Running From the Race


“She needs to understand that she is a white woman talking to a black woman and I can make her life hell…”

She had been caught stealing lollipops from two different nurse stations. 

Fistfuls of lollipops. 

Apparently she was the last patient of the day. She took suckers from the pod area where she had been seen by my partner, then had walked around to the opposite side of the clinic to my pod, an area that seemed empty because we were through seeing patients. She reached behind the counter into the prize basket that was stashed under there. She grabbed one fistful and shoved it into her purse. As she was about to shove the second fistful into her purse, a staff member who had come around the corner quietly spoke up.

“Can I help you?”

The woman jumped a bit and turned.

“My daughter likes these.”

“How many do you need?” 

“I’m just taking a few. These.” She waved the hand with the suckers. It was way more than a few.

“But I just saw you take another handful.”

“This has never been a problem before…”

“We have those for kids when they get blood work done or get an immunization.”

“My daughter is a patient here, too.” Anger and indignation radiated from her. It was clear she felt entitled to as many lollipops as she wanted.

“That’s fine, then.” The staff member could sense it was escalating and at this point just wanted the woman to move on.

“I tell you what, I guess I will just need to find another doctor!”

Silence hung in the air like a menacing animal ready to pounce.

The woman shoved the second (actually third) fistful of candy into her purse, stormed into the office manager’s office, and proceeded to rant about being accused wrongly of stealing, gave an inaccurate account of the episode, and then stated that she intended to make it a racial issue.

After she left, the office manager told the staff member that she should have handled it differently.

In point of fact, I saw the whole thing from my office. I watched the interaction between the staff member and this woman. The staff member handled it very diplomatically, I thought. I am not sure how she could have handled it “better.” Do I only feel that way because I am a white woman, too?

“It was just a bunch of suckers, Doc! We don’t have to lose a patient for a few suckers, do we?”

The fact is the woman was stealing. She was stealing our expensive organic, no corn syrup, no-dye lollipops.

How many more fistfuls would she take if someone did not intervene? Compared to the other stuff we have had stolen from us, this was nothing but if you give the impression you are not paying attention, it opens the door for other thefts. We had just had a temporal thermometer stolen again that costs hundreds of dollars to replace…

When someone gets caught red handed, they do one of two things: 

They leave quietly with maybe an apology (or more likely no apology) and never return…

Or they raise holy hell and try to make it appear as if they themselves were the one wronged. 

We have all done it at some point ourselves. Sometimes we really start to believe it, our rewrite of the events. It allows us to live with ourselves. 

All of this is human nature. 

We are all victims of our humanity, no matter what our race. We cannot escape it and as such, none of us is “better” than anyone else. I recognize this. I have no idea what is going on in this woman’s life. I cannot sit in judgement of her per se. 


How many did she need?

Who knows if she will make more of it? Will she complain to corporate? Will she write scathing online reviews? Slam us on our patient satisfaction surveys? This is not the first time something of this sort has happened here and I know it will not be the last. 

There is a part of me that is sad that this has to distract from all of the real, true acts of discrimination in this world.

And then I start to worry. 

It will eat at me for days. 

Should it have been handled differently?

There are a lot of things that I write about as posts that stress me out. I anxiously await how it will be taken, watching the likes and comments. This is one of those posts. I feel as if I lack credibility as a white woman. Who am I to even speak of this sort of thing and I fear that anything I say will be taken the wrong way. 

And yet I feel compelled to write about it because I feel trapped by it… 

This is how I set myself free.


143 thoughts on “Running From the Race

  1. Organic suckers without dye or corn syrup as a treat for kids who get their shots? Talk about adding insult to injury!

    I kid, I kid.

    That situation does indeed suck, not sure how it could have been handled any differently. I hope she doesn’t continue making a big stink about it when she was clearly in the wrong.

