The afternoon hours flew by as Joy helped Dr. Miles handle one patient after another in rapid succession. She was her usual cheerful, competent self. As closing time came around, she noticed Dr. Miles becoming quiet and peevish.
“Are you feeling all right, Dr. Miles?” Joy inquired. “Can I get you something? A cold water perhaps?” Without waiting for him to answer, she rushed to the tiny break room and fetched a bottle of water from the common supply.
When she came back, Dr. Miles abruptly stopped filling out Dasher’s file. A dozen emotions flitted across his face, but finally, he settled on anger and sorrow. “You’re fired,” he said, turning back to the file.
The comment blindsided Joy. She stood in the doorway repeating the words in her mind.
You’re fired. You’re fired. You’re fired.
“What?” Joy asked, certain she had heard something wrong. “You can’t do that, sir.”
Dr. Miles ignored her but had the grace to blush.
Both of them knew she had a point.
“What did I do? Don’t I get two weeks notice? What happened? Why?” This last question contained absolute bewilderment. Tears burned Joy’s eyes, but she held them in check by focusing on her anger. Knowing she had to go on the offensive or fall to emotional pieces, Joy cleared her throat. Despite her best efforts, her voice still
shook. “You owe me an explanation, Dr. Miles.”
“You’re fired. That’s everything you need to know!”
Anger was etched on every line of his face, but somehow Joy knew the anger wasn’t directed at her. This left her even more confused and hurt.
“Like hot sauce it is!”