Friday, February 8, 2008

First Impressions

Recently Carly had some oral surgery done, all four wisdom teeth had to come out. We were referred to one doctor who, unfortunately, wasn't on our insurance. We ended up going to another doctor, and I must say, while he did a good job, he needs to learn a few things about first impressions.

On the day of the surgery, he breezed into the room, took a look at the x-rays, let me know what he would do, and off he went, saying he would return after Carly was prepped. So far so issues there.

Following her surgery as I sat with her in the recovery room, I had ample opportunity to hear this doctor relate to those who work with him. I found his attitude and demeanor very troubling. He spoke to the women who worked with him, both assistants and office staff, as if they were completely incapable of completing even the simplest of tasks. Every question asked was answered as if it were the dumbest question he could have been asked. The assistants were wonderful, and extremely helpful with Carly (who doesn't do well coming out of anesthetic) but I was really happy to get out of there.

Well, Carly has had a problem or two with the site healing so we found ourselves back in this office earlier this week. I kept thinking that maybe this doctor was just having a bad day the first time we were in his office. I was optimistic that we would find things to be different on the second trip. WRONG! As I sat and listened to this man speak to those around him as if they didn't have a single wit about them I was amazed.

And this wasn't just in our room... I could hear him speaking the same in each room. So this meant that not only were we being exposed to this behavior, so were all of his other patients. Each time he spoke to the assistant in our room, I could see the pain in her eyes. And it wasn't like she was doing anything wrong... in fact she was doing all that he asked... he just kept changing his mind about what he wanted and then he acted as if she were fault. I felt so sad for her... as I watched her eyes I could see the damage that was being done.

As we left the office, she apologized for all of the "confusion". I looked her straight in the eyes and said, "It's okay, it was no big deal. You are doing a good job, and I will say a prayer for you today. It looks like you need it." She got the funniest look on her face and then said, "Thanks. You know... I needed that."

I haven't been able to shake this experience, and we actually have to go back in one month. I'm not sure if I will be able to leave without saying something... but it would probably just make things worse for all concerned if I did. You see... my first impression of this guy was right on track... he doesn't care about anyones feelings, either those of his workers or his patients.... he just wants to lift himself up above them all... and first impressions speak volumns about who you are and where you are in relatinship to Christ. Carly wondered aloud if he went to church. How can you answer that one? If you look at his attitude, you would guess no, but how many people walk through the doors of a church each Sunday and put on their "game face" only to take it off the minute they leave the building?

I think that we all (and I include myself in this!!!) need to be more aware that the first impression we leave with someone is a true reflection of who we are... and while we may be royalty (sons and daughters of the King) that doesn't make us any more important than anyone else. We have been created to bring glory to the Father, and if we are busy about the task at hand, we won't have time to leave anything but a great first impression. And the impression we leave is seen by all...including the Father.

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Cor. 10:31


Jennifer said...

That's disturbing, especially when you think about how that kind of treatment has to impact the "performance" of those under him. How do you perform when someone is constantly making you feel like dirt and demeaning you!?!?

Rebecca Jo said...

I must say, knowing you - I'm proud of you for not sayng something to him about his attitude(hehe!)

It makes you wonder - what is going on in his life where he has to belittle others? I always think of the saying "Hurt people hurt people" - that probably applies here as well.