    On patient reviews…might be time to leave some tablets in the waiting room and let the kids play a fun game. If they give the sweet doctor and staff five stars on the cool test they may not be able to comprehend, then they get a sugar stick! Or shave one minute off the adults wait time per star.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, we have toys that are easy to clean. A play room where parents can corral their kids if they are getting out of hand. A nursing room. Those magnetic drawing pads (no ink and can be wiped down easily with an antiseptic wipe). We work very hard to try to ensure everyone has a good experience. As for the lollipops, note I did not say sugar free… πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  2. First? That’s a first!

    Should it have been handled differently?

    You said it yourself. How else should it have been handled? This pushed all kinds of buttons for me (as it did for you). Ones that made me uncomfortable and squirm in my seat. Then I asked myself: Take race out of the equation. Say it was a white woman. Do you know what? I’d have had the exact same reaction. So I feel absolved of my guilt. Stealing is stealing.

    Liked by 11 people

    • I did the same thing. I took the race out of it and it is easy to see it for what it is. But we all feel bludgeoned by a bully club when this happens and it leaves you second guessing yourself because as you say, it pushes all kinds of uncomfortable buttons.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. If the office manager had any ideas on how to handle it better, she should have come forward with them, instead of saying it should have been handled “differently” or “better.”

    But even though I too am a white woman and cannot walk in a black woman’s shoes, I am so tired of the victimhood of people who do wrong and then act like it is all somebody else’s fault. The is is a mild example of it — very mild. But we are tearing our society apart with us vs. thems all the time. And at the heart of it is a lack of personal responsibility.

    Liked by 9 people

  4. I agree the race card is often played and then we all feel guilty! But this woman what ever colour was stealing and she should not be allowed to get away with it. Your office manager was wrong to tell her member of staff that she handled the incident badly, she handled it the only way she could. Politely , quietly and cautiously I despare!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I see that woman’s “reaction” almost daily at work. And my own reaction is like yours…
    I too feel trapped when, for the same reason I can’t complain when people like that woman make fun of my skin coloring, or “joke” that they will rob my home because I wore something nice.
    I am happy that you have this blog to free you. Huge hugs. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am confused: WHY can you not complain about the skin color comments? Blacks are sensitive about these from fellow blacks and most will not tolerate them from non-blacks except teasing from the most intimate of friends–and careful teasing.

      That is how I would approach it. Next time, no aggression, just wide-eyed–even smiling–I would say exactly this: “Now, why would you make a racist joke like that?” Keep looking at them–that’s important. Most people get embarrassed. Some get aggressive and need a little more:
      Here’s your More:
      “We both know you wouldn’t think it was okay if I joked about YOUR skin color–How about neither one of us jokes about it from now on.”

      The robbing your home cracks? You can try the same technique:
      “Now why would you make a racist joke like that?
      The More:
      “If you make a joke about you robbing my home because you’re black, will you think it’s funny if I make a joke that I’ll shoot you and get away with it because I’m white? How about neither one of us jokes about robbing anybody or shooting anybody from now on.”

      Practice out loud in front of a mirror–for real–and your good to go! Good luck.
      Oh–and your comment and my answer protects you against the one jerk who goes to Human Resources and accuses YOU of racism when you use this technique.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hmm? I was trying to make a joke about tricking the kids into leaving patient reviews themselves as part of a game on a tablet. Not commenting on what you guys actually offer in terms of comfort (although holy crap, I need to change providers!). My communication skills need sleep, I think. πŸ˜›

    And woo real sugar!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It sounds to me as if this couldn’t have been handled any differently. Like others have said, it is not a case of race, but of theft, and she should be ashamed of herself for making it so. I hope it gets resolved soon as it is not right that you should be worrying yourself sick over it. The woman was caught and she was going to try and do anything she could to try and turn it around.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I think that this reaction from your office was much too polite, but I do understand your issues.
    Maybe you need to put up signs with cameras and signs to tell about not to steal. The sign with camera is often enough, otherwise you can buy cheap attraps πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It is so weird. I know what you are talking about, but, geez, being upset that someone is taking stuff is not racial. Well, not unless you hide the candy bowls when non-whites come in, or there is a big sign over the bowls saying “one per patient…unless you’re white, take as many as you want.”

