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Life Short Reads

Business Hours

Whether they are 9–5 or even the more expansive 8–6, it is a challenge at the best of times to arrive at an establishment that keeps so-called “business hours.” Even more so for the hapless resident physician on inpatient service, whose days stretch twelve hours at minimum. Thus, when given the opportunity to leave work at 1800 hours, I seized it with both hands.

Arriving at my car, I saw the packaged items in the back seat waiting to be mailed, unchanged from when I had placed them there a week prior. Alas, I thought, six in the afternoon was too late even for third party shipping stores. My thoughts were interrupted by incoming texts from Li’l Sib, my junior and mentee in the child neurology residency, inviting me to a Hawaiian-themed event at Harland Brewing. I looked up the address and Lo! A UPS store just north of the event’s location was open until seven. A plan began to take shape in my mind as I drove home.

Bursting through the door, I set it motion: ditch the scrubs, a quick rinse in the shower, don some normal clothes, give Bast a few apologetic pets, and head back to the car. I arrived at the UPS store with thirty minutes to spare, my box of goods in tow. My first order of business was to print the shipping label—easy enough, it was starred in my email account. I took a seat at the printing computer and scanned the instructions: “Swipe credit card to begin.”

I reached into my scrubs pocket for my wallet…and found only denim. With a sinking feeling I realized the scrubs and their critical cargo were laying discarded by the shower, at the house. My prior success rendered meaningless, I gathered my packages and slunk back to the car.