We all have days that we consider bad sometimes, and to be honest, I think we all realize that the word “bad” definitely has a sliding scale. Just because I was impatient and my kids wouldn’t stop talking and the dog got sick on the carpet all in the first hour I woke up, that doesn’t mean I think I’m having the worst day ever.
Some jobs, like medical personnel, can have terrible days, a fact that the woman in this story probably should have remembered before opening her mouth.
OP is a paramedic, and on this day received a call that I imagine no EMS person wants to get – a baby who isn’t breathing.
Back story: I’m a 29M and I’ve been in EMS for almost 7 years, but I’ve only been a paramedic on a department for about a year. Now onto the story.
This happened a few shifts ago. We got a call at 0600 for a pediatric full arrest. When we got on scene, my heart dropped. The parents said that they put their 6mo to bed last night and then went to bed.
When dad was about to leave for work, he opened the door to see his baby before leaving and noticed that the baby wasn’t breathing.
There was nothing he or anyone else could do by the time they got there since the baby had passed hours before, and it was left to OP to comfort the parents as best as he could.
When he got off work he called a friend to see if he could come over and talk it out (how emotionally healthy!).
I stood there for a minute thinking about how I was going to tell these new parents the bad news. The baby was cold to the touch, pale, and lividity had set in… their baby died in the middle of the night. I tried to convey my sympathy to them and told them that it wasn’t their fault and tragedies like this happen. The parents were understandably inconsolable.
The rest of the shift was silent. When I got home, I kept running that conversation with the parents in my head over and over again.I called up my friend and asked him if I could come over to talk.
When the friend’s fiancee got home complaining about her day, the guys kind of rolled their eyes, knowing what OP had been through with the baby and the parents.
That’s when the fiancee lashed out at OP, calling him lazy and saying she couldn’t imagine how his day could have been that bad.
I went to his apartment and we talked for hours about it. I was just an emotional wreck because this was my first infant death. He tried to get me through this as best he could, but then his fiancé came home from work. She came in the front door and instantly started complaining that she had the “worst day ever” because a customer gave her attitude.
When she walked into the living room and saw me, she said “I had a bad day and I don’t want people over so you need to leave right now.” When my friend said that something terrible happened to me at work she looked at him and said “All he does is sit around, watch TV, and play Xbox. How terrible can it be?”
She just wouldn’t quit, at which point OP snapped and told her exactly what had made his day so horrible.
My friend and I were stunned. She kept going on and on about how I basically do 10 minutes of work on my 24hr shifts and she works so much harder than me. I was already in a bad place emotionally and hearing her say all those things just made my blood boil.
I finally looked her in the eyes, and said “You don’t know what a bad day even looks like! You were mildly annoyed for 5 minutes and that’s it. I had to look 2 new parents in the eyes and tell them that their baby died last night while they were sleeping!
Just the THOUGHT of knowing they called us to save their baby and I was powerless to do anything kills me inside, but I know that, no matter how bad I feel, they are feeling much much worse. Now tell me, do YOU still think you’re having a bad day?” And then I stormed out.
His friend said his fiancee had been basically inconsolable ever since, and maybe he should have been more sensitive.
My friend called me a few days later to check up on me. I was doing better by then and had more time to process everything. He went on to say that he had a long talk with his fiancé about what happened and said that what I told her really messed with her. She has been crying on and off since I left.
I feel like I may be the AH because I lashed out at her in rage and I could have handled that better. So AITA?
Well, should he have? Let’s hear what Reddit has to say about it!
First comment basically says “play stupid games, win stupid prizes.”
We’re hoping she’s going to learn from it, but I’m not convinced.
Always assume someone else’s day could be worse.
The old “walk in someone else’s shoes standard…
They don’t think her upset is his problem.
I definitely don’t think OP was wrong to get upset with how she was treating him or her assumptions, but he also doesn’t know her full history, and miscarriage or infant loss could be a part of it – which could complicate whether or not the details were required.
What do you say? Tell me in the comments!