    We faced similar things at the inner-city podiatrist’s office. The white rednecks stole as much as anyone else.

    People. Ugh.

    I think your office manager was wrong to tell the staff member she handled it wrong. She should have been more sympathetic and empathetic. That is a tough situation to be in and it sounded like the person saying, “um, how many do you need?” was pretty even handed about it. I would feel worse about being blind-sided by someone on my own team than the stupid reaction of the person caught red-handed if I was the person who caught the thief. That’s what would be eating at me were I in her shoes.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. That’s a hard one Victo. I can’t think of how it could be handled better. The trick is to let the woman know that others are aware she was stealing and to stop it without creating a scene. Sounds like your employee did that as well as could be expected. Given your client’s propensity for theft, there doesn’t seem to be a better solution than simply letting her know you are aware. The rest is her problem, not yours. I wonder \what her home life is like? Is she poor? Maybe her kids don’t ever get suckers? I really hate getting down on people who steal food – I mean you know they are not turning it into drugs or even alcohol – they are eating it. How can you really be upset at someone who is stealing food for themselves or someone else? Anyway, relax , the issue is hers not yours. Retailers have this problem constantly. They put in a minimum of security – just to make sure the building doesn’t walk away – and then just add the cost of the theft onto prices. No point in scaring off customers who will spend thousands over the year to recoup a few dollars. It’s called the cost of doing business. (Unless the items are expensive and then they put tags in that ring at the exits – another cost that is passed on.) I don’t think any changes need to be made in your procedures.

    Liked by 2 people

    • If she had been stealing the juice and crackers we keep for patients, I would have probably been more sympathetic over anyone stealing than going for the suckers. That being said, I would not be above take one or two for my kids for treats. I would probably ask first but if no one was looking and I stole them I am not sure I would have tried to get away with three handfuls.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I would be mortified trying to snag 3 handfuls and getting caught. Lady knew she was in the wrong because she made sure (she thought) that no one was watching, particularly by working the different stashes! And, as you’ve alluded, you don’t know what else has previously left in this person’s purse or might in the future. The only thought I have about her raising race is that doing so undermines actual racist events, both for her and other people when it – whenever, wherever- really IS about race. Save it for when it’s true.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. The issues of race and also religion have gotten us all a bit shy about saying anything to anybody for fear of the label we will be branded with. And yes there are legitimate race issues or religious prejudice that we should stand against. But its people like this woman that cheapen real efforts. I’d like to know how the office manager thought it should have been handled? Help the woman load up all the candy?

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Ok, I can understand taking a sucker or two for her kids, especially if one of them is a patient (although perhaps it should have been politely explained a little better that the patients must personally be in the office to receive the suckers.) But the fact that she went behind a counter to then take fistfuls of candy? Come on, that’s stealing – I don’t care what color her skin is. Let her find a different doctor.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes. The digging around behind the counter is what escalated it. There is the greedy bit where you take more than your fair share. That is one thing. Then there is grabbing something that is hidden away and not out in the open…

      Liked by 3 people

  13. I’m wondering why the office manager is so worried about losing this patient. Isn’t she the type of patient you’d want to lose? And isn’t she the type that always keeps coming back no matter how many times she threatens (promises) not to? I suspect your office is stuck with this patient. And every time you see her coming, you better hide the suckers.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oh come on Glazed – you’d fire her as a patient for stealing some suckers? Maybe she has never had suckers or can’t afford suckers. That doesn’t justify her theft – but now she knows that Victo’s staff knows she steals and she’ll straighten up. Be the bigger person.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Or maybe she won’t straighten up. Then who will be the sucker? The petty theft of the suckers doesn’t concern me near as much as her reaction after being caught. Who wants to deal with that kind of customer over and over–especially when you already have more than enough business from less troublesome customers? To me it’s not about who’s the bigger person, it’s about who wants to avoid big headaches.

