NEW YORK, NY – Colleagues are watching in stunned silence as Mount Sinai Hospital hospitalist Valerie Owens holds back the tears as it hits her at this very moment that today is actually Thursday not Friday as she had initially believed. The shocking news stopped Owens dead in her tracks.
“What do you mean it’s Thursday? No, it can’t be…” Owens muttered in disbelief, confirming the bombshell on both her iPhone and desktop. “But yesterday was Thursday, how could it be Thursday again? It defies the laws of physics. There must be some sort of explanation…”
It wasn’t Thursday yesterday. It was Wednesday.
By thinking it was Friday, Owens had mentally put herself that much closer to the weekend, a 48-hour window of the week that most health care professionals favor since it involves avoiding their jobs. The jarring reality that this week’s finish line was actually 24 hours further than she had initially dreamed was nothing short of a blow to the stomach, a kick to the ovaries. This one… This one hurt.
“Oh man, that means I have to work tomorrow since I work Fridays,” said Owens, her speech becomingly increasingly monotone and bereft of life. “I thought I was going to be off tomorrow, Saturday. Happiness taken away from me just like that.” She snaps her fingers. “It’s not fair, this is not fair.”
She added seconds later, “Good God, what horrible, horrible news.”
Palliative Care, Pastoral Care, and Psychiatry have been urgently consulted to help Owens cope with this morale-shattering revelation. The ICU has been alerted due to her climbing heart rate and blood pressure.
In other breaking news at the same hospital, jaded fourth-year surgical resident Phillip Cohen is ecstatic and “cannot contain himself” to learn that today is Thursday after initially thinking it was Tuesday. He is calling for a bottle of champagne to celebrate the momentous occasion.