I was grateful for this part time job, the pay was okay, and liked the people there

But the monotony of filing and proof reading reports was sometimes hard to bear.

The third cup of coffee was ineffective and my eyes were slowly closing

The sales numbers report to be delivered tomorrow wasn’t keeping me from dozing

Trained as an accountant and twenty five years of service, I was let go for a company down size

With bills to pay and kids in school, waiting for a full time gig seemed unwise

The shift was over in twenty minutes and the printer collator was on the fritz again

The contract service person was to be there but no one knows when

The presentation was to be completed by close of business day

Or a report will be filed in your personnel jacket much to your dismay

All was plodding along as expected when one of the sheets sliced through some skin

It wasn’t deep or long but some blood fell on the report and began sinking in

“You need to take that to a doctor,” said the office manager appearing like an apparition

“That’s not a suggestion,” she said all puffed up. “Now go see a physician.”

“I guess that since this is going to cost I’ll be covered by workman’s compensation.”

“No,” she said. “We don’t have enough full time employees to need that regulation.”

“Great no Workman’s Comp.,” I thought. “Not only no lunch break but no insurance.”

‘Don’t worry, they’ll probably band aid it.” She stated with her toneless assurance.

The doc-in-the-box was right around the corner next to the Quik Snip style store.

Stepping out of the car and over the chewing gum, I went through the glass door.

The woman behind the glass frowned. “With no insurance you need to pay in advance.”

“That’ll be seventy five dollars,” and still hadn’t given my wound so much as a glance.

So I wrote the check and thought that was half my pay for the week.

So I sat in a hard plastic chair smelling of alcohol and hair boutique.

I left the dog eared magazine for fear of six months of cooties jumping on me.

“Sir if you hang up your phone, you can come back now,” said the NP.

And from the attitude I knew right away she was not my cup of tea.

Her hair was spiked and her nose piercing appeared inflamed and infected

And a misspelling of one of her tattoos appeared to be corrected.

“So let’s see this little cut,” she said sliding a lamp over her head

The light shone on the cut and a dark spot was on the wound where it had bled.

“Hmm,” she hummed. “This dark spot may be dirt or possibly a cause for worry.”

I’m sending you over to the GP this afternoon, I hope you’re not in a hurry.”

“But I can’t afford another doc.” I said trying to be civil and not sound like a jerk.

“You’ll need to go,” she replied. “He’s right around the corner and then you can return to work

I can’t give you a note as there are tests needed here and you haven’t been cleared.”

“Damn,”I thought. “This little paper cut is starting to add up to much worse than I feared.”

The next office, three blocks away appeared to be nicer than the one before

The carpets were clean, the chairs padded, and no greasy smudges on the door.

The receptionist seemed cheery enough behind her sliding glass and jar of pens

“I heard you don’t have insurance,” she smiled looking over her reading half lens

“We received a call from your last visit and we’ll be sending your blood sample to the lab.”

“The lab we use charges $175 we need the check up front,” So far no one’s glanced at the scab.

So a heavyset woman in too tight scrubs took a large amount of blood to fill a vial

Then slapped a super hero band aid over the tiny cut and waddled down the aisle

“Am I going to see a real doctor,” I asked the nurse while buttoning my shirt

“Not today,” she replied. “ We had a patient come in that was really hurt.”

“And I see by your chart you only paid for lab work and didn’t pay for a doc.”

“Just as well,” I thought as I left the office. “I didn’t want to put my car in hock.”

“We’ll call with the results,” she said. “And here’s a note to get back to your business

And remember to sanitize your hands to ensure you didn’t pick up a sickness.”

So two hundred and fifty lighter I sit in my stifling hot car turning up the air

“It’s all stacked against the little people,”  I thought. “We get by on a wing and a prayer.”