A Critical Case revisited

 

I have amended the original story slightly…hence the repost.

 

A CRITICAL CASE

Doctor Tony Carter watched as the stretcher crashed through the doors to the Emergency Room. Trailing behind the paramedics, half running, half sobbing, was a young woman.

Carter looked down at the patient as he spoke. ‘How bad is he?’

‘Bad. Really bad. It looks like he might go critical!’ said one of the paramedics.

‘Where was he found?’

‘He was just sitting in a meeting room talking to a whiteboard. They called his wife,’ she said nodding towards the woman, ‘but she couldn’t help. And we can’t wipe that infuriating smile off his face.’

Carter nodded, ‘Yeah, it is infuriating, isn’t it. Do you know if there have been any other symptoms?’

‘Apparently his work colleagues have noticed that he has an unhealthy obsession with PowerPoint presentations, and he has been rambling on every now and then about things nobody understands, not even his bosses.’

Carter scratched his head. This sounded like a textbook case. ‘Okay then. I’ll take it from here. Just move him into Room 7 please.’

‘Can I come in?’ The young woman tugged at Carter’s arm, her voice breaking.

‘Not yet. I’ll need some time alone with him…er…you’re husband?’

‘Yes. Joel. Joel Barham. I’m Cath…oh tell me he’ll be ok…please!’

‘I really can’t say at the moment. I’ll let you know once I’ve had a look at him.’ He watched her crumple onto a bench as he hurried after his patient. Damn! This was never easy, but was better to deal with this sort of thing without complications.

Joel Barham sat up as Carter entered the room. ‘I have a vision…and a mission…and I’m committed to value-adding.’

Carter ignored him and sat down to commence his work. He spent a little bit of time jotting a few notes on a pad before he turned to his patient.

‘I believe your name is Joel Barham. Is that correct?’

‘I’ve met my KPIs this month, and that means our deliverables are going to match our targets.’

‘Yes I’m sure they will, but can you…’

‘Moving forward I think we should challenge our ingrained paradigms and possibly rewrite our Mission Statement. What do you think?’

‘Try to concentrate Joel. I just want you to answer my questions. I want to make sure that you’re OK.’

‘I’m fine doc. It’s just a misunderstanding. I have to get back to finish my quarterly reporting and reinvigorate my flexible resource units. We need a rapid prototype strategic plan to avoid the possibility of negative growth, and to also undertake some corporate capacity building in order to provide synergistic programmatic specificities.’ Joel looked at Carter with a sparkle in his eyes. This was fun. Lots of fun.

Carter had a sinking feeling. He’d seen all this before. ‘Ok then let’s see if you can still logically reason. Are you able to do that?’

‘Poly-dimensional functional competency matrix!’

‘Yes. Well I think I have my answer. Next question. Do you have any difficulty in reading plain English?’

‘Outcomes, outcomes, outcomes.’

‘I think we’ll call that a ‘yes’. Don’t you?’

‘Unintended quantum leakage!’

Carter sighed and bowed his head. ‘There’s no point in taking this interview further. I think I’ve heard enough. You just sit there and relax and I’ll go and a talk with your wife.’

‘Systematic rationalisation of the operational paradigms.’

‘Quite so.’

Carter left the room and sat down with Cath Barham. He looked into her pleading eyes. She was desperate for good news, but he had none to give. He really did hate this part of the job.

‘What’s wrong with him? Is it bad?’

‘I’m afraid your husband is suffering from an acute case of compulsive jargon. I’ve seen a lot of this in recent months. It’s a condition that can strike at any time. There isn’t much you can do about it.’

Tears welled up in Cath’s eyes. ‘Is it really that serious? He’s only thirty-nine! Is there any hope of recovery?’

Carter sighed. ‘Not really. He’s destined for a career in middle management, or, if his symptoms get worse, which they might, he will become a management consultant who speaks nothing but management wankwords.’ Then, seeing her face, he added, ‘but don’t worry, people will pay loads of money for him to do that.’

But his attempts to soften the blow failed and Cath Barham began crying uncontrollably. At that moment her husband was wheeled past. ‘Oh Joel,’ was all she could say between her heaving sobs.

‘‘Enhanced synergistic benchmarking!’ he replied.

About George Fripley
I am a writer who enjoys writing humour, satire, poetry and sometimes a bit of philosophy. I live in Perth, Western Australia and occasionally get a poem or article published. It's all good fun! I have two books available for unwary readers, Grudges, Rumours and Drama Queens- The Civil Servant's Manual (This contains all that anybody could ever want to know about why government runs so slowly) and More Gravy Please! - the Politician's Handbook. (available through Amazon). Real name Peter Tapsell...just started off writing under a pseudonym and kept going.

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