in the beginning...
"Good morning, Dr. Dale, can I talk to you for a second?"
"Yeah, of course. Good morning. What's going on?"
"I wanted to introduce you to Miss Dahlia here. She's going to be the new site supervisor after I leave."
Jared signed a couple papers before handing them back to his nurse. "Thank you. Let him know that he's good to go. If he has any questions, I can come in before he leaves."
"Alright, thank you, doctor."
Jared turned back to Clara. She was an RN in her sixties, site supervisor for the clinical part of the hospital they worked for. Sweet and kind, but ruthless when she needed to be, he had a sweet spot in his heart for her. She acted more like his mother than his mother ever had, and even if half the time she was scowling him for being rude, he could never get mad at her. Clara had been the supervisor when he'd been hired on as practicing doctor, and now, she was getting ready to retire. Her plans were to travel with her husband who had recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer's; she didn't want to miss his best years before the disease started taking over his life, which was what would start happening soon...
"Oh, hello. Is she the one you were talking about before?"
Clara nodded to the younger woman next to her. Putting her hand on her shoulder, she added, "This is Dahlia. She's also a registered nurse. She'll be the new supervisor when I finally retire. She has experience working at the hospital, and will be on the floor when needed, so you'll more than likely see her all the time when she comes around for her rounds."
The young woman smiled pleasantly up at Jared. She stood at about 5'4", had long dark brown hair that fell over her shoulder, and friendly brown eyes. Extending out her hand, she grinned at him. "Hello, nice to meet you. I'm Dahlia Henderson."
"Jared Dale. Nice to meet you." He said shaking her hand. Compared to his hand, her hand was tiny. He wasn't the smallest guy around here and she was a tiny thing, not skinny, but curvy, from what he could see. She was wearing a pencil skirt that fell to her knees, and a neat salmon color button up blouse with sleeves that fell to her wrists.
His eyes dropped to her feet...
Ah. About three inches of her height were from the heels she was wearing. Neat black pumps covered her feet, which were also small. He found it amusing that the smallest women were the ones that usually wore the highest heels. Considering the type of profession she was in this was the last time he'd see her wearing those types of shoes. He also found it amusing to think that people in the field-- doctors, nurses, everyone in between who has to wear scrubs and uniforms-- always found the chance to dress casual and took it.
"Are you as tough as Clara over here? She can be mean sometimes." Jared asked with a grin and a nod towards the older woman.
Dahlia smiled at Clara. She had already mentioned about Dr. Dale's quirks, likes and dislikes. She didn't want to have the poor young nurse be surprised when he showed his true colors.
Jared Dale, one of the senior doctors for the Northern Regional Medical Center was very famous. Famous for his over extravagant hyper active attitude, and infamous for his quick outbursts of rude comments. He could range from nice to rude, and probably everything in between. He had a history of making nurses cry and some said that they'd quit because they couldn't deal with his overbearingness.
But the patients liked him, loved him even. While the nurses would complain, moan and groan about his antics, the patients wouldn't leave without first praising him and his smile and just friendly demeanor.
The nurses wondered why. Well, they knew. He had very good bedside manner, it was just his attitude with the rest of the staff that made it painful to work with him. They could never pin him down, couldn't figure out how he truly was. Some days, when he was in a good mood, they could work with him, even think that he was nice and maybe they were making a big deal. Some days, it was like a different person.
They attributed a lot of his mood swings to his mother, who would show up to visit him randomly during the year, causing him to be in a constant terrible attitude for the next two weeks after she was gone. She'd come in unannounced and wait for him in his office. Those were the only times that they felt bad for him and would actually try to warn her of her presence in the building. Knowing exactly how she was, it was almost like he could sense her presence and would avoid his office until absolutely necessary.
"It depends. Will you be good? Because I can be tough, too. I worked in a psych ward before, so..." Dahlia added, and Jared laughed. It wasn't a lie as she had spent the initial months after graduating working at a lock down facility. She wanted to throw it out there that she could deal with crazy, hopefully with him not taking it as meaning he was crazy.
