“He just hit on me again…” She shook her head in disbelief as she sat down the phone receiver. “The man comes in with an STD and then wants my phone number so we can hook up after he finishes the medication.”
“Again? Did he hit on you when he was here?”
“Was he disrespectful?” I caught myself. What constitutes disrespect? He didn’t call her a cunt or force himself on her but then isn’t continuing to ignore her refusal as sign of disrespect? Particularly given the context.
“I don’t guess so…”
“I can fire him or have the office manager call him up and tell him to stop.”
“No. That will affect our survey results… likelihood to recommend practice and friendliness of the medical assistant….” Her pay raises and evaluations were linked by the healthcare system to those patient satisfaction measures much like 5% of my income depends on meeting certain thresholds for patient satisfaction.
“Well, you already told him no. That’ll affect it, too.”
I think back on all of the times I have laughed off unwelcome advances over the years, people who really and truly crossed the line, and I said nothing. I stood tall and laughed it off, not showing my displeasure.
What will he think if I tell him to back off?
“It doesn’t happen often does it?” people ask.
Depends on if you meet their definition of “pretty” or not. Then there is the question how often is too often? How far is too far?
Admittedly, “Doc, you sure look nice today,” is a far cry from “I’d like to fuck you.”
Complements are nice.
Harassment is not.
It isn’t like my medical assistant wears short skirts and low cut blouses. She wears baggy scrubs. I wear professional attire. Pants. A skirt to at least my knees. A blazer. Maybe jeans on a Friday. We don’t flirt with patients. We aren’t asking for it.
In the past, I have considered these sorts of encounters a part of the job. Now I want to tell this man that what he is doing is crosssing a line but is that going too far?Maybe no one ever said anything to him before. Maybe no one ever will. Maybe he will become the president of the United States or a powerful media mogul in Hollywood. Maybe I am just being overly sensitive.