And The Employee of The Month is….
Me! You might not find that so special, but as far as I know I’m the only Doc at the clinic who has ever been honored as such. I didn’t know it was coming either. Maybe it’s because I’m getting a lot of gray hair and they feel sorry for me, but I was rather proud. In spite of the fact I’m a guy it’s a clear indication I’m just one of the girls, and I take that as a compliment. The best awards are the ones who come from the people who know what goes on every day, and trust me my office ladies do.
Except for Dr. Dee, our P.A., and our X-ray tech, I work around women all day. I try to treat them all like sisters, even though I only had brothers and really don’t know exactly how to do that. I can be peculiar about my relationship with them. I don’t go out to eat with them, I don’t play golf with them, and as a doc I’ll only treat them from the neck up and the knees down. We have two lady doctors they can see for any other troubles. I don’t get into their personal problems, although they don’t seem to have many. It’s just as well, one time one of ’em got real sick and I ’bout got tore down over it. (Like you would if it was your sister I guess.)
I was proud to win that award, but the truth is I wouldn’t be the doc I am without them. My nurses have worked along side of me more than a quarter century. They always put the patient first, they’ve never shaded the truth, they do not seek personal gain, and they’ve never acted the wrong way towards me. It’s take a pretty thick-headed guy not to make a decent doc under those circumstances.
Sometimes the group will do things I don’t understand. I ain’t nobody’s Secret Santa, and I’m not much for hat day mostly ’cause I’ve got such a fat head the darn things look silly perched on top of my gray mop. When they have a party and open presents I might say a gift is precious even though I’m not sure why. I think it is sort of like when Andy Griffith tried to make Ernest T. Bass a bit more presentable for that tea party.
But they all go along with what I am. They let me play my mandolin at the Christmas party, and they understand I am particular about patient care to a fault. I can be stubborn as an old mule if anyone wants me to do something I view as potentially dangerous and I am decidedly boring. My idea of risky behavior is to hit a seven iron over the water when it might call for a six, or throw in a jazz phrase in an old-time tune.
I am protective of them. A patient is better off to test their luck cussing me than my people. One time one did, and I told him those ladies worked their hinnys off for him all day long and only got to pee twice so he’d best take his chances being mean to me instead. He declined.
Someone once said all men are dumb and all women are crazy, just in different ways and degrees. Somehow I haven’t been too dumb and my office ladies aren’t too crazy. I am dumb in a way, though. I’ll put on blinders and work like a pack mule with no complaints and expect no reward other than an apple and the satisfaction of being the best I can be. All men are dumb animals; women just have to decide what kinda dumb animal they want to live or work with.
I’ve found when you work with women you do have to pay attention to the details. If they disagree with you they ain’t gonna rassle you or punch you in the nose. They expect a civilized adult human being to understand subtlety, and they will get a little crazy if the only way you’ll pay attention is for them to hit you over the head with a two-by-four. And their verbal negotiation skills far exceed most men I’ve worked with. Maybe that’s part of how I became a writer.
Maybe I ain’t all dumb. I understood enough to be the only guy in the office who ever won Employee of the Month, and that’s good enough for me. If I make them happy enough to vote for me and I didn’t even campaign for it, I must be doing something right.
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