Listening and Hearing are two very different things

I've often stressed that Listening and Hearing are completely different things.

You can hear something, but not be listening. You know, like white noise or that background chatter in a restaurant that you tune out. On the other hand, you can also listen to something or someone, but not hear the message because you've got a preconceived notion or assumption sitting there inside your head already. To truly process something and respond meaningfully, you really got to both hear and listen.

I wish I had the time, energy and strength to tell that to someone at work who was coordinating things today. I was so, so pissed off at the whole thing and quickly gave up trying to be logical with her. She simply wasn't listening. Or hearing for that matter. It was like she was in her own little bubble.

Despite the short time I had to be in the same room as her, let alone the even scantier times I interacted, I think that she's got some sort of commitment issues. Seriously! When one is sitting there with the patient asleep on the operating table and the bones showing, and the surgeon is asking for the drill attachment so he can drill holes into the bones for the screws and plate, the last thing you want to hear is "I can't find it." That in itself would have been fine and we would have gone to Plan B or C.. but the woman couldn't commit and kept coming up with excuses.

"They moved everything, I can't find it."

"What do you mean, you can't find it? Did they throw out all the orthopedic stuff??"

"No, they just moved the store room. I can't find it" she says as she disappears through the door to look for it again.

She comes back and the conversation repeats itself.
By then, I was getting the shits. This was exactly like MY conversation with her...

"What time does the case start?"

"You can come now"

"Ok, but what time does it start?"


Back to the surgeon.. HE was getting the shits too with this vagueness.

"Ok, you can't find it. Can you get me the part somehow though?"

"Well, they moved everything so I can't find it but I can if I have more time"

"Ok, so you can get me the part?"

"I can't find it, they moved everything"

"Look, CAN you or CAN'T you get me the part?"

"They moved everything. I can't find it. I can find it but it will take a long time"


She couldn't get us the damn part in the end and by the time she came back to tell us that, we were done. The surgeon manually drilled the holes with a drill bit. I have NEVER seen anyone do that in the modern world in my 6 years of orthopedics. The surgeon was muttering about not remembering when the last time he had to do this was. He still couldn't get over it, made obvious by him leaning over and whispering in an incredulous manner about not having access to a drill for such a routine case.


That woman really shouldn't be allowed to coordinate things like this if she can't commit to concrete answers and stick to facts. She also makes assumptions, which is dangerous in any circumstance, but especially when dealing with lives and medicine. The gall! She berated me for not knowing that all emergency cases only happen in one operating theater and asked if it was my first shift. She later muttered it again when I said it was basic information to tell me when to show up and where to show up to, but then added that either one of two theaters were always used after hours. Riiigghttt. Next time I ask, will she be adding another "routine" theater to the list and expecting me to know?

I just needed to get this off my chest. I have half a mind to lodge a complaint about her, but it's not worth my energy to pursue this unless it happens again with the same person. So for now, it's something that I'm just going to have to get over and cool down.

Happy holidays indeed.

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