It has recently been brought back to my attention that people will say things to the non-doctor staff around here that they don’t, apparently, feel able to say to the doctors.
By this, I do not mean “Oh, dear, I’ve really been wanting to get this off my chest, but I don’t feel I can trouble the doctor – what do you think I should do, Nurse?” It’s a fair bet that that happens as well, but it isn’t what I am currently venting about. (Though, since I brought it up – if that’s you, then DO come and trouble the doctor. What do you think we’re here for, and whose taxes are paying our salaries anyway?)
What I mean is “I am not happy with the service I am receiving here/the service I have received at a hospital that has nothing to do with you/some random area in my sorry little life, but I am too chickenshit to discuss it with anyone who actually appears to be an authority figure, so I am going to take out my frustrations on people who are further down the food chain.”
And hence I will get patients who are nice as pie to me (well, probably not as nice as Key Lime or lemon meringue or anything, but at least in the general league of apple and blackcurrant with slightly singed crust), and I will only find out by chance, later, that they’ve left an upset and stressed-out nursing assistant or receptionist in their wake.
Now, personally I would prefer that you do not indulge in this sort of behaviour towards any of our team. I’m certainly not in a mood to deal with it either. We are, by and large, doing the best we can with fairly inadequate resources. I can assure you that our lack of perfection is something that frustrates us greatly as well and is not an attribute we’ve adopted as part of our malicious plot to annoy you.
But if you really feel compelled to act like an arse, at least have the courage of your convictions about it. If you would not feel comfortable talking in this way to the doctor, ask yourself why the hell you feel comfortable talking this way to someone who doesn’t even have the consolation of a decent salary in return. (The answer, in case you need a clue, would be “Because I am a jerk.”) Take your issues out on me or shut the hell up about them. Me, I’m voting for the latter, but those two choices are the choices you get.