Ninapintasantamaria's Blog

{April 2, 2009}   Dr R.

Remember I told you about my forays into the specimen riddled world of thoracic surgery?  Well.  Yesterday, I was in there again and, as usual, Dr R was in a pissy mood.  He kept throwing off specimens right and left to be sent to pathology.  Now, I know how to do this, backward and forward, but he leaves out key information as a matter of routine.  I then have to ask him to clarify, and then he gets pissier.  Lather, rinse, repeat, every week, twice a week.  Yesterday, instead of just answering my questions appropriately albeit impatiently, he turned to me and said “Just like always, Nina, just like always.  I always send these the same way every time!  Why do you keep bothering me?”  Oh heeeeyyyelll no.  That sonovabitch is NOT talking to ME that way!  Now.  You all know about my lack of filter, and my tolerance level to being spoken to like I’m stupid.  Hmmm…..didn’t bode well for him, you think?  You would be right!  I’d already heard about how he was rude in the same manner to his other circulator in his other room (He gets 2 rooms every day, since he brings so many cases.  It speeds up the process, and gets him home by 5pm instead of 12 midnight.) and had told her not to let him talk that way to her!  I’d had enough.  I caught him in the hallway and laid into him.  Chewing his ass in front of God and everybody.  What follows is a transcript of our conversation:

Me:  Dr R, may I borrow you briefly?

Him: Yes?  (Eyes open expectantly, as though this were a dinner invitation.)

Me:  Look, I’m not stupid, and it is NOT my 1st day!  DO not talk to me like that.  You DON’T  always do the same thing, and I can’t assume from one day to the next what you’re thinking.  I’m not a mind reader.  We have to ask these questions to make sure you don’t have a wild hair up your ass today!

Him:  (Backing up, as I’m directly in his face at decibel levels only slightly lower than a shuttle explosion, finger pointing away)  Well, I’m sorry, but I get frustrated that y’all are asking questions that you already know the answers to!  My job is hard.  I don’t want you to assume every day…

Me: (Interrupting, at this point, as he’s about to say something REALLY stupid) I know your job is hard!  I’m not belittling that!  But I can’t assume you want this each and every time, because sometimes you send frozen specimens, and sometimes you want permanent!  Sometimes you want cultures, and sometimes you don’t!  Sometimes you want the blue tissue stapler and sometimes you want green!  We can’t assume one day, and not assume the next.  We have to clarify!  Irene and I work very hard to take care of you and get you what you want and need every day!  We do NOT deserve to be talked to like that!!  And, speaking of Irene, she’s been your circulator for 6 years!  I’ve only been here 3!  If she has to still ask questions, I’m damn sure gonna have to!  I’m not having it.  I refuse.

Him:  I’m sorry.  I’m concentrating and getting questions from the field, and out there too, and the phone’s ringing, and the pager’s going off, and it just gets distracting.  I think you and Irene do a very good job.

Me:  Thank you.  I appreciate that.  However, you rarely treat us like we do.

Him:  Well, I’ll try to be more flexible, but try to keep the questions to a minimum?

Me:  Certainly.  Thank you.

And that’s how it’s done.  There, now, that was easy, don’t you think?

et cetera