Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Grumpy, incognito

My casual look (or lack of fashion sense, as Mrs. Grumpy calls it) sometimes pays dividends. Today it got me out of a sales talk.

Mary had gone out to lunch with Dr. Pissy's staff, and I wandered up front to fax something. As I'm standing there, 2 well-dressed ladies in their 30's come in, and stare at me.

Dr. Grumpy: "Hi, can I help you?"

Stuffy #1: "Yes, we represent Neverfuckingworks computerized chart systems and..."

(offers right hand, Dr. Grumpy shakes it)

(Stuffy #2 whispers something into the ear of Stuffy #1)

Stuffy #1: "Anyway, here's some information about our chart system. Can you please give it to the doctor, or office manager, or someone important who works here?"

Dr. Grumpy: "Will do."

Stuffy #2: "What do you do here?"

Dr. Grumpy: "I clean the fish tank." (technically, this is true)

They turned to leave. As they did so, Stuffy #1 pulled some Purell out of her purse and frantically started scrubbing imaginary fish germs off her right hand.

41 comments:

Old MD Girl said...

Maybe you should check that you don't have a big booger hanging out of your nose. Just in case.

C said...

Yep, you still rock.

wv = panis = awesome!

arzt4empfaenger said...

Ahahahaha! How awesome (you + your answer). I hope they'll return some day, if only to erupt in shame-flames when they realize who they talked to. Insolent wenches. I mean, how about asking what you do first before assuming that you're not one of the important people?

(Relatedly, I found out that my youngish, handsome dentist always comes in dressed like the scruffiest student before he changes into his sporty, white dentistry gear. Never underestimate the informally dressed people - they're usually the real thing.)

Verification Germet fits the Purell, somehow. ;-)

Grumpy, M.D. said...

I wasn't offended. I was thrilled to be spared a sales pitch.

Purple Pyro said...

That whispering was just rude. As was the hand scrubbing.
I love your blog, even if I am one of those keen medical students you probably despise for their enthusiasm- I do keep getting told I'll have it crushed out of me.

:)

Anonymous said...

I love being mistaken for someone I am not. We are a multi-veterinarian practice and I will occasionally answer the phone. It is amazing what people will say about myself and/or colleagues when they have no idea who they are talking to. Some of the "nicest people" to us vets can be the biggest turds to the staff on the phone. Rude to my staff, without a really good reason, will get you fired faster than rude to me.

bb said...

Absolutely Priceless!!!!

A number of years ago, the waterhose in my car broke. I didn't know what the problem was at the time, just that my car was overheating. Since I was on the freeway and downtown big city, the tow truck driver towed my car to the nearest station (I assume he gets a kickback). Anyway, the garage people were looking at the engine and were speaking Arabic and were discussing what to tell me. In essence, they were going to rip me off big time. They had no idea that I speak Arabic. I just stood there like a dummy not letting on that I understood every single thing they were saying. When they finished and told me in English what the problem was, I simply replied in Arabic "I speak Arabic."

Needless to say, I had the tow truck driver take me somewhere else.

WarmSocks said...

Ed probably thinks a clean tank is important. If fish think.

Poor Stuffy, living all those years and not learning that people are inherently valuable, regardless of their occupation.

I love it when you give the strange people who wander through your office enough rope to hang themselves.

Anonymous said...

you don't wear lab coat in office?

Grumpy, M.D. said...

What's a lab coat?

Mary said...

Hahahahaha! My boss? Wear a lab coat? Hahahahaha!

XE said...

Okay, you seriously need to post a photo of this outfit (with your face and any identifying details blurred out, of course).

Megan said...

This? Awesome.

Devonay@LumpkinAndMe said...

Priceless.

Anonymous said...

agree, dr g. nicely done. even if they did realize who you are, they still would not respect you, your time, or your priorities. turn the coin, and treat the disheveled patient respectfully, and amazing things will frequently happen. not necessarily those who arrive in their own disguise, but those who are used to being discounted and ignored by busy docs. they will usually light up and become a high point in your day. and the true jerks will sort themselves out. young docs- the nurses will help you sort out who is who (@1541).

Greg said...

Classic.

By contrast, it would take more than two hands to count the number of times that I (a tall, late thirties guy in glasses, often dressed in a button down shirt and dress slacks) get called "Doctor" or asked if I'm a physician by people in the medical field or even other patients when I happen to be in a medical setting.

Despite the fact that I'm just a schlub with a law degree and an MBA.

Apparently I can change careers with nothing more than a Brooks Brothers gift card.

KateA said...

I get mistaken for a technician frequently in spite of the scrubs with my name Dr. A- on it and introducing myself. Then, since my last name is a common first name, they will often just refer to me as my last name as if it my first name. Though despite being in my mid-thirties, I get carded for movies, so I guess it is flattering in a way.