        Liked by 2 people

      • As a business, you are right. Personally, What’s a few dollars worth of suckers in the big picture? Not that it should be allowed to continue, but as one of the outer readers said – pick your battles. i mean look at the lies and fraud perpetrated by politicians daily – and the cost – then compare that to the suckers.

        Liked by 2 people

  14. Fuuuuuck that. If you’re a thief then you’re a thief. Giving this woman no consequences is the racism of lowered expectations. It’s okay for black people to steal because they are black? Maybe had a hard time? Experienced racism? So we hold black people to different, lower, standard because they aren’t capable of complying with a rule as simple as: Don’t steal. No way. That’s bullshit. You steal, you face the consequences. To do anything else is racist.

    Liked by 3 people

      • Well I can decide. Stealing is wrong. The consequence of stealing should be applied to everyone equally. To make an assessment of this woman that because she is black she is likely not capable of abiding by the law is racist. Isn’t that why Lady Justice has a blindfold? Ultimately it is evidence and the act that condemn a person and not their appearance?
        I also understand that I’m being a little simplistic about a complicated problem.

        Liked by 2 people

      • There is no lowering of expectations. Stealing is stealing, no matter what creed, colour or other politically correct classification humans want to put on this crazy earth. I’m neither black nor white. I am a mixture of various races and it disheartens me everytime something like this flares up. No human wants to be robbed…in any form. Whether it’s lollipops today or more expensive equipment tomorrow, whether it was a green, purple or orange person – there is no justifying the act. Please don’t feel restricted in your reactions. If this woman had someone visit her and steal something from her home, it wouldn’t matter what colour they were. She would be just as upset.

        Never second guess yourself when it comes to things like this. As one United society, we need to stand up against the overuse of race cards to justify inappropriate behaviour. If people want to be treated equally (black, white, brown, green, purple…all the blooming colours of the rainbow) then they should follow the rules of society and expect others to do the same.

        Wow! This post really angered me and I wish I could meet that woman and tell her off. She does not deserve to be treated by your surgery if she cannot respect it. The same applies for anyone else. Those sweets are for the children, not adults. Sorry for the loooooong reply, but it got under my skin.


  15. What that woman did was flat out wrong, I think that your staff member did better than most would. Race shouldn’t even be an issue in this case…..and the fact that she knew where they were behind the counter is a little suspicious 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  16. It probably could have been handled better. Calling the police comes to mind. Theft is theft, and she probably does this at stores too. The race card has probably worked with some poor store clerk and it’s her go to line today. Your thermometer is probably at her house too. Losing this patient is more of a Godsend. You never know if she took anything else, like prescription pads and patient data, if someone didn’t check her purse.

    I know you witnessed her actions, and none of that likely happened, but people like this make me furious.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. I believe that it is high time to stop being victims of reverse discrimination. Whites have the same rights to express their opinions as blacks or any other race. Today race issues mostly kept burning by black and white racists who want more power and money.


  18. Never rate yourself or posts according to like or stats. As far as the suckers go, you just got to choose your battles and no one can do that for you. It is what it is. Kudos on having such great lollipops being offered in your office!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. And, in my store we charge for refills – often times people lie about bringing a cup back in and I just say “oh sorry I didn’t see you with a cup in your hand when you walked in.” I correct the price and smile and say “I’ll only charge you .99 cents this time.” People announce bringing their cups back into the store now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I find that people have the perception that doctors are evil, money grabbing fiends with more than their fair share of wealth that should be taken by anyone with hands. Not everyone feels that way but a fair number do.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Let this one go Doc. Your staff member was gracious beyond what she needed to do. Your office manager needs a new job…seriously! I would have asked the woman to leave what she had and then asked her to leave. The Race bit is because she KNOWS people will do exactly what your doing. If she claims the Race card, most people are so intimidated that they will back down, and she gets what she wanted. What if it had been a file or someone’s prescription. She reached into an area that was off limits. End of subject. She was wrong…and she played everyone. Let her go and feel sorry for her “children” who will probably have bad teeth.
    Suckers are a pacifier for people on certain illegal narcotics, like ecstasy. Did you know that?
    And seriously, I doubt someone who steals lollipops from a doctors office stored in a restricted area would fill out a survey. I know there is no question about being accused of racism on there. HA!
    I would be more concerned about the thermometer. That is pretty sad. I would say something to Ms. Office Manager about inventory and why was that instrument left with the patient????/ hhhhmmmm?????

