One of my bosses has been stuck in Poor Me *Whiner Mode* for several months now.
Note to self: Things Not To Say To Employees:
“What should I do with this?” (tosses phone message at me). Umm, gee there, Sparky, I dunno. How about you figure it out because you, not me, are the freakin’ doctor, hmm?
“You are all here to help me.” Oh? Do you need your ass wiped as well as kissed and then nose-polished, there, Supreme Being Whom I Adore For No Apparent Reason?
“None of you are working as hard as I am.” Really? Well, since you returned from a Hawaiian vacation less than 72 hours ago, what exactly do you think the rest of us were doing while you burnt your pale, speckly, cellulite ass in the Polynesian sun? I can rule one thing out for you, WE weren’t lying on the beach when not enjoying some bloated boogie-boarding.
“See? People calling in with health problems is how I get screwed over. Everyone’s out to get me, and this is how they start.” Really, I mistakenly thought that AS A PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN, you were supposed to address people’s ongoing health problems. How exactly am I wrong about this?
Gee, I’m sorry, but I was under the impression that you jumped in your late-model white convertible every evening and motored home to your luxurious home in the Oakland Hills, with the pool and music studio and your wife and child. While I take a shuttle (I no longer can afford a car) home to one cockroach-infested room in Oakland that harbors my… cat. Yes, I feel so sorry for ya, there, buddy boy.
I am constantly being placed in between you and everyone else, in a way I don’t appreciate.
You tell me over and over again you don’t want new patients. You then tell E, “Sure, when you have new people coming in, call and see if I’ll follow them.” So they call, begging me to get you to accept a patient when I am certain you won’t. Because you told them in person to call, they won’t accept my “no”. I give you the message and do you just call them and say “No?” Why no, you don’t. You don’t contact them at all, leaving me to make up some excuse.
When the R’s call over the space of a few weeks, asking you to take their friends, do you respond? No. Is Eve pissed? Yes. Do I feel like defending you? No. Do you ever call her at all? No, you gave me back the note alluding that I should call her and refer them to Dr. R. Coward.
If you don’t want patients then tell them no. They don’t listen to me, because for the last five years, regardless of the receptionist, they have known to get your last word because it probably won’t be “no”. Blaming me for this does no one any good, and it’s not my fault. The same is true of people just “stopping in.” Contrary to what you seem to believe, I don’t call the patients in the morning and ask them to come in and surprise you just to see the look on your face.
I’d be happy to help you draft a letter to your patient population:
“Thanks so much for being my patient, however I do have one request. Please do not refer your friends and relatives to my practice. I have too many patients as it is, and would like to make sure that your wait time for an appointment, does not grow any larger.”
You seem to view every new patient as a sin against you, perpetrated by me, even when you admit it wasn’t my “fault”. Jerry N’s wife was accepted by you six months ago. Yet you threw a fit about her, then threw your appointment book at my desk when you realized you had done so saying, “You got me.” I did not GET you, you got yourself. You then blamed N for getting you to accept Jerry in the first place. All this could have been avoided had you simply said, “No.” Yet it’s blamed on me.
This demonstration not being sufficient, you returned not three minutes later to give me a long and impassioned speech about how “they” get you, and how “they” will continue to get you until the end of time. And I’m supposed to do….what about that? I don’t even know who “they” are.
Because your persistent complaints seem to be, “I don’t want new patients, nor half the ones I have; I work more than anyone else on the planet; it seems to me that you would like to not work as much, see fewer patients, have a smaller patient load, and more days off. How about you just admit that and change your hours, rather than being all stoic until you fly off the freakin’ handle again?
If you truly feel that you have the worst lot in life on the planet, that the whole world is out to get you, and that you are powerless to do anything on your behalf, well, I’d call that depression and seek help. Oh wait, I did. Perhaps it’s your turn.
I know it worked for three years to yell at B til she cried once or twice a month. I’m not B, so let’s work out a different solution.
Published by Lnews 8-8-2005