"I like her." He said to Clara, "She doesn't mince her words."
Clara nodded. Right away, from the moment she had met and interviewed Dahlia, she knew she was going to be perfect for the job. Perfect for dealing with Jared's mood swings. She did have psych experience after all... "Yes. Just don't scare her off too quickly. I like her, too, and I think she's going to do a great job."
"I'm not that bad," he commented with a roll of his eyes. Dahlia nodded. He didn't look too mean. He looked like a friendly Hulk- tall, tanned, with dark blond hair. Broad shoulders, straight jawline, he looked pretty ... big. Not like buff big, but more like, his overall body frame was big and tall. She noticed the way that his eyes would get a mischievous gleam when he smiled, and he smiled broadly at Clara.
He couldn't be that bad, could he?
She liked to give people the benefit of doubt, so she just had to wait and see what happened.
"Well, we'll see, won't we?" She added with a smile. Clara noticed the way that Jared was eyeing the younger woman. She didn't think that it would be such a horrible working relationship, but quite the opposite. Something in the way they interacted made her feel hopeful that something good would come from it...
"Dr. Dale, the patient has a question to ask you. Can you go talk to him really quick? I tried to explain to him everything else you told me, but he's not really... Gah! He wants to hear it from the doctor, he said not the nurse." Dahlia watched as the nurse made bunny ears. She sounded frustrated. "He's not very nice. I'll be at my desk, if you need me."
"Alright. I'll go." Turning back to the two women, he grinned widely again. "Well, duty calls. Clara, I'll talk to you later, okay." He turned to Dahlia, giving her a wink. "I'll see you around." He waved at them and turned to walk away.
Dahlia blinked, a slight blush rising over her cheeks. What the...
"He's very nice when he wants to be."
"Yeah," Dahlia shook herself off, "He doesn't seem too bad."
"He's really a sweetheart, just his temper gets the best of him sometimes. I would just say, tread carefully, but don't let him walk over you."
She followed behind Clara who led her through several hallways, pointing out supply rooms, emergency exits. She introduced her to several of the other nurses on the floor. Finally, they headed back to Clara's office, which was soon to be Dahlia's.
"Alright. Do you have any other questions or concerns?"
"Not really. I like this place. It seems very well organized. The nurses were very friendly. The other doctors seemed very professional and friendly as well. Even Dr. Dale was nice." She grinned at Clara. "He seems like a goof, to be honest. He doesn't have a face that says he's rude or obnoxious."
"Oh, girl, you met him for about five minutes. Wait until it's been years." Clara looked thoughtful for a minute. "I think you'll do fine. Don't let the things he says get to you, sometimes he gets upset and starts spouting off nonsense. Don't let him walk over you either. He's nice, he's funny, but he can be very hardheaded and mean as well. Respect comes first. Just be sure that he understands that he needs to respect you, okay?"
"Alright, well, I think that's all for today. I'll keep in contact with you regarding training days, okay. Maybe next week we can start on working the electronic system and paperwork information."
"Yes. That sounds good." Dahlia got to her feet. "Thank you, Clara. I'll keep my ears open for your call."
Clara nodded, shaking hands with the younger woman. "I'll keep you posted."
"Thank you. Bye now." Dahlia smiled warmly at the older woman, turning to go.
Clara thought for a moment.
She was good. Dahlia would be good for Jared. She was sweet, friendly, a little reserved, but what she lacked in loudness, she made up in brains and courage. She was spunky underneath all that initial shyness. She noticed the way that Jared had seemed interested in the girl, the way that he had quickly done a once-over, trying to be casual, uninterested, but the girl had definitely caught his attention. He hadn't said anything else, but Clara knew that they would make a good team. He needed to be brought down a peg or two and Dahlia would be that person for the job.
"Clara, Clara, you're evil," she said to herself, smiling as she turned back to her computer screen to check her emails.