Thursday, May 4, 2017


By Jessica Miller

I am a glorified adult babysitter. Being a manager of a business, you deal with phone calls even after you leave for the day. I receive phone calls about employee no shows and conflicts, computer issues, catering orders, and even from the store owner, my boss.

When an employee doesn’t show up, I am the first person who receives the phone call that they didn’t show up. I then attempt to reach the employee who didn’t show up to find out if they are just running later or if they quit. I had an employee named “Sam.” He thought it would be a good idea to show up to work drunk. He was so drunk he couldn’t hardly talk because his speech was so slurred; he was unable to stay balanced while standing, and also smelled like a skunked can of beer. When I told him he needed to leave, he proceeded to say, “You’re nothing but a fat dumb bitch and you need to go fuck yourself.” I then told him a second time to leave and he continued to scream and yell until finally after the third time I told him, “Either you leave or I will call the cops and have you escorted off my property.” Needless to say, he left.  If they are running late, I inform them they need to hurry up and get to work. If they quit, I, then have to make more phone calls to find someone to work. If I can’t find someone to cover the shift I then have to go to work. I also receive calls about petty feuds that my employees have between each other. I then get to play therapist and try to help resolve the issue so they can go about the rest of their shift.  I had an employee named “Rich,” who was so distraught because he was labeled the “store snitch” because he came in and talked to me about “Vince,” his co-worker not doing his job.  When I confronted Vince about it, he knew immediately who said something and went to Rich. Rich ended up quitting because I talked to Vince about not doing his job just like Rich asked me to do. The worst part of this is that my employees are all grown adults.

As a manager, you also have to deal with technological problems. When our POS (point of sales) system goes down, we trouble shoot what could be wrong over the phone. The problem could be something as simple as changing the receipt paper to being as complex as the programming and internet having an error. One of the biggest technology problems I have experienced was when our computer system went down on “National Sandwich Day.” We lost thousands of dollars in sales that day all because of the internet being overloaded and there was nothing that I could do about it. So I had a lot of upset customers when we couldn’t take any credit cards. We are usually able to fix the problem but there are those instances when we have to contact Technology Support to get the problem fixed. Other minor issues I have to deal with are cash or bread shortages in the computer or how to void a transaction because someone rang up the wrong sandwich, or hit cash instead of credit card. Most technology problems are just minor ones.
Every now and again I have to explain how to complete a catering order. I walk them through the process step by step. They have to ask for personal information along with date and time pick up for the order. They have to find out what kind of bread, meat, cheese, vegetables, and sauces they want. However, our catering is not limited to just party subs. We offer sandwich platters, cookie platters, lunch boxes and meat and cheese trays. We can accommodate any size group that you need to feed. I truly enjoy making the giant party subs. It is a very relaxing task to do because I get to braid the bread and make something as plain as a loaf of bread into an astonishing braid. The biggest party sub I have ever made was 27 feet long. “Marissa,” my assistant manager, and I braided all the bread for that order and it took us over 2 hours to braid all the bread for that catering order. Generally it would only take a few minutes to make a small 3 footer. It is very time consuming but also very awesome to see what exactly I am capable of.

Last but certainly not least, I receive calls from my boss “Mitch,” the store owner. Our conversations range from finances to store maintenance and repairs. Our financial conversations are usually about employee raises, store profit and weekly and daily sales. One such recent conversation was about my closer “Debbie.” Debbie always worries about if she is doing a good enough job or if she is going to lose her job to a new hire. I reassure her almost every day that she does an outstanding job and that her job is not in jeopardy, but she still worries. So one night, while Debbie was working her normal closing shift, Mitch, our owner called Debbie at the store and told her what a phenomenal job she was doing and to keep up the good work. So because of her outstanding job performance, she received a raise. The maintenance conversations we have are usually about how to improve the appearance and functionality of the store. An improvement we currently have been looking into is putting an outside dining area for our customers for during the summer and more parking space. Our recent repair was the cooling system to our bain. The bain is our sandwich unit where the meats, cheeses, vegetables and condiments are kept for the customers. Although it seems like a lot, my boss and I don’t have lengthy conversations all the time; just when it comes to serious issues. The most serious issue I can remember having is I went in to go to the bathroom and oh my goodness it was absolutely disgusting. I was literally wading in human feces and urine because of the city pipes backing up. After the city got the pipe replaced and everything settled down I had to go outside into my parking lot and clean up nasty used tampons that had helped plug up the sewer line. I also found straws, paper towels, and a pocket knife. It was by far the most disgusting thing I have ever had to do as a manager.
My job as a manager at Subway is not all about phone calls and other job related functions. However, I do spend a lot of my personal time on the phone with work related issues.

I Need a Nap

by Angelia Pfortmiller

As a Licensed EMT I have many unique obligations in my daily life. The different roles that I play are keeper of the dead, counselor to the addicts, protector of the mentally unstable, extra hands of the Code Blues, and good Samaritan.

