Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The bell curve blues

One of the perks of this job is that I get to wear my pajamas at work.  Nothing is more comfortable than a set of cool, thin cotton scrubs and a well ventilated clog shoe.  Unless, the scrubs don't fit.  The medium scrub pants make me look like I am trying out for the BeeGees.  The extra-large pants always seem to invite a comment from one of the nurses, though they will do in a pinch, you cannot see my shoes when I wear them, like a Franciscan monk, or Dopey the dwarf.  The medium shirt just doesn't work.  I do an unconscious Hulk impression, ripping the shirt in half as I bend over to examine a patient.  The extra large shirt's v-neck nearly bottoms out just above my belly button, so it is equally ridiculous.  You may ask. "But, where have the size large all gone?"  And I will answer, as you may guess, that size large is the size occupied by about 75% of all of the people here, but not proportionally represented in the clothery. 

When it comes to the scrubs, they represent a largess of donated, or, frankly, stolen, surgical attire.  They have various stamps of ownership from around the world's hospitals.  The other day, my tunic said, Sacred Heart, and on my fanny read, Property of the US Government (so true, indeed).  But due to some atrocious miscalculation, there are the same number of extra small scrubs as there are size large.  My friend, the Lilliputian pediatrician comes with smart new color of perfectly tailored scrubs daily.  Today, in order to find a garment that fit, I had to endure a chartreuse tunic with white tulips. 

As per standard ethos in the military, there is a unofficial "workaround" for this.  I was informed by a veteran of 5 months here, that due to the difficulty of finding scrubs, she just takes 3 sets that fit her when she finds them (mind you, a large woman), and rotates them through her own laundry, thereby keeping herself flush with well fitting attire, and leaving me in chartreuse.  This is where the saying, "If you cannot beat 'em, join 'em," comes from because fixing this is just not worth the clear discontent I would cause.

Take that and think of the clothing sales at our little Iraqi BX.  They sell PT gear here - which is good, as with the heat, you wear 2 sets a day, and no matter who you speak to prior to coming, you never bring enough of those T shirts.  Unfortunately, they haven't had one large t-shirt there in my 12 stops since arriving.  There are, however, several bins of 4XXXX large.  I mean, is there anyone actually that big in the military at all?  How about throwing a bone to all of the people who sit on the fat part of the bell curve?

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