Seriously?!?!: My Rant of the Day
Monday, July 14, 2008
So I'm having lunch in the kitchen here at work, and about 6 people come in to eat their lunch as well. The topic of discussion turns into the health of our president, who was just released from the hospital for pneumonia. He was in the hospital for weeks, and it was pretty serious. We got daily updates from the CEO via e-mail on his status, including the scraping of the puss around his lungs. Now, while it's nice to know how he's doing, you can spare me the details. Please.
Anyway, they start discussing how this puss was outside his lungs, and it was very unusual. I work at a Medical Education company, so discussions like this aren't unheard of. Then one guy, we'll call him "Bob", says, "When I heard about those symptoms, I thought it was multiple sclerosis." ... That's when the fuming started. But I decided not to get angry, because a lot of people don't know the details of MS, so how could he know?
Thankfully someone jumped in with "Why would you think that is MS?", to which I immediately added "Yeah, that's not MS. I have MS, and that's definitely not it." When I said "I have MS", he gave me one of those blank stares, and then said.... Wait for it.... "Well, one of those diseases."
Now, come on BOB. There are several things wrong with your reaction and response:
1. You obviously aren't sure why he has a puss-filled chest cavity, so instead of trying to find out what the cause could be, you pick a random disease out of the air. "Hmm, MS sounds good. I don't really know what it is, so I'll go with that."
2. You work at a MEDICAL EDUCATION company, as a MEDICAL WRITER!!!! You'd think you'd know a little more about stuff, or at least not blurt out non-sensical diagnoses without doing your research, which is pretty much YOUR JOB.
3. You just came back to work after months of being off, because you had cancer. Yes, I feel awful for you, and I'm happy that you are back to good health. But given your current situation, you would think that you would be a little more sympathetic to someone who has a disease, and not lump their disease into that mythical "Those Diseases" category. Common sense dictates to find out more from someone who has first hand knowledge, therefore educating yourself, which will not only be a benefit to your job, but help avoid future awkward conversations.