There are certain people in your life that you just shouldn't insult. These are people that can make your life a living hell if they so choose (or if you choose for them). Sure, there are some easy ones: your parents, your teachers, your neighbours, your boss. But there are a few which may not be so obvious:
- Your mechanic ("Yup, I'm gonna have to rebuild your whole engine.")
- The guy who makes your fast food burger (yes, they DO spit in them)
- Your children (they will choose your nursing home eventually, after all)
Surprisingly though, some people don't have any problem insulting their doctors - you know, the people who are trying to help them. I've heard stories from colleagues that were almost too ridiculous to believe, but I've never experienced it myself.
An older gentleman was brought to me after he fell down an embankment and struck his head on a brick wall. Fortunately his brain was just fine, but after an extensive workup, I discovered only two things were broken: a bone in his neck was one of them.
His wife's sense of decency was the other.
As soon as I walked into his room to explain the situation to her, she immediately launched a full-scale attack against me, based not on my abilities, but rather on my looks. I unfortunately have one of those baby faces, and it makes me look much younger (and much less respectable, apparently) than I am.
"My god, how old are you?" she shrieked. "You look like you still belong in high school! Are you even old enough to be a doctor?"
Wh...what? Somehow restraining my desire to slap her, I ignored her age comment and calmly explained that I was not only fully trained, but also very good at what I do.
"Well I'm not gonna let my husband get killed by some baby doctor! My mother was killed by a baby doctor like you!"
Now up until that point I thought I had seen it all - I have been sworn at, spit at, cursed at, and threatened with violence and even death numerous times. But never have I been so insulted in my entire professional career.
I realised that trying to defend myself would get me nowhere, so I simply finished explaining the situation to them and walked out.
But wait, the title of this post is "Insults and happy endings", so what the hell is the happy ending? Here it is - I got the last laugh. The neurosurgeon who ended up taking care of his broken neck is even younger than I am.