This publication is from my growing collection of paperback books. It’s a first edition, and it was published in 1961. Nurses have always been portrayed angels of mercy, or as loose women in popular culture. This book takes the latter approach. The book’s main character is Eleanor. She is the eavesdropper who is listening in on her friend’s conversation. According to the author, Eleanor has a million-dollar body and no mind of her own. I hate to disillusion the porn crowd, but I’ve never met a nurse who didn’t have a mind of her own. Mindless nurses only exist in the mind of smutty writers. On the other hand, I’ll admit that not all nurses are angels. I once worked with a young woman who worked her way through nursing school as a call girl, and I’ve just starting working with a woman who wished that she had Eleanor’s million-dollar body.

I met my new coworker last night. She’s a very nice older lady with graying hair, three grown children, two grandchildren, and her husband who just retired. Half way through our shift, she turned to me and said that she needed some advice. She said that she is under a lot of financial stress, and that the other nurses had told her that I’m always looking for new opportunities, and that I always have creative ideas. She told me that she was getting behind on her mortgage payment, and she asked if I had any ideas about how she could make some extra money.

I listened to her plight, and then I asked her what she liked to do in her spare time, and where her strengths and talents lie. She thought a moment, and then said that she likes working with people, that she is a good listener, and that she likes making people happy. Then she quickly added that she was thinking about working in the sex industry. After a moment of stunned silence, and I asked her if she thought she might be a little too old to stand on a street corner all night while wearing four inch stiletto high heel shoes. She looked surprised by my response, and said that she was thinking about working as a phone sex operator from home. She said that she was too old to turn tricks, but that she enjoyed talking dirty to her husband over the phone. She wanted to know if I thought that she could parlay her talents into a new, lucrative career. What could I say?

I wished her luck in achieving her career goals in the New Year.