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I like the solution used in your post. Why? Look the perpetrator directly in the eyes and ask him or her why and the perpetrator is directly confronted with his or her behaviour.

    One time for a school project a guy in my project group nearly sabotaged the entire project by being lazy while acting macho. I stared him down and confronted him with his work with the others present. He ran away while losing his composure.

    He never played tricks again with the project group. I was watching him in silence and he knew that…

    Liked by 1 person

    • That took some balls on your part. Good for you! I thought the staff member’s question, “Can I help you?” was a good start. It says I see you and know what you are doing without being accusatory. It allows someone to make up a story and bow out gracefully. In this case, however, there was no graceful exit.

      Liked by 2 people

  22. I used to feel a similar stress but no more. It was a gentle fade over time with a focus on objective standards (don’t take without asking) and character (assume the best, courtesy), and a desire to set others up for success (set good example, lock up lollipops!) It’s just disorienting when some in the situation are confused about what’s right and wrong.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. It’s good you were able to support the staff person who had to deal with this. I wonder if someone in the candy thief’s family has a sugar addiction. Her behavior reminds me of some one with an addiction, or a screw loose. And then some people are addicted to stealing. Doesn’t make it okay of course, but it sounds like there’s a disconnect about what would be obvious to me: ONE LOLLIPOP PER CHILD. If you leave the box of candy accessible, a sign that says: One per child might help, but I’d keep them in a drawer. Or get rid of the sugar altogether. Yeah. Sugar is BAD! (I think I ate too much sugar today.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • We also have stickers and stamped and little airplanes and butterflies (all of the left over party favors from my kids’ birthdays). I truthfully thought that hiding the basket under a ledge was sufficient.


  24. Since we can’t walk in her shoes let’s change the paradigm. There can be all kinds of reasons she would steal that candy and her rage reaction could have been an attempt to save face.

    We live in a culture that assumes that assumes the worst about people.

    Let’s ask if she could have handled the situation differently if the we lived in a more forgiving culture.

    1. She may be pre-diabetic and have a craving for sweets…The lollipops you describe sound delicious.

    2. She may be on a limited income, knows that these are high end lollipops and she decided to surprise her daughter; we can take up the issue of whether it is correct to teach a child to steal another day — if she can’t afford them can be a source of shame…and rage.

    3. I don’t know about you, but the fact is that most of the crimes against blacks and the poor are class based crimes. And there is a great deal of tension in the air because our nation’s official stance of denying the racism at the heart of our social policies is beginning to crack. if white people are sick of hearing black rage, imagine how it must feel to have to live day in and day out with white rage as government policy.

    Who is undeserving in our nations endless hate filled debates that take food away from people…most of them are people of color and the mentally ill…and most of the impoverished mentally ill are also people of color…

    Frankly, I would steal those lollipops if I had the chance…I can’t afford them either…:)

    it’s a great post and a great discussion…I hope that no one takes my point of view as hostile…
    I just want to see if we can move away from our collective default reaction of always decrying the “other”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with a lot of what you say here. She was attempting to save face. That is a human reaction, not a racial one. People who have that reaction sometimes leave it there. Sometimes they take it way, way too far, over compensating. I think that we can all agree that the stealing the candy is the minor issue here. I would steal for my kids. Everyone would, I think. I will be the first to say that discrimination is alive and well, shamefully so. Especially in my neck of the woods. Which makes me perhaps over sensitive to accusations of that sort. I don’t see myself as racist, but how can I really know? I have to treat African American patients differently than my white patients. They are at much higher risk of colon cancer and breast cancer prostate cancer and all sorts of things. Race matters. We should not be entirely color blind. If we are, we miss so much. And yet I feel I am constantly walking on eggshells, worried if I am offending someone somehow. Who is going to lash out at me next? I am just here trying to help…

      Liked by 3 people

      • Don’t misunderstand me, you are the last person I would accuse of racism.