I also find that the way people treat people that they consider to be "beneath" them reveals what kind of person that they are on the inside.

Morris said...

Thanks, Dr G. You made my morning. Spewed coffee all over my monitor, before falling about on the floor..
Excuse me while I clean up...

:P

WV: reflop. Apropos, considering.

Jackie said...

LOL!!!

You should have told them that you were Ed's personal assistant, you clean up after him, and feed him and even make sure the water temp. is correct.

*giggles* got to love getting out of sales calls.

xx
Jaxs

Allan B. said...

I second XE's post - I'm expecting a paper bag outfit (or at the very least, checkers and stripes) :)

Jacqueline said...

Yes yes, Grumps...we so need a pic!

pharmacy chick said...

I needed a laugh today and this is the best! Priceless! I can just see it! Youre the best Grumpy!

Joann said...

LOL!! That was great!! And QUICK thinking on your answers.... 'I clean the fish tank'!!! Priceless!!

Amiechan said...

It's not that hard to clean a fishtank - even a neurologist can do it!



;-)

Anonymous said...

My father (a rural ER doc) has been known to show up to work dressed in his riding gear if he was just about to go for a ride and he thinks something will be quick. Breeches, riding boots and a T-shirt. He's been doing it long enough that only the out-of-towners are thrown by the doc's horse gear.

Chris said...

My grandpa was an engineer for a large company. He bought a new Cadillac every other year, from the same dealer, and paid cash (this was a long, long time ago, ha). He went in to the dealer on his day off once, wearing khakis with paint on them, on old shirt, etc. A young salesman (who didn't know him) was rude and pretty much "dismissed" him as a looker who couldn't afford. The sales manager came running out and dragged the young man in the back to explain what type of customer grandpa was, and that he usually came in dressed like that..........the attitude changed dramatically.

stargirl65 said...

I live in a rural area. On my first weekend on call (many years ago) I pulled to the hospital and thought how rural it was as I noticed the pickup in front of me with a gun rack filled with guns. Then later on rounds I was surprised to see some jerk in full camo yelling at all the nurses and they jumping to comply. I asked who it was and was told it was the Chief of Neurology. He goes duck hunting before rounding and shows up in his camoflage afterwards.

Also met a guy in town in grungy khakis. Soft spoken and very nice. He was the heir to the ChefBoyardee family. Found out later lots of very well off people live here and like it because they can be casual and just fit in.

Never judge a person by their appearance.

The Mother said...

Cheating.

PhDnotMD said...

You are beyond awesome. Bravo!!

mongolian yak said...

so which "important person" did you give the chart system info to? dr. pissy, mary, annie, ed, or your boss(mrs grumpy)? :p

Cogitator said...

The trouble is, I don't think I'm smart or fast enough to come up with the "fish tank" truth, or its equivalent that applies to me.

I get knobbled by sales pitches every time :(

Anonymous said...

I should took my bathroom break first before the Dr. G. break!

terri c said...

I love this! Any way out of a sales pitch is fair!

I agree w/anonymous above about answering the phone--one learns so much that way!

Frantic Pharmacist said...

Good work, Dr. G. I do believe the Neverfuckingworks people did a sales job on our organization and we are now paying dearly for it. I hope they pay you a follow-up visit, though!

Sunny said...

As others have said - when you assume, you make an a$$ out of you and me.

My 'don't assume' story is similar to Chris' - My dad was coming home from the beach and saw a car he liked. The first salesman blew him off, but the second gave him proper attention. He went home to get his cash (late 50's) and clean up a bit. The first salesman was stunned when my Dad brushed him aside to speak with the second salesman.

C said...

I may accasionally tell the people who knock at my door that I am just the housekeeper. No lie!

Big Fan said...

You are so quick witted! I believe it is a sign of intelligence.

WV: emorut
unscrambled: U ROT EM or TUMOR E

Ladyk73 said...

Silly...
Why am I always asked questions at retail stores? Is it my friendly face? The fact that I will rehang clothes? place an item? Sometimes I give up and answer people's questions... lol
Funny...
I was a sub teacher years ago when I was 23ish. I have had many a teacher walk into a room wondering who was in charge....

I guess it can be worse...

Anonymous said...

Totally BRILL, Dude!!!
Personally, I love to shop at upmarket stores wearing threadbares and looking like a homeless fart, and pay cash for $1000+ items - just to catch the reaction, of course!
Appearances can be quite deceptive......sales-persons.
;-))

Anonymous said...

I think "imaginary fish Shit" worked better..somebody with sensitive eyes complain??

Anonymous said...

Excellent!

The only thing that might have added insult to injury to Stuffy is scratching your butt before shaking hands (on top of the fish tank comment) :)

 
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