Thursday, October 07, 2010

The Lengths We'll Go

As I mentioned yesterday, I recently had a little medical crisis and ended up in a hospital emergency room after teaching a class. By going to the ER after my class, my husband and I both missed a faculty meeting.

As I lay on an ER gurney hooked up to lots of machines and with an IV port in one arm and lots of people coming and going to ask me to quantify my pain level on a scale of 1 to 10 etc. etc., I wondered whether I would rather be at the faculty meeting or in the ER. I had to think about it, and not just because I wasn't entirely lucid.

During a lull in the activity, as the machines were quietly beeping and I was waiting for some test results, I asked my husband whether it was better to have a medical emergency of a serious-but-not-fatal sort or to go to a faculty meeting, and he had to think about it as well, and not just because I was the one lying on the gurney.

So here comes what may be my second strangest poll ever: If you knew in advance that you weren't going to die or be otherwise seriously impaired for a long time, would you rather spend a few hours in an ER being stabbed, medicated, and monitored, or would you rather spend the same amount of time in a faculty meeting? (the following are invalid answers: all of the above, I wish we could have faculty meetings in the emergency room, none of the above, hamsters).

ER or faculty meeting?
ER
faculty meeting
pollcode.com free polls

30 comments:

A Life Long Scholar said...

I'll take the meeting. One can work on a sewing or other hand-project during a meeting, but not while strapped to a table with an IV in one's arm.

Anonymous said...

As a patient safety researcher, I'd have to go with the faculty meeting. Your colleagues might make you feel like you're going to die, but healthcare-acquired infections alone kill more people every year than car accidents, and that's just one of the things that can go wrong in the ER (despite the best efforts of highly-trained, dedicated clinicians).

Comrade PhysioProf said...

Where are they giving me opiates, in the faculty meeting or in the emergency room?

LMH said...

I answered faculty meeting, as I have been to the ER and not a faculty meeting. They can't be that bad - although if I had to go to the ER once in a year to be done with all faculty meetings in a year, I'd do it.

Cheesey Chemist said...

Last time I was in the ER, I really enjoyed it because of the hydromorphone. It was sooooo nice to have my brain slowed down.

The next day I seriously considered leaving grad school and becoming a heroin addict.

My therapist was not so happy to hear this revelation.

Anonymous said...

I think faculty meetings are fun! ER's tend to smell bad....on the other hand so do some of my colleagues.

Anonymous said...

Faculty meeting...not because it's less painful, but because it takes less time, which means I can get back to work sooner (bonus: no insurance co-pay).

C said...

Faculty meeting wins (I can read other stuff whilst it is going on).

However I did once have the opportunity to directly compare grading with root canal surgery. The root canal won hands down, in fact I nearly cried. For an hour, someone was taking care of me, but the rest of the week was just torture. We had a vast amount to mark and almost no time to do it in - 200 scripts collected on late Thursday were supposed to be graded and checked and the marksheet in by Monday.

The dentist liked this story a lot.

Prof-like Substance said...

Hmmm, more vomit at the ER, but maybe less bile. Maybe before I bought a smart phone I might have chosen the ER, but now I can catch up on email while my colleagues talk in circles.

Anonymous said...

Faculty meeting. I have not been to any so far, but i've spent 2 days (1 yr apart) in ER. And it is BORING. really really boring. You just lie/sit there waiting for somebody to come and test something else.
I would take anything but ER (unless I am dying, of course)!!

Anonymous said...

You said this is the second strangest poll you've ever done. What's the winner?

Psycgirl said...

Hmmm... It depends. Are we fighting at the faculty meeting (and thus it's kind of interesting) or is it just boring, boring business?

gasstationwithoutpumps said...

Our faculty meetings are usually short and to the point---especially now that we have a new chair who keeps things moving. No long waiting like in emergency rooms.

Actually faculty meetings have never been all that bad, as I've always been in departments that only had faculty meetings when there was something to be done. When there was nothing that need to be decided, meetings were canceled.

(If only the dean would do the same thing for the annual faculty "retreat": http://gasstationwithoutpumps.wordpress.com/2010/09/16/faculty-retreat/.)

Anonymous said...

Although I don't dislike faculty meetings, I would almost have to say I prefer the ER. As a biomedical type, I view the ER as being much more interesting.

Notorious Ph.D. said...

Last time I was in the ER, I had to pay a pretty hefty bill a few weeks later. So far, no one's charged admission to a faculty meeting, and often there are cookies. So I'll take the meeting.

Alex said...

The wait in the ER is longer than most faculty meetings.

But the correct answer is "Just put me out of my misery now!"

FrauTech said...

See in industry it's all conference calls...so you could have both. In the ER, on your bluetooth for your stupid conference call. I voted ER, but for non in-person meetings have the benefit of looking at lolcats while your colleagues talk in circles.

nicole said...

Important question: Is the faculty meeting catered? If it is a good free lunch, then definitely faculty meeting. If it's in the afternoon with no food... that's hard!

Cheesy Chemist-- when I was doing a relaxation class, the teacher was unnerved during the exercise when we were supposed to think of a calm, pleasurable moment, and mine was being hit up with valium (right before dental surgery). I remember thinking, "I feel so calm. Wow, I totally understand why people are addicted to this ... *blackout*"

ChemProf said...

This post was very timely - under ordinary circumstances I might have voted for Faculty Meeting: we had a very scary time one with my husband in the ER, and I didn't enjoy the anxiety at all. But after our faculty meeting yesterday, when the chair did nothing but dictate, berate and belittle, I voted for ER.

Also, I can't believe the people who are giving serious reasons for avoiding the ER in these comments. I guess they have never experienced a faculty meeting as bad as mine.

I like LMH's answer too.

Anonymous said...

I picked the faculty meeting. Although, we have had TWO people in our department "coincidentally" schedule their root canals during our meeting timeslot. I do think that says something.

Female Science Professor said...

Our faculty meetings are not catered, but I don't think lunch or cookies would change my mind about them.

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering how many people get free food at their faculty meetings? [Food you have to chip in for personally does not count -- I've heard of this!] I think a tray of seminar-type cookies would make the difference -- otherwise, I choose ER.

Dr. Rural said...

Definitely the ER. I live in a small town and have had reason to visit the emergency room about four times in the past six years. Every time the doctors and nurses were quick and helpful, and the other patients were quiet and well-behaved. Plus, I got to sit around reading magazines instead of taking notes on committee assignments or arguing about online classes.

Anonymous said...

At least in the ER, everyone is paying attention to me and taking what I say seriously.

Ann said...

i really hate ERs, but might take a dentist visit over a faculty meeting

Marisa said...

Faculty meetings are free, and sometimes have food!

Anonymous said...

Twenty-five years ago I was pulled out of a faculty meeting by college security to go to the ER. My husband had collapsed. When I left I was a widow, not yet 30.

Faculty meeting any day.

Anonymous said...

Anon, that's horrible; so sorry about your loss. I can't help noting, however, that the post did specify non-fatal and not even very serious situations in the ER.

Andrea said...

Definitely E.R. particularly after you get out of the waiting room and the hard chairs to lying down on the bed with nothing to do but close your eyes and wait for people to come in who are just going to take blood, not ask for grades, recc letters, reports, the spring schedule etc....(Apparently I would also rather be in the E.R. than my office)

Anonymous said...

At least you can walk out of a faculty meeting, like I did the other day!

There are many a times the daycare calls and I have to take my son to get examined -- and the "mental break" and extra time with my son does feel good sometimes (although the work piles up and I feel guilty after). So, I can empathize with why a harmless visit to the ER can provide a relief.