A Slap in the Face

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January 29, 2005 at 12:31 am

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Justin called me this evening (Friday) to relay a message left on our home answering machine at 3:45 PM; I was at my parents enjoying an overdue visit with them and my brother. The message was from the scheduler at my knee specialist’s office.

Here’s the content of the message, nearly verbatim:

“Hi, Shannon! This is [name-omitted-to-protect-the-guilty] at Dr. D’s office. You have surgery scheduled to reconstruct your ACL on the 4th, but I have a little girl, a senior in high school, who really wants to have her surgery on the 4th because of her Senior Prom. If you would be willing to give her your surgery date, we can try to fit you in on the 11th, so please call ….”

This pisses me off on so many levels.

First off, who the hell calls a female senior in high school a “little girl,” except her own parents or grandparents?

It would be different if she was 12 years old or younger — you know, actually a little girl …or if she was a student and moving up her surgery a week would prevent her from failing …or any million other more valid reasons I can think of without trying.

Ideally, the only reason the doctor’s office should call another surgical patient to reschedule is for an EMERGENCY, but see, I am flexible. But for cosmetic reasons for someone’s senior prom? Puh-leeze!

Justin and other family members have already requested time off work for my surgery and post-operative care. I’ve already stressed through one week of pre-surgical preparation and spent time exercising, planning and getting situated so I’ll have a comfortable and productive recovery period (particularly while I’m confined to the first floor of our home).

Afterall, our business doesn’t cease to exist just because I’m recouperating from surgery. So this request, this favor I’m being manipulated (”little girl”) into wanting to grant, is a slap in the face. It’s unprofessional.

I don’t give a flying flip about some “little girl” and her senior prom.

I shouldn’t have to. A senior prom just doesn’t rank up there in my mental criterion of “Worthy Reasons to Ask Strangers to Make Sacrifices for You.”

Somehow it’s my problem this “little girl” may have to attend her prom on crutches and in a leg brace? Has no one considered that Life Happens and this may be a perfect exposure to adulthood for this “little girl”?

If I understand their message correctly, she’s already got the 11th scheduled for her surgery; how is moving up her surgery by one week going to somehow secure/ensure her senior prom?

This pisses me off more than I can articulate, perhaps because I cannot wrap my mind around it — cannot understand it.

It’s a personality flaw — I look for logic in all things, and I can spin my wheels looking for logic where there is none.

There is no logic, but the reality in this case is one of two things: (1) “little prom girl” is a relative of the doctor or someone on the doctor’s staff, or (2) “little miss prom” and her mommy were so melodramatic that the doctor’s office is willing to antagonize one or more other patients just to (potentially) shut them up.

TO “A LITTLE GIRL”:

Welcome to adulthood, missy.

If your prom is so damn important that it can’t be “marred” by a leg brace and/or crutches, why don’t you postpone your surgery until after the blessed event? What, I couldn’t hear that — Because you don’t want to wait any longer than you have to? Because it hurts? Because you’re scared with every step you take that you’ll fall and get hurt worse? Because you want the healing to start as soon as possible? Well, then, honey, that’s possibly the first thing I can see that we have in common. Good luck with your surgery… on the 11th!

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