The Gift of Gono

The notice came in a simple white envelope not unlike one you might receive from your friendly banker. The return address label indicated the letter was from the Red Cross.

I wasn’t too intrigued by the source of the letter since I’m a long-time blood donor. As I sat down to eat my lunch, I opened the letter – not expecting anything unusual.

And, it started out like any other formal letter. But, my lackadaisical attention took an immediate u-turn.

“Our preliminary test on your donated blood indicates you have tested positive for “gonorrhea”.

I did a quick double-take. Yep, I read it correctly. The Red Cross was saying I had the Gift of Gono.

Now, being a paramedic I do know that you can’t get gonorrhea from a tractor seat, or a public toilet. So, the question was, “How did I acquire this bacterial scourge and why wasn’t I exhibiting any of the dandy symptoms – burning urination, discharge from the penis?”

And, if one hasn’t participated in the type of activity that leads to this disease, then you’d normally look at your partner – normally. Knowing my wife, like I know my wife, there was a better chance that I acquired Gono from a toilet seat.

So, after telling my wife to stay clear of me for the near future, I decided to give my friends at the Red Cross a call.

The first representative passed me to the next; and that person to the next; and so forth – until I was speaking with an MD. I know she was up there on the chain of command because she could actually discuss my medical case without violating HIPPA law.

The good doctor explained to me that it wasn’t at all unusual for Red Cross blood donors to get a false positive result on the preliminary test. I asked that if this were the case might it be prudent to perform a second test before sending such a notice to a donor. She explained that the Red Cross had determined that conducting secondary tests would cost too much. You know – the bottom line.

The doctor said she empathized with me, but explained it could’ve been worse. I could’ve been one of those who received a false positive HIV Aids report.

One of the most important values of any business is Caring. Since this story took place a number of years ago, I hope the Red Cross has corrected their problem. But, it does highlight how far they strayed from caring for their customers.

How do you show your customers that you care for them and who do you involve in those decisions?

If you rely on your bean counters you might end up giving your customer the Gift of Gono.

Beautiful Young Girl’s Life Cut Short

Stafford Kansas has a small high school with all the events of larger schools.  One of those events is an annual prom.  This year was not unlike any other.   The girls got their dresses and the boys got their tuxedos.

Girls usually have their hair done up.   And this was what Christine was looking forward to.  Stafford has a high school, but it doesn’t have a hair dresser.   Therefore, Christine had to make 10 the mile trip to St. John.

Highway 50 is the major highway between the two cities, but the old highway between the two is often the roadway of choice.  And this was Christine’s choice on prom day.

Halfway between Stafford and St. John is a 90 degree curve.  What was the reason for Christine taking this curve too fast – knowing she probably took it many times in the past – only she would know.

The call came in as a rollover vehicle accident at the curve on Old Highway 50.  First responder Gail arrived on scene first.   I was the next on scene and Gail reported that Christine was unresponsive  and didn’t have a pulse.

Even though pulseless trauma patients have practically zero chance of survival, I decided to attempt a resuscitation.   Christine had the most beautiful eye lashes that I’ve ever seen.  The medical director arrived on scene before we left for the hospital and after examining Christine he declared her deceased.

I will never forget the pretty young girl who lost her life on that dangerous curve on Old Highway 50.  Let Christine’s accident be a lesson for all that this could happen to you too.   Slow down on curves.

 

The Tall Korean

It happened one fall afternoon at the Salina Fire Department’s main fire station.  A Korean family wanted a tour of the fire station.  I was the watchmen this particular day and tours was one of the watchman’s duties.

We started upstairs and worked our way downstairs to where the fire trucks and ambulances were parked.  I started on the ambulances. I went through the compartments explaining the operations of each piece of equipment.

It was about that time that one of the group told me that I looked Korean and asked me if I was indeed Korean.  I told the asker that I was German as much as I knew.

Unfortunately one of our firefighters was walking by at the time of this conversation.  And from then on I was known as the “Tall Korean”.

Provide Some Leadership

A new book hit the stands that paints a poor picture of Donald Trump and his employees.    His employees were interviewed for the book and they describe a dysfunctional team.

One member states that him and others have had to take letters off the Presidents desk that would have actions that would put America in a bad way.

This is concerning in multiple ways.   First, it is concerning that president Trump was going to take actions that would put America at risk. It is unsettling that we were that close to taking dangerous actions.  Leadership is missing if this is the case.

Likewise, it is unsettling that president Trump’s team thinks that removing written action documents from the president’s desk is the best they can do.   Leadership is missing.

No job is worth doing bad things to the level that is described.  It is time that either president Trump or his team stand up and provide some leadership.

The King’s Speech – Who’s Your Lionel Logue

I was watching an award winning movie called “The King’s Speech” a couple days ago. It’s a movie about Britain’s King George VI and a problem he had. The King had a serious speech stammer.

Fortunately, the King was able to overcome the affliction with the help of an Australian speech therapist named Lionel Logue. Through Lionel’s help, instead of being a laughing stock to the public, the King was able to give an epic speech declaring war against Germany.

The movie has a number of messages. To me the strongest message is how one of the most famous people in history owed his greatness to a support person. So, who are those in your shadow?

Like most people, I’ve had many who’ve been in my shadow. But, I will tell you about just one, the most important one. I have known this person for many, many – many years.
We first met on a grade school playground in 1970. As a girl of fourteen she didn’t know then what a tremendous role she would play in my life. Her name is Rosalia, but most know her as Rosie – or, the Chief’s wife.

Rosie has always worked behind the scenes and has always been supportive of whatever was needed to bolster my career. Yet, she’s never had a title, never had a badge, and she’s never gotten any recognition other than that given by me. That this lack of recognition is okay with her is what makes what she does, and has done, even more special.

In the King’s speech to his people he talks of the “…mere primitive doctrine that might is right.” Those in the limelight are often in the “might.” But, you must not use your might un-rightly, nor should you fail to recognize those in your shadow – those who were instrumental in your success.

Have you recognized those people who’ve played an instrumental part in your life?
Another statement in King VI’s famous speech says, “For the sake of all that we ourselves hold dear, it is unthinkable that we should refuse to meet the challenge.” I say let us apply “the challenge” to recognizing those in your shadow.

Do it soon. Tomorrow – August 28th – might be a good day for some.

“I’m trying to disconnect the Eldorado twitter from this blog.  Did this one work?”