Jorge Encenilia

Hospital orderly Jorge Encenilia is thirty years old,
but feels daily as if he is being treated like a child
by the doctors and nurses, which would maybe be
alright, since they are highly intelligent people and
very busy yes, he understands, he may talk with an
accent but his ability to understand complicated
instructions is quite developed. If the file clerks
and maintenance staff and even the cafeteria workers
treated him with basic respect, he would feel much
better about his job and its sometimes exceptional
demands. His supervisor, if possible, treats him with
barely concealed contempt. For instance, she always
expects him to be ready at a moments' notice to drop
whatever he's doing sometimes even when he's on his
lunch break and to perform a variety of messy and
sometimes even hazardous chores which are nowhere to
be found on his job description. oh, yes, he can read
English very well, and nowhere does it say that he
should handle bloody garments or radioactive waste or
be obliged to physically threaten unruly visitors or
give guided tours or run the freight elevator. The job
pays fairly well and offers health coverage and he
can't afford to lose it, for he has no college
education and his wife has two babies to take care of
at home. He would like nothing better than to be able
to come home and feel as though he has left his work
behind him but instead when he comes home he doesn't
want to talk to his wife or play with his babies or,
for that matter, do anything other than eat his
supper, read the paper, and fall asleep. He is a good
provider, and all his wife's relatives agree that he
is a good man and a good husband, but his wife
considers him more than a bit dull and has taken to
stepping out behind his back, though she thinks he
hasn't noticed. He is not a religious man and feels
that going to a priest would do no good, and his sense
of pride prohibits him from confiding in anyone, so he
keeps everything to himself and simply hopes his wife
will settle down. He hopes it will be soon. Otherwise,
he may have to hurt this man who is seeing the mother
of his children hurt him so bad that no hospital will
be able to put him back together again.
by Francis Dimenno

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