Wwaaaaayyyyyy long time ago I had a patient insult me by laughing and telling me that if my brain was dynamite I couldn't blow a pea apart. When I was talking to another, more experienced nurse about it, she laid her hand on my arm and said "Well, honey, which one of you passed out drunk and dropped a lit cigarette on your lap? Just take it all with a grain of salt." Many times since , I have held that grain of salt and held my tongue. Except once.....a very ,very wealthy patient who was my first PD case seemed to always think everyone was out to take advantage of her moneyed status. Every week she had her "house-.boy" buy two gallons of milk, so IN CASE her young grandsons came to visit her she would have milk to serve with their lunch. One day I realized I'd left my thermos of milk at home that morning, so when I took my lunchbreak, I got my sandwich out of my satchel and then went into the kitchen and poured myself a glass of HER milk. I mean, they always poured out the milk that was unused before the shopping trip when they would buy two fresh gallons. Well, her house-boy reported to her that I had helped myself to a glass of milk, I guess, because the next day this veddy proper wealthy lady lambasted me with language that would make a marine blush, accusing me of stealing milk from her poor grandbabies mouths and how everyone thought that just because she had money, etc.,etc.,etc. I was shocked, to say the least, and I very seldom spoke up at that time in my life, but somewhere from inside me came this reprimand which to this day I still can't believe I had rudeness to verbalize:"... Let me tell you something LADY, I don't give a **** about your money, and since you throw away 2 gallons of milk every week, I don't consider taking 8 oz. of your milk to be stealing And furthermore, if you can't be civil to me and treat me with common courtesy, I don't need to be here at all!" Then I walked outside to my car and sat there and cried. After I regained my composure I went back inside prepared to apologize and expecting to be fired. To my great surprise, SHE apologized to ME, and for the remaining year and 1/2 that I worked for her,she was always telling everyone that I was the best nurse she'd ever had. I'm thinking everyone tiptoed around her, falling all over themselves while being simultaneously obsequiesce and fearful, no one had ever just stated flat out right back at her the-way-it-was. (and I always remembered to bring my own milk,lol)........I once had a very mouthy, crabby quad pt. who grumbled, when I said the folks at my agency said he could tell me how to take care of him, "I don't see why they are always sending me nurses to train; I thought that's why you went to school, to learn how to take care of people. I told him that my first job in nursing was taking care of quads and that the one true thing I'd learned was that everyones injuries affected their body differently, so that, while I did know the basics, it was up to him to tell me what worked for him and what didn't. He carried on about how nobody paid him to be a teacher. About the third time he said that, I remembered I had a $5 bill in my pocket, so I brought it out , slapped it on his chest and said, "Well here"s five bucks ; that ought to be about enough for thirty minutes. START TEACHING!" He looked at me with his mouth wide open and his eyes big and round. And we got through the rest of the visit without incident. I did NOT want to go back the next day, but he was on my schedule so I did. The first thing he said to me was that I'd forgotten to take my $5 bill when I left. I said, " Oh, no, you earned that money, remember?" He told me he had been thinking all last night about what I said and that I was right, and he apologized.(my supervisor at the time did not believe me when I told her he had apologized to me. She said, Well, if he did that's the first time THAT'S ever happened") The third visit, I brought the $5 bill...framed! and hung it in his wall. We laughed and laughed over that and forever after we always had the best time when I was assigned to him.....................Oh, and Viva, something you said about staffing reminded me of a quote, which I will have to paraphrase a little since I don't have it handy at the moment: THERE IS NO WORSE FEELING THAN THAT OF THE DEEP-SEA DIVER WHO RECEIVES THE MESSAGE FROM THE SHIP ABOVE HIM : COME UP AT ONCE , WE ARE SINKING.