorically) about Pink Eye. But for one moment Pinkeye was great! Well, it hurt. But the situation was so bizarre, that you took a moment to look around and say “I must remember this for the future. Coz, someday it will be memorable”
So, a million years ago, I was a young civilian working on a military base. Being a civilian in a military organization is a weird place to be. They want to treat you like a soldier but really don’t understand the Union thing. So, everyone is on eggshells.
I was working in a Really Secure Building…. It had an iris scanner. In Grandpa Simpsons’ day, an iris scanner looked like a microscope married an ATM in a phone booth. You stepped into the booth, tapped in your PIN, looked in the microscope tube and a buzzer sounded. The guard would look depressed because you weren’t a spy and let you in.
One week all 15 of us came down with pink eye. We spent a day denying it, blaming allergies, computer screens and, no kidding, the new chairs. Finally, the next morning, the senior scientist, (our boss, a military officer and new Mommy) confessed. She was in tears (well, puss) and so broken as she blamed her husband for not wiping the baby properly. We naturally forgave her and the husband as soon as we discovered that prescription eye drops would work and we weren’t blinded. The fact she was the uberBOSS helped too.
Naturally, we tried to take advantage of it by scheduling all of our doctor’s appointments at the same time (right before happy hour). But, she had worked through the guilt and arranged for a Flight Surgeon to come through with eye drops.
Trust me, you’d rather have pink eye than be a Flight Surgeon thrown to red eyed civilians. In hindsight, it might have worked if she hadn’t warned us in advance.
The poor guy popped in to a conference room with a smile on his face and a box of eye drops. He politely explained Pink Eye, sanitation and recommended a box of wet wipes for the scanner. For a moment our boss looked hopeful. Then the questions started.
Of course, led by our in house Trotsky-like union rep. Was the flight surgeon licensed to practice medicine in our state? Was this charged against our insurance? Was there a co-pay? Didn’t he have to examine us?, write a prescription? Shouldn’t this be workman comp?
Pretty soon, the flight surgeon was “muttering take the damn drops or go blind, I don’t care”. Our boss was mentally writing our performance reviews and I was couched low in my seat being invisible. Call me a coward, but I knew what happened to Trotsky.
After everyone had a bit of fun with the Surgeon, we took our drops, put wet wipes on the Scanner and got better. But about a week later, I saw our boss go through the scanner and she started swearing. I looked over and saw that someone had replaced the wet wipes with a box of condoms.