So I'm at work today, and I'm at the nurses station, amidst the cacophony of the unit, simultaneously on the phone with an outside therapist, text paging my attending, trying to keep one of my freakinawesomeintern's more irritating patients at bay, and trying to keep my black-belted freakinawesomeintern from slugging said patient...when one of freakinawesomeintern's other more annoying patients jumps up so he is leaning onto the counter, pushed up on his forearms, feet off the ground, and leaning so far forward he's about six inches from freakinawesomeintern's face. He said something to her, and I didn't hear what, but I quickly interrupted Outside Therapist with a, "hang on." And I covered the mouthpiece of the phone and I gave him what my friend Robin would describe as a "teacher look." You know - the very pointed, you know you're not supposed to be doing that, you'd better stop it now or there's going to be hell to pay, every schoolchild fears this look, that teacher look.
And I said - again, very directly - "You need to get down off that counter. Right. Now."
He backs about halfway off (this is when I knew I was going to win), and says, "Why?" I said, "Do you want to go into seclusion?" And then he was like, yeah, seclusion would be fun, blah, blah, blah.
That was a gaffe. What I should've said was something more along the lines of, "If you don't get down, we will put you in seclusion." Or, even better, said nothing. But I recovered with my best alpha dog staredown (in which you look fixedly and directly into one eye - normally we look back and forth between someone's eyes. Only looking into one produces a much more unwavering stare and thus confers much more dominance). He mouthed off to me a bit, but backed off, and walked away.
Later, I walked on to the unit, and he gives me this shadowboxing bob-and-weave kind of maneuver. I gave him the teacher look again, and pulled out my best Dog Whisperer calm assertive energy. He backed down immediately.
It never fails to amaze me how much people are like dogs.
And how unlike dogs they are. Because dogs let go of things, run back and play, tails wagging.
And that was just one of our patients.
People are crazy.
My head hurts.