Rude Is Never Right

“But she’s so good at what she does.”

That was the response I received from a nurse at the office of the rudest, most obnoxious, unprofessional doctor I’ve ever had the unfortunate luck to come in contact with.

It all began when I accompanied my mom to the opthalmologist for a laser procedure that, although considered routine, left her a bit wary.

The prospect of having anyone shoot laser beams into my eyes is enough to coax my last meal through my system pretty quickly.  But I played the role of the good daughter and went along to offer comfort and support. 

Having done extensive research about what my mom was about to encounter, I accompanied her to the doctor’s office, confident that all would be fine.

Initially, I was not allowed into the room where the procedure would take place.   But about 30 seconds after she was escorted in, I was called into the room.

At first, I thought it was a kind gesture from a doctor who reconized that medical success is often contingent upon loving support.

But I had the wind knocked out of me when that very same doctor — who I was meeting for the first time — greeted me with the following in fast and furious Spanish.

“Look, you.  Your mother is doing very bad, very bad, very bad, bad, bad.  I told her a long time ago she was going to need this procedure.  Now she’s going to go blind because she didn’t listen to me in the first place!”

To emphasize her power over all things vision-related, Dr. Bad, Bad, Bad pulled out a series of charts to impress me.  At that point, she started sounding like the grownups in a Charlie Brown comic strip.  Blah, blah, blah, blah.  Spit flew from her mouth as she continued her God complex-driven diatribe.

I was speechless.  The only reason I didn’t tell her off was because she was pointing a very powerful laser beam at my mom’s left eye.

My instincts told me to grab mom, alert the patients in the waiting room to run for their lives and call an exorcist to remove the demon inside the mad doctor lady.

We were victims of modern medicine gone awry. 

I soon found out the doctor’s wrath didn’t play favorites.  During the procedure, she verbally abused one of the nurses.  Afterwards, much of the same happened in the recovery room.

It was then that the voices inside my head refused to keep silent any longer.

“Why do you let her speak to you that way?” I asked the nurses.  “Why does she talk that way to patients?  Doesn’t she realize the harm her negativity can do?” 

“But she’s so good at what she does,” came the reply.

“I’m good at what I do too,” I responded.  “But that doesn’t give me the right to be rude or mistreat people.”

My mom was the one who had her eyes worked on that day, but it was me who left with a much clearer vision. 

No matter how good you are at what you do, talent without humility is worthless.

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