Sunday, June 16, 2013

Why Road Rage Should Make Us Feel Good

My personal paradox is that I have railed against the intrusion and dehumanization of technology, and yet I am tethered to my iPhone.   Do I feel differently when it’s my technology and not someone else’s?  I hope not or I might be forced to add hypocrisy to my list of flaws.  I’ll have to monitor myself in a fair and balanced manner.  Will I conclude that my phone call while at a restaurant is of monumental importance while another patron’s phone use is a selfish and unforgivable threat to world peace that should be prosecuted? 

Purple Heart - Read on...

This morning, I was halfway to work when I felt for the phone in the inside pocket of my jacket.  Not there.  I palpated other pockets none of which contained the desired item.  The car seat was bare.   I did not fear the most dreaded explanation, that being that the phone was mistakenly left in Starbucks and purloined by a Frappuccino felon. 
As a U-turn seemed hazardous on the highway, I took the next exit and headed back home.  There it was, resting peacefully on the night table, just where I had left it.  To quote Peaches & Herb from 1978, Reunited and it feels so good.

Of course, I was annoyed by having to burn up an extra 40 minutes in the morning.  This is my daily opportunity to read the New York Times, contemplate my existence, sip a beverage that Mayor Bloomberg wishes were illegal or hack out a blog post.

Which of the following life events would depress, irritate or annoy you?
  • You lock the car door while your keys are dangling from the ignition.
  • You arrive in Memphis but your luggage flew to Detroit.
  • Your copay for a physician office visit soared to $20.
  • An aggressive driver lurches into your lane forcing you to break.
  • A slow driver approaches the intersection so lethargically that the light turns red just for you.
  • Your boss takes credit for your work.
  • A flight departure delay is announced at the gate, for the 3rd time.
  • Your GPS has given you precise directions to the wrong destination.
  • Your stuck in traffic on route to a job interview.
  • You race across town to your favorite store, but arrive 100 seconds after closing.  Employees inside point to their watches and stare at you as