Sunday, August 10, 2008


During the holiday season last year, I was working at Bath & Body Works. During that time of year, B&BW is to put it mildly, a delicious smelling fire trap of insanity.

For about two months prior to Christmas there were so many boxes of product being delivered to the store that from the back of the counter to the very back of the storage room there was a path carved out that was only one person wide. At times, you had to move boxes to get out the back door. Boxes were stacked to the ceiling and as workers climbed on them to find the products they were looking for, the boxes became rearranged and very precariously re-stacked.

During the craziness one evening, my manager asked me to get on a ladder and get some boxes down from the open loft in the back room. No problem. Up I went. After climbing around the loft looking for a box of size S/M fuzzy lambie slippers, I located my prey and tossed it down to my manager.

Because the storage room was so incredibly stacked from floor to ceiling, the ladder on which I was standing couldn't be opened up to it's full A-frame extent. It was just kinda-sorta opened up as far as it could be between a towering stack of boxes on both sides of it. I grew up on farms and as a kid, had climbed just about anything that could be climbed so this was no big deal.

So, down the ladder I go. Boy did I go. My foot hit the second step of that eight foot ladder, the ladder swayed, and down I went...grabbing boxes of lotions and soaps and anything else that might possibly help break my fall.

Ouch. My wedding ring had caught on the ladder as I was grabbing on for life and immediately began to balloon up and turn strange colors. My ass was throbbing and the inside of my knee was no happy little monkey either.

My manager freaked out and yanked my ring off my finger and sat me down on a chair and repeatedly screeched, "Oh my god! Oh my god! Are you okay?! Oh my god!" Feeling like a complete idiot with tears streaming down my face I replied, "Of course I'm okay. I landed on my nice padded ass!" She insisted that I go home and I insisted that I finish my last hour of work. I stayed.

By the time I got home and peeled off my slacks, my ass cheek, my arm and the inside of my left knee had gigantic purple and blue bruises on them. I looked liked I'd been on the losing team of an ass kicking contest.

I think that was on a Wednesday night and the following Sunday, I was in a car accident and was broadsided on my driver's side door by a truck going fifty-five miles an hour.

After I'd been extracted from my vehicle by The Jaws of Life, I was lowered onto a gurney and put in a neck brace. The paramedics began taking inventory of my injuries. As one of them looked me over, the other one recorded the findings. Evidently my collarbone had been shattered, my hip fractured, my ankle lacerated, I had a knot on my head from hitting the window, etc. As they started the list of "contusions" I heard them say, "Massive contusions on the left buttock, left knee, arm...."

I don't know whether it was the shock that I was in or just the fact that I was too chicken-shit to face the humiliation of having to explain that I actually received THOSE bruises from falling off the second rung of an eight foot ladder a few days before, but I just laid there and kept my mouth shut.

They probably wondered for days, in what position that woman in the car wreck must have been driving, in order to have bruised her ass like that.

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