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The Ballad of Jeff

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  • The Ballad of Jeff

    We had a bit of excitement at the bank today. It started normally enough. A guy walked into the bank, unsteady on his feet. It’s not uncommon for someone who’s new to the bank to come in with a disability that makes them unsteady, so I didn’t think much of it. Maybe he forgot his cane.

    I told him I could help him. I was filling in for a vacationing coworker at the teller window opposite from the door where he came in, so he leaned on the ledge as he wobbled down to where I was. He was taking his time. I wasn’t sure if he was suffering from a neurological issue or if he was drunk/stoned, and his mumbling wasn’t helping. There were no other customers, so I let him take his time.

    It was lunch time, so only one other employee and I were in the bank. That was on my mind as the situation progressed.

    This fellow got about halfway across the lobby when one of the employees, “Heidi,” from the insurance agency across the street came in. She said she’d called an ambulance for him. He’d been at the insurance agency, and she was concerned for him. She asked him if he wanted her to bring him the Gatorade bottle he’d left at her office.

    The guy didn’t react much to that news. He mumbled something I didn’t catch and wobbled around near my teller station. None of us were sure what to do, except keep an eye on him. He didn’t do much of anything for the next few minutes except for lean against a credenza and mumble halfheartedly.

    A squad car arrived first. The police officer came in and started chatting with the guy. “What’s your name?” *mumble mumble* “Dan?” “No *mumble!*” “Jeff?” Apparently, yes. “Did you take anything today?” *mumble* “A shot? Insulin or something else? Were you hanging out with Cody again?” Must be his drug buddy. Jeff admitted he’d taken meth this morning, as well as something else that was on his table - he didn’t know what it was.

    After a bit, an EMT arrived. He tried to get “Jeff” calmed down so he could get vitals from him. Jeff didn’t want him to touch him. After another couple minutes, the two of them managed to convince Jeff to let the EMT put a pulse ox on his finger, as long as they didn’t touch him. Jeff’s pulse was 147!

    They convinced Jeff to sit down. Coworker brought him a glass of water, which he proceeded to spill all over the chair and floor. Then the ambulance arrived, and two paramedics came in.

    It took another ten minutes of convincing, but they got him to walk outside and ride to the hospital with them. They said they wouldn’t touch him. He could just sit on the cot on the ride to the hospital. The police officer rode in the ambulance with the paramedics.

    Heidi chatted with the EMT out on the street, and the EMT went into the insurance office, apparently to retrieve the Gatorade bottle. I last saw him leaving the insurance office wearing latex gloves with something in a paper bag, presumably the Gatorade bottle.

    I hope Jeff gets the help that he needs. At no point did this guy seem like he would get violent, just confused and uncoordinated. You can never be sure, though. I'm glad that Heidi called emergency services.
    "I look at the stars. It's a clear night and the Milky Way seems so near. That's where I'll be going soon. "We are all star stuff." I suddenly remember Delenn's line from Joe's script. Not a bad prospect. I am not afraid. In the meantime, let me close my eyes and sense the beauty around me. And take that breath under the dark sky full of stars. Breathe in. Breathe out. That's all."
    -Mira Furlan

  • #2
    It could have been worse, but dealing with drug users is always a problem. You don't know where they stand, because they don't know.
    Customers should always be served . . . to the nearest great white.