In the little clinic where I worked the last, eight years before I moved to Canada, one of the doctors was ….less liked than the other ones.
If you’ve ever seen the TV-series DOC, with Billy Ray Cyrus … there was one character — Dr. Oliver Crane — who personified our Dr. In hindsight, I feel a little sorry for this doctor … I think he had serious issues with himself, but at work he was just such a nuisance. He was bitter, didn’t show much empathy towards the patients and he sucked up to people that were higher up in the social hierarchy. He was an excellent administrator and obviously should have chosen a different line of work. He could have gone into research or something where he didn’t have any patient contacts.
Anyway, he and I got along … not fine, but … alright — we never had any fall-out like all the others had with him. He was never mean to me. There were times when I wanted to slap him with a wet trout, but in general … all the people in the clinic were thankful that I was the one who had to handle both him and the computer network.
At one point, he went to the States on some medical conference. At the same time he took time out to travel around a little so he was away for two weeks. He went to Colorado.
In order for this to make sense, I must tell you that he loved to put people in their place … to really show what a know-it-all he was.
One night, I’d been online [as usual], chatting with my friend in Idaho. She’d been to the eye doctor that day, and mentioned to me, in passing, that she’d seen two marmots, playing in the parking lot. I didn’t know the word ‘marmot’, and even if she’d said ‘groundhog’ that wouldn’t have helped. There is a word in Swedish for this animal, of course … it’s «murmeldjur», but we don’t have them in Europe. Up until 2004 I’d never seen one in real life, and not a raccoon either for that matter.
In any event, I was always eager to pick up new words and expressions in English, so I looked it up in the dictionary that I always kept beside the computer, and that was that.
The following day, Dr. A. was back from Colorado. I was downstairs in the server room and he came in there to see how things were going. He was wearing a very nice sweatshirt with the word MARMOT all over it.
I just glanced at him and said ‘Nice sweatshirt!’ He smiled and said … in a demure sort of voice … you know the type of voice people use when they are certain that the other person won’t know what they’re about to tell … ‘Yes, thank you! Do you know what the word MARMOT means?’
Need I say anything more?! 🙂 Thank you, Angharod.