        In fact, what I love about your blog is that you are a doctor with a deep sense of humanity and humilty.

        But people react to what’s in the air…you are absolutely right, shame has no racial bias but the trigger reactions that bring on shame are very subjective and contextual..

        My point is that she may have had any number of easy to understand reasons for her behavior–but she did not feel as if she could be honest about them…

        There is also the very real chance that she is a serial lollipop thief…

        I need to be more careful about my wording in these responses..

        I would never accuse you of racism…

        One last thought; when all else fails the customer is always right…if you take that approach you will need to stock up on those lollipops..:)

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, no! I don’t mean you. You did a great job with your response. I mean the people I come across in this job. I was accused of being racist recently because I told a man with high cholesterol to stop eating fried foods. And then by an employee because I caught them stealing. I could go on. It is hard sometimes to not take it personally, which I am sure is true on their side of the fence, too. The problem is that they cannot see my heart and I cannot see their life experiences. As for the lollipops, they will be locked up. Not because I mind them getting stolen. I just don’t want to have another one of those experiences. The staff does not deserve that.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m heading out to Whole Foods tomorrow…it’s too bad you have had such nasty experiences…I wish we could become kinder nation in general…we’re toxic from decades of normalizing hate, it poisons everything.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Agreed. I did another post recently where I was reading the story of Rosa Parks to my daughter and caught myself hesitating to read the watered down childhood version of the discrimination in the storybook. I would be terribly angry, too. I would carry a huge chip on my shoulder if roles were reversed… I don’t begrudge the chip. They have that right.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Moreover we would be in a better position to address that chip if out nation had been allowed to do the right thing, which was to rectify the actual cost of slavery — African Americans will not be free until white americans free ourselves of our need to pretend that racism doesn’t exist even as it belches in our faces and murders with impunity.

        Liked by 1 person

  25. I get so sick of the race card being played when the other people involved would have acted the same way whether or not there was race involved. For all that woman knew, the husband and children of the woman who confronted her were all black as well. She was wrong to steal. Period. And she was also wrong to make someone feel guilty for catching her. Period. And the administrator was wrong to want to keep her as a patient if she really wanted to leave. That’s not fair to other employees or patients who don’t steal. It’s not an issue of race. THAT WOMAN was a disgrace to her race! SHE is the reason there are stereotypes. End of rant.


  26. OK Victo, here’s how I see it. Who is responsible for the management of these things? Is it you or is it the office manager? It seems to me, having read most of your posts since we somehow tripped over each other’s blogs, that you do enough stressing out over each patient you see without having to stress out over an incident that is being handled by someone else. When I was teaching I saw the other staff do a lot of stupid things and a lot of parents likewise, but I had enough problems with my own students so I let it ride. Sometimes you have to let other people handle some of the crap.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. I think the staff member, office manager and you should have a sit down in which you recount what you saw, and set the record straight that the staff member handled it diplomatically, because right now, he/she feels she handled it wrong, and may, in the future, allow the theft to occur plus have the added fear of the previous experience which will erode confidence. The patient was in the wrong, and whether they go to corporate or not, nothing can deny that fact, especially with you as a witness.

