Theatre was interesting for a number of reasons. I had to work 50 hours in theatre when I was training as part of my Nursing degree. On our first day there, after orientation about where everything was (which I couldn’t care less about considering I didn’t want to fetch anything – I really just wanted to see blood and gore), a sister came up to us and introduced herself. “Hi guys, I’m Sister Zee.” She seemed pretty cool. It was only later I realized that she suffered from raging Bipolar Disorder.

For a newbie, nervous student, she was pretty much the most frightening nurse I had encountered in my short time at the hospital. She could be heard screaming from the opposite side of the theatre at some unwitting student nurse, she could be heard making orgasm noises when the electricity went off (which happened unsurprisingly often in this hospital), she could even be seen throwing things like used (and bloody) Pencil Drains at nurses.. Just one look at her eye make-up and oily skin and you would swear yourself to celibacy (whether male or female).

On a boring Sunday, with ZERO cases for theatre and a literally empty theatre, my fellow colleagues and I sat in the recovery room keeping ourselves busy. I played Sudoku for a while and then had wheelchair races with Anna, while the others watched a movie on a laptop. Unluckily for us, Sister Zee was working, and once again, she was on a warpath. She found us, mid-wheelchair race (and I was soooo close to winning!). “THERE ARE SEVEN OF YOU SITTING HERE!” There were five of us. “THERE’S LOTS TO DO!” There was nothing to do. “EMPTY THE SHARPS BUCKETS!” Done already. Twice. “STOCK THE TROLLEYS!” Already finished. “NEXT TIME, YOU WILL BE THE PATIENT! THAT IS MY SINCERE PRAYER – THAT NEXT TIME, YOU ARE THE PATIENT!”. Chill out, woman. Srsly.

We later saw her sitting in a chair rocking backward and forward, with her eyes closed and whispering, “Next time, you’ll be the patient” over and over again. Allllllrighty then, Zee! I used to avoid her like the plague, I was so scared of her – she of course seemed to take a liking to me.

A week or two later, Sister Zee was looking for some fellow nursing students who I knew for a fact had pissed off back to their rooms and slept for most of the day when they should have been working. They would magically arrive back at work when it was time to get signed out to knock off for the day. Sister Zee informed me that they were useless and in their rooms “wanking” when they should be working. What do you even say to a statement like that?!

I still remember her walking down the long corridor with her short, stocky legs screaming, “NEXT TIME, THEY’LL BE THE PATIENT!” I get the damn point, Zee!

Things with Zee only got worse from there, and I have many memories of pretty much fearing for my life whenever she was around. Boy, are there some stories about her that I have locked up in this little traumatized brain of mine! More to come.. ;)

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