Sinister feeling for Ms. Onion

I am going through a sinister feeling after what I’ve done today.  Half of me grins while the other half remorse.

For over a week now, the hospital administration gave us a new staff to train in the laboratory. Unexpectedly, she’s not a laboratory technologist, thus, knows nothing about laboratory procedures and principles. I prefer to gave her the alias “Ms. Onion” for blogging purposes.

Ms. Onion stands approximately 5’3″, has a motherly built and does the occasional yet very annoying “sideward nods”. At first glance she seems nice and soft spoken.She claims to be holding a masters degree in biochemistry and is from Kerala, India.

It is our “great” medical director who introduce her to us and told us to give her training for a week; evaluate her performance if she fits to join the team. The friendly me accepted her and began teaching her basic laboratory protocols, thinking she is worthy of such goodness. Then I began asking her questions about her experience and machines handled. She told me she has an experience of running a vitros machine for biochemistry and fortunately, I am also proficient in using such machine. Then, there begins my “investigations”…. after series of questions, I found out she is lying….Lying that she knows how to operate the machine….and lying that she has a year of experience in clinical chemistry. I got her to the point of admitting that she only has 3 months of experience of such department and was supervised by a senior technologist all along.

I made the impossible of teaching her how to do urinalysis and fecalysis without any background knowledge on urine formation,crystals and parasites. It is like I am teaching a toddler how to write… yes..that’s how i describe it  teaching a toddler how to write.” 

Then, for a week, she was with my colleagues Jena and Rasha since I happened to be on evening shift last week. According to both ladies, she really is impossible. Ms. Onion knows nothing and always brag her “masters degree” in biochemistry which obviously doesnt help her in the laboratory setup. Both Jena and Rasha tried to teach her things but they lost their patience training someone who knows nothing!!!! I mean who wouldnt? She even don’t know how to use a microscope….she peeps the eyepiece with an eye….making her look like a grader in a laboratory technologist’s perspective speaking.

My friend Rasha told me that she began asking STUPID questions like: What is the difference between serum and plasma, why blood are collected into separate tubes, why do we collect blood on other sites whenever veins in the anitcubital fossa aren’t visible.

What sparked my anger is that this Ms. Onion told Rasha that I didnt teach her well….that she doesnt understand my teaching…. I mean, after trying hard to explain urinalysis and fecalysis in the simplest way possible, she blame her ignorance to me! This woman cant work with me…I start to hate her and when I hate I make problems and I can be the meanest diplomatic person she would ever meet.

To make situations worse, she went to the “great” medical director and told lies that we refuse to teach her; that she is not learning from us. And this irrational medical director barge into the laboratory shouting at Rasha’s face….humiliating her infront of this Ms. Onion without hearing Rasha’s side. Too irrational indeed…He is a doctor for Godsake but he acts just like those people who sells fish in the market. Rasha was left unable to defend herself since this guy went out immediately and didnt gave Rasha a chance to explain and air out her side or our side of the story. After hearing all these drama…I found myself sleepless thinking how can I topple this lady down… Yes that how Ms. Onion brought out the bad side of me….

Then comes today, the day i was waiting for. The day I marked to give Ms. Onion a bad day.

Ms. Onion reported to duty approximately 30 mins after seven. When she entered she greeted me and I did the same thing. While I was busy reviewing the laboratory results for release, we had a very serious conversation. I then tested her knowledge again, and i noticed she felt embarassed having nothing to answer with my basic questions….she defended that she forgot everything because she has a ” three years gap”… then I replied….” tsk tsk…that would create a problem for me and for us”. I told her frankly that I know what she did last week…and I know the whole story. I made it clear that it is not the administration nor the medical director who would decide whether she would be hired but it would be us, the laboratory technologists, and ofcourse Dr. Randa.

I talked to her in a frank yet diplomatic way. I choose my words well, words that would hit her emotions…ofcourse with fake smiles worn. Along our hurtful yet truthful and just conversation, I noticed her eyes began to wet. She reached the point of asking “So, Im wasting my time…so I should go now?” Then, with the usual diplomatic fake smiles, I told her, “no, lets wait for Dr. Randa’s decision, Im just telling you my side, its not me who would decide in the first place, I just want you to know that I am having a hard time with you….and I feel like Im teaching a toddler how to write” 

For the rest of the day, I did again the impossible; I taught her the basics of hematology. I overload her with information and tips, her brain seemingly liked to explode. I did such thing to let her feel that training wont make her like us. I even sarcastically joked, “you know, what you need is schooling not training”

I let her try to do a blood smear and let her master how to make a blood smear according to my standards, which took me and others years to perfect. I told her” suprise me by making a perfect smear in a month, we learned this skill for years, now let me see if you can do this for a month” As expected, she had a hard time and the shift ended with two boxes of glass slides wasted.

All throughout the shift, me and Rasha talked and made it a point to let her feel that she is not part of the team. We even used metaphors that she could understand;that we are referring to her. All along, I can sense she felt disliked and unwanted.

Honestly, my conscience is knocking at me know. Did I really did what is just or I went overboard. I can picture out her face looking tired,worried and worn out. I even gave her an assignment of researching why eosinophils appears orange on a blood smear; i know she cant give me an answer for this tomorrow. I even didn’t offer her a tea nor a coffee for the whole shift. I really did intimidate her and made her feel that I have power over her; that I am a timber standing on a flooded plain.

Then, I also feel for Rasha, being the victim of Ms. Onions lies and “pasipsip”. I swear to God if that happens to me, this so called ” great medical director” would awaken the dragon in me that only my immediate family knew. This medical director demands respect then he should show it first. Shout at me one time and I will mirror what you do…

Part of me says Ms. Onion deserved what she felt today, yet another part of me says I went overboard. I crossed the boundary and hurt her feelings. Maybe she just want the job badly, and i was an antagonist to her part of her story. Then I remember my mom, what if my mom happens to be Ms. Onion, could I stand other people treating her the way I treated her? NO!

Again, I can picture out how she looked today after the shift and my conscience is haunting me. But then again, she cant be part of us because she knows nothing about the laboratory. She is a “biochemist” not a laboratory technologist nor technician. She would soon make problems for me, the laboratory and the hospital for sure.

I am a good man.. but why have I gone this way. I am just human, I know how to hate and make revenge. They say words are sharper than knives….with all that I told her, Im sure, I pierce into her ego.

May God forgive me.


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