There are days my life is like something out of a sitcom. Or possibly an absurdist art film. Where what happens to me is so absurd, all I can do is laugh at it.
Last week, I was working at a Starbuck’s coffee shop. Minding my own business. Just me and my laptop.
Suddenly, a full emergency rig comes screaming up, lights and sirens ablase. Four EMS guys pile out and barrel into the coffee place, presumably looking for somebody laid out on the floor in the midst of a heart attack.
Instead, they are greeted by the soothing sounds of the cool jazz playing over the speakers, punctuated by the occasional whirring of the barista’s blender as they are making up an iced blended mocha for a customer.
The EMS guys look around, somewhat confused. They ask the assembled masses, “Did anybody call for an ambulance? Somebody said there was somebody here with some sort of skin thing that looked contagious.”
Cue sound of crickets chirping. Nobody said a word.
Meanwhile, one of the EMS guys notices me, and determines I must have been the person for whom they rushed out on a hot day. The guy looked me up and down. “You call for an ambulance? You OK?”
So I ended up having to placate four hot, grumpy EMS guys who got called out for no good reason. For something that was not my fault. And the person who called it in? Had not the balls to even identify themselves. Which left me holding the bag.
I became that unpleasant thing that must be removed, not unlike gum on your shoe. Worse yet, it happens in the name of Public Safety. Because we all want to be thoughtful of our fellow human beings, right? We want to not be so selfish and self-centered as to actually make other people sick, don’t we?
It’s a shaming thing. Shame on me for not thinking of others. Shame on me for being out in public. Shame on me for actually wanting to be treated with some basic decency.
Shame on the person who anonymously pointed a finger at me
Shame on them for quietly slinking away,
Shame on them for leaving me to clean up after them.
What a shame, indeed.