It all started with a beautiful lullaby played over the intercom for newborn babies when Henry promptly pulled me aside to go with him to tend to “Mr. Jones.” After someone's loved one passes, there is a part of you that must show the utmost and last respect to the deceased. I bathe the patients after they've passed. A week ago Mr. Jones came in as a Code Blue. The ER team resuscitated him and transported him to ICU. After 3 days the family was informed that Mr. Jones showed no brain activity and now it was the family's decision on what to do. They chose to let Mr. Jones go. He was given a dose of Roxinol, which is the humane way to put someone to sleep. Henry and I gathered the rest of the family to watch Mr. Jones take his last breath. Henry told Mr. Jones that we were to bathe him and Mrs. Jones stated “You know he's dead, right?” I looked over to Mrs. Jones and softly told her “It's a sign of respect and dignity, we will be telling Mr. Jones everything that we are going to do to him, if this bothers you, you are more than welcome to step out while we finish.”

Mrs. Jones stayed in the room as we bathed Mr. Jones from head to toe all the while still talking to him as if he were still alive. You have to be extremely careful when caring for the dead because they lose control of all bodily functions and extremities flop around like a fish out of water when rolling the patient from side to side. As Henry and I finish the bath, Mr. Jones has a fresh gown on and completely new bedding where he lay. His eyes are gently closed again as I lay his arms gently by his side. I turn to Mrs. Jones, who is still sitting in the room watching, “Henry and I are finished with Mr. Jones. You and the family can stay as long as you'd like.” As Henry and I proceed to walk out the door, Mrs. Jones and her family thank us for taking such amazing care and time for preparing their father.

As a counselor to the addicts, I have talked to several patients about alcohol addiction, but the one that sticks the most is a patient named “Corbin.” He voluntarily admitted himself into the hospital. As I was rounding on patients, Corbin was walking the hallways to ease the pain of withdrawals. I stopped him in the hallway and said “I understand what you're trying to accomplish by becoming sober. I myself have been sober for almost 8 years. It is possible to recover and regain what you once had. By the way, my sober birthday is May 15.” Corbin replied “In order for me to succeed, I will have to leave my wife and 18 month old daughter.”
In telling me his story, his eyes begin to fill with tears because at that moment in hearing himself, he knew that reality was setting in and this was going to be an incredible challenge, but at the same time it had to be done to become sober. At the end of our conversation I said “If you need to vent, listen, or help, you are more than welcome to come find me.” Corbin was discharged from the hospital 3 weeks ago and have yet to hear from him.

My next role is a protector of the mentally unstable. To get her fix, “Tonya” decided to snort Prozac. As Tonya came rolling into Room 3330, she looked coherent until she started talking. While Shane, Nikki, and I transferred Tonya from the ER bed to ours, she screams “I need pain killers! I want Oxycontin!” Shane explains ever so politely “You will not get narcotics because of your attempted overdose. You are only allowed Tylenol.” Tonya continues screaming for pain killers and mumbling random numbers, when out nowhere she looks at Nikki, and with a murderous voice says “I'm the Grim Reaper! I'll be coming for you bitch!”

As I begin to attach the EKG wires, she looks at me with dark lifeless eyes. I explain “The wires are to keep a watch on your heart since you decided to snort Prozac. There is a good chance you could have a heart attack and die.” Tonya replies “OK! You don't have to be so straight forward about it!” As I finish attaching the O2 sensor and blood pressure cuff, all I can think is “What a drama queen!”

As extra hands for Code Blues, we are required to be available. As I was sitting in the break room when the intercom announces “Code Blue! Room 3329!” I run to the room where Tessa, Rochelle, and Justin have started chest compressions. I positioned myself at the head of the bed, grab a BVM (bag valve mask) and hook it up to oxygen. I crank up the O2 to 15ml, fill the bag, drop an oralpharangeal down Steve's throat to begin bagging him. I squeeze the bag looking for chest expansion and O2 levels on the monitor. I am bagging at the perfect rate. Steve's O2 is at a beautiful 98%! After just 2 rounds of CPR I look down to see Steve's eyes open. I yell to Tessa “His eyes are open!” I kneel down next to Steve's face and ask “If you can hear me, blink once crew for yes.” Steve blinks! I tell Tessa “I have an eye response.” Tessa yells “I have a pulse!”

The ER crew comes running into the room because ER responds to all Code Blues. In the six minutes it took for them to arrive we had Steve back. He was alive and breathing. I knelt next to Steve again and explained “You are going to be intubated but you won't feel anything. Do you understand?” Again, Steve blinked once for yes. I then proceeded to assist with the next step in Steve's recovery. As Dr. Smith carefully put Steve into a medically induced sleep, he proceeded to insert a breathing tube down Steve's throat. The ventilation machine was set to his specifications per Dr. Smith's orders. We then prepped Steve for flight transport to NHI (Nebraska Heart Institute), which specializes in cardiac care.

Lastly, as a good Samaritan, I had stopped at car accident. I witnessed a pickup T-bone a full sized van and drive off. I pulled over to the side of the road, ran up to the van, where I discovered an 80 year old woman. She had been laying in the back sleeping when the accident occurred, causing her to fly forward, breaking her nose on the passenger seat. The break was so severe that it placed her nose on the side of her face. As I stood in the pouring rain comforting her and controlling the bleeding with my t-shirt, until EMS arrived on scene.

As the newborn lullaby of life rings throughout the halls of the hospital, as life begins, in one room the deafening sound of silence lingers as death ensues in the next.