Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Who's the Boss?

The other day, I was stuck in traffic, and it occurred to me: I am not the boss in many of my roles I have in life.

Take my part in traffic. There was a man who was directing traffic, and he was the boss. Others in traffic did not realize it, but I certainly did. There was construction around an intersection, and he was directing us through the intersection. Okay, this is not news or a revelation.

But I saw a man make an obscene gesture towards the man, you know, give him the one-fingered salute. The flagman's reaction? He smiled, and flipped his sign over, from "Slow" to "Stop." He kept the man at the intersection far longer than was customary. And thinking back, I sort of applauded the lesson the finger-flipping man was given.

When I go to the doctor's office, I am very kind to the medical receptionist. I used to be kind just because I thought the job may be thankless, but that's when I had not really observed the medical office. Now I see that she really guides traffic, making sure patients have their vitals checked, their insurance in order, and their children controlled. And she, more than anyone else, determines when you get ushered to the exam room. In the medical room, I am certainly not the boss.

Not only does the medical receptionist tell me when I can go to the room, but once I am there, I am at the mercy of the doctor. I can't ring a button or change a tipping situation in order to command better service. I am at her mercy. And then she gets to decide whether to give me a shot (well, that argument probably works better in the pediatric world), give me a pap smear, or hit me with the rubber hammer. Yeah, me out of control.

I go to the airport, and I am definitely not the boss. The luggage has more rights than I do. Everyone with a TSA jacket and badge can pretty much do what the hell they want with me.

TSA Agent: "Touch your nose with your left index finger."

Dumb Ass Leesa: "How is that a security request."

TSA Agent (talking into radio): "We have a code orange in Terminal B. Bring the cattle prod."

Okay, it is not that bad. But they get to determine what is three ounces or five ounces, if as stick pin is some sort of dangerous weapon, and who to delay when they wave their phallic wand in your direction. Me, certainly not in charge.

I suppose that's why, when I am grocery shopping, I sprint to the "Self Check-out Line." I love being in charge of that machine. I love that I don't put my bread and canned items in the same bag, and I love that no one smirks when I say, "plastic." I re-use the damn bags all of the time. Stupid environmentalist baggers.


Prata said...

What podunk clinic/medical office/hospital etc. do you go to that the receptionist does any of those things?

Seriously, I've worked in several medical offices and three hospitals and the medical receptionist doesn't do any of that.

A medical receptionist's job is to flag that you've arrive, and print out your sheets so that the doctors know you're there and have your demographics. In some clinics the demographics are auto-printed from the arrival system on a printer in the back where a nurse picks them up and puts them on top of your record and into a bin for the doctor in question...that's been true at Cardinal Glennon, St. Mary's, Barnes-Jewish, and their outlying rad/onc clinics, Siteman Cancer Center, and Missouri Baptist (all places I've had to do work within the clinic and hospital settings..ugh).

When you get your other junk done like having your weight and demographics "researched" (read that as made certain they are correct) is entirely up to the doctor's, or if you're in a teaching facility the Fellow's or Resident's ability to finish up the patient prior to you.

I'd be very afraid of a clinic where the medical receptionist did all or any of those things, as that position requires no education other than an ability to type and answer a phone. I'm just sayin'.

Now a dentist office, that's a little more accurate. *nods solemnly*

Prata said...

Oh..and the TSA can suck one. Those bastards "randomly check" me every time I go to the flippin' airport. I don't even have to be _in_ the building lol. It's horrible!

グラント said...

The self-checkout lanes at my local grocery require a human clerk to sign off before you get your receipt and can leave. Naturally, he or she always wanders away when I'm waiting to finish. Totally not in charge there either.

And my dentist's receptionists handle all those duties of which you speak, only they fuck it up EVERY SINGLE TIME! They are the most consistently incompetent people I've ever seen. The dentist frequently has to help them straighten out their paperwork in between working on patients. If the dentist wasn't the best I've ever had AND the hottest woman alive, I'd go somewhere else.

Ian Lidster said...

As Kris Kristofferson wrote:
Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose. Somehow that seems to tie in -- or not.
All I know is that our lives are becoming increasingly controlled by 'Nazis' of all types who tell us what to eat, what to drink, how to get from points A to B, how to have sex, how to not have sex, and to always obey the rules.
Some of these things are necessary, and some of them are controlling madness, with airport security being the ghastliest of all. I don't like having illogical demands put on me by abusive 10th grade dropouts who regard nail clippers as potential lethal weapons.
Good one, Leesa.

LarryLilly said...

I guess you dont have any body piercings?

Your comments about TSA would have been different LOL

Joe said...

I'm with you. I particularly hate the TSA because, as you correctly observed, there's nothing you can do about it. I still remember the whole "probe" incident. *shudder*

Spiky Zora Jones said...

Who's the boss! I had a post about my boss and his boss yesterday too. I had to take things into my own hands. A gal has to do what she has to do sometimes and that means take charge. Presentation tomorrow...theme is emotion.

I say plastic too...I rational with...I buy less plastic at Wall Mart than I used to. Um and I'll plant another tree in my back yard.

Nice post hon.

Alice said...

ohhhh the tsa. i used to fly standby so i ALWAYS got the secondary screening. they've made me unbutton my pants and hold my waist band away from my body; put their finger under the underwire of my bra (over my shirt, but still) and pull that away from my body... i guess to see if concealed weapons clattered to the floor after being hidden in my cleavage..??? but yeah, definitely NOT in charge there.

Leesa said...

prata: my medical office is not in a medical center. I understand what you mean, otherwise. I think the TSA targets single men, and since you are not married, I guess you may travel by yourself sometimes.

grant: doesn't seem like that is self-check-out.

ian: thanks, sweetie.

larry: I know someone with body piercings, and she never gets stopped. I am talking about nipple shields.

joe: I think they hire guys who like to make people feel uncomfortable and use wands for all sorts of things.

zora: yeah, we should all be planting trees.

alice: I have never been anything but wanded. I think I just jinxed myself now.