Can you do this during surgery?

  • Today, I went to have minor surgery on one of my toes; nothing major; local anesthetic. I scheduled the time off a month ago, had someone cover for me, and told my boss I'd be back on-line after lunch.

    Before going in, I shut off my laptop, and turned off the ringer on my phone, but accidentally left the vibrator on.

    I'm on the table, the doctor is cutting into my toe and blood is "gushing" out of some artery that was so small I couldn't even see it, when the phone vibrates. On the second 'ring', the doctor tells me to go ahead and answer it, but just "don't move your foot". It turns out to be a project manager (not my boss) on some project that I'd been helping, who needed me to log in via my laptop/air-card and fix something that the guy who was covering for me didn't know how to do. I cut him off and told him that I was literally on the operating table being cut into. He called me a liar. I put the phone on speaker and asked the doctor to explain what he was doing. The doc says "This is Dr xxx and I'm excising a cyst, and clamping an artery; Snoofle can't get up right now". I pulled the phone back, laughed in the guys' face and hung up. The doctor, nurse and I had a good laugh.

    Of course the PM had no way of knowing that I was in surgery, so he was probably just flustered by an out-of-the-ordinary-excuse for not helping right away. However, I feel that when I go back in to work tomorrow, that some sort of context-appropriate prank needs to be pulled on this guy, but I'm drawing a blank. If it helps, I am wearing a ridiculously large air cast considering the size of the incision (2 measly stitches).


  • A wholly taped-in skull.

  • Chainsaw, meet foot.

    Or at least make sure the cast looks like it is DRIPPING in blood. That should draw some attention.

  • Childish Idea #1: Wear a long-sleeved shirt. Bring a corkscrew (one of the simple ones, not the ones with gears and flaps) with you. Hold the corkscrew in one hand and pull the sleeve down so that it covers the hand with the screw part of the corkscrew sticking out. While sitting at your desk with the cast hidden, call the PM in to see you, and when he approaches the door, start acting frustrated. Tell him it's taking you a lot of concentration to type one-handed, now that your other hand is gone.

    (For extra effect, use medical tape to wrap up the hand/corkscrew handle before entering the building, so nobody will say "you're bluffing -- I can see your hand".)

    Childish Idea #2: Take a glove. Fill the fingers thoroughly with sand (or crumpled-up paper or tissues or something similar). Put your fingers into the palm of the glove, then wrap medical tape around everything -- glove and all. Wear long sleeves, so that your real hand is hidden, and put that arm in a sling so that the sleeve length different is less noticeable. When you see the PM, tell him the doctors accidentally cut the nerves to that hand, and you're going to have to have it amputated because you can't move or feel it any more. When he (inevitably) scoffs, put the glove on a table, pull out a hammer and say "watch this", then pound each of the fingers really hard, one at a time.

    (Bonus points: tell the PM that you lost your hand because you had to answer the phone during the operation.)

  • I'm honestly not sure what's worse.  That 1) you think a prank needs to be pulled on a PM for thinking that you're excuse was BS; 2) that you ANSWERED YOUR PHONE while gushing blood; or 3) that you felt the need to give details about why you were there...

  • No idea about a prank, but if I was your coworker, I'd print you a little certificate for the heroic service you performed for your company - not even while being operated on could you stand the thought of not being immediately reachable via mobile. What a soldier!

    Also, I probably couldn't resist making Chuck Norris Facts-style jokes about you refusing full anesthesia for operations like an appendectomy or a kidney transplant because someone from the company might need you on the phone. I don't know what you'd do if they had to perform a tracheotomy... You'd probably scrawl the message onto a wall in your own blood and have someone read it out.


    It'd probably take you about two days to get so utterly sick of it that you cram the phone down my throat. 

  •  Oh come on, Snoofle is nothing like Chuck Norris. If he were truly heroic, he'd bring the surgeon to the office. nothing says 'dedicated' like wapping out a failed disk from the SAN during open-heart surgery.

  • @snoofle said:

    I cut him off and told him that I was literally on the operating table being cut into.

    Why did you cut him off? You forgot to take your laptop to the operating table?

  • This reminds me of my typical "one-up" story I tell about bosses calling.  I usually whip this out in interviews when I hear about on-call time or after hours support, or when I am talking with others about getting called after hours at inoppertune times.

    My wife and I had to schedule a time for her to be induced with my son.  We planned it out a couple weeks in advance.  I gave my work plenty of notice that I would be out.  Being a small office, everyone knew where I was and what I was doing.

    So, we were sitting in the birthing suite, letting things progress, when my phone rings.  I answer it, not bothering to look at caller-id, assuming it was a parent checking is on us.  I was wrong.  My boss called me to ask me about some project I was working on.  I don't remember what he wanted, but I remember it wasn't important, and was documented in my "things to know while I'm out" list I created.  As soon as my wife heard me mention his name, her eyes shot lasers at me (yes, women in labor CAN do this; I think it has something to do with hormones), forcing me to run and hide in the hall.  It wasn't a rare occurence for him to call after hours.  Flabbergasted, I told him to read me out-of-office list, and I would call him later.

    This boss, minus the 24/7 work mindset, was a decent guy.  Very intellegent, well seasoned, and easy to get along with.  But, in my house, his name will always be associated with one thing.

  • @snoofle said:


    Stab him in the gut and wait till he's in surgery to call for advice.

    Pros: Satisfaction.

    Cons: Cellmate named Butch.

  • I'd go for one of those "Massive Harry Headwound" getups, and tell him that they still haven't finished the surgery, but you took a break from it and came in all the way to work just to help him with his problem, and need to go back to the hospital as soon as that's finished. 

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  • @DOA said:

    Cons: Cellmate named Butch.

    You mean, like Butch Cassidy?


  • @snoofle said:



    Sleep with his wife. Always funny.

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