    Liked by 1 person

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  30. Lovely little story with just the right amount of conflict to make the debate flow. As a school teacher I always faced the exact same thing. The kid who took more than his or her fair share. The kid who became belligerent when caught doing wrong. My generous nature always makes me think, “Maybe there is some bad thing happening to this poor child that I don’t know about.” I almost always gave the resources away. You keep giving and giving and giving until you have nothing left… and then someone pitches in and helps because they see and understand. I think that is the way Christianity works… turning the other cheek… possibly other religions too. The only ones who truly get something for their troubles are those who freely give.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was a teacher, as well. My feeling was that the child acting belligerent, or taking more than her/his share was being selfish to all the other children, or executing a form of bullying. Acts of selfishness or bullying should always be nipped in the bud immediately–no matter what sad home circumstances may have led to these. I acted so to improve the child’s life–including moral life–and the lives of those that child would come into contact with. At the same time, I would privately ask such children about home life, or do some side investigating, and seek to remedy or compensate where I could.

      I suppose you and I each feel our methods were the correct ones. This is how people are, isn’t it?

      Liked by 2 people

  31. Maybe a small sign:
    Cane Sugar and natural fruit flavors
    XX calories each

    $0.50 EACH


    Liked by 1 person

  32. What a great discussion.

    I think the woman was stealing candy, got caught, continued to act inappropriate (out of embarrassment, to deflect, or for whatever reason), the staff person did nothing wrong, the office manager should have given an example if they truly believed the staff member shoulda/coulda handled it better. If not, the staff member should probably get an apology. There should be an incident report documented so that when corporate contacts the office, if the patient complains, your office manager can stick up for and defend the staff member and tell the patient she is more than welcome to find another doctor and you will all be glad to give her a list of other doctors with a letter explaining why she is no longer attending your practice.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. The part where you write: “Sometimes we really start to believe it, our rewrite of the events. It allows us to live with ourselves.” this, it is so true. We all convince ourselves we are validated to some degree. Some are more aware of it that others. I know and admit that I do it. That’s why I couldn’t have a reality tv show (although I’m sure there would be an audience who would get a kick out of all my self-justified blunders)!

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Interesting! I’ll have to come back to read the comments. It does seem like it would have been difficult to handle the situation differently. This mum would probably be upset if you ran out of lollipop when her daughter needed them after an immunisation. Why wouldn’t she think that it would
    Be the same for other parents?


  35. There is only one aspect no one has mentioned, but perhaps I am more aware of it because it affected me so much during one year of my life. First, the point: Many people who would never steal money or clothes, or objects d’art, or the tiniest item of bric-a-brac, will think nothing of taking the very last food item from a person’s cupboards, refrigerator, or pantry. Or standing and attempting to stuff into their face every single free sample from the THREE trays of free samples at the local Trader Joe’s. While other people are trying to reach past and around them and get a taste.

    I was diagnosed diabetic in senior year of high school. I was sleeping 16 out of 24 hours. My 7-hour glucose tolerance test (that really takes 9 hours) was 673? 4?–I forget. It was high. I was told oral insulin wouldn’t cut it: I’d have to start with injections. I said “No way. I will do it with diet alone.” And I did. I used the 1800 calorie/day exchange diet, which requires you to measure your food with measuring cups and half-cups–you are hungry all day, every day–or at least, I was, at my 5’7″ 117 in clothes.

    Back to the point: I started college on this diet, and worked two jobs, and the $ went partly to pay for my special food–I had an exception from the meal plan. My food went into the fridge shared with 5 other girls. My food was labelled as mine, for I had to have exactly the right food at the right meal at the right time. All five girls knew this. And still, they all ate my food. All the time. Unrepentantly. All thinking themselves good people. All thinking me both crazy and evil for being upset with them. I told them it was both a diet and a money issue. They were baffled. They told me if they were taking money, they could understand, but not sharing food was being horribly selfish. They said “Food’s different.”

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Pingback: Complaining as a bully-tactic. | Miss Understood

  37. “And yet I feel compelled to write about it because I feel trapped by it…
    This is how I set myself free.”

    YUP. Think we can get that put on t-shirts? Or maybe a bumper sticker?

    Liked by 1 person

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