One of the doctors who I assist is a bit disorganized.
We were in an exam room when she realized that she did not have her phone. “I must have left it in the bathroom!” she exclaimed.
“Which one?” I asked.
“The one right by the desk of that nice lady,” she specified.
“There are no nice ladies here,” I said.
“Please go find it!” she pleaded.
I begged an orderly to stay with the doctor and patient while I retraced the doctor’s steps, continuously dialing her phone number in hopes of hearing the ring.
As I approached my work area, the start point, I heard the faint ringing. Thank goodness nobody had taken her phone.
As I knocked on the closed bathroom door, the “nice lady,” who is not nice at all, called out from her desk, “Hey! You aren’t allowed to use that bathroom.”
The door was unlocked. If someone had answered my knock, I would not have heard the person over the woman’s shouting. I opened the door and grabbed the phone.
There was no way she did not hear the phone ringing and ringing.
“The doctor forgot her phone in this bathroom,” I explained.
The woman replied, “You see, that’s your problem. You answer back to people. You need to learn some manners.”
This woman is a secretary and has been ordering me around for years, telling me how to do my job and that she knows how to be a nurse better than I do.
“What I said earlier was not ‘answering back,’ but this is,” I said firmly. “You don’t own this bathroom. I will use it whenever I wish. Second, you saw the doctor use the bathroom. You heard her phone ringing repeatedly. You could have answered it or at least taken it for safekeeping. You’re a jerk.” I walked away, phones in hand, the secretary’s mouth hanging open.
After reuniting the doctor with her phone, I told her that the “nice lady” could not be bothered to rescue her phone and hollered at me.
“I don’t know how you work here full-time,” the doctor said.
Outcome: The next day, my supervisor showed me an email that had surprised her so much that she forgot to hide it from me. The “nice lady” is retiring!
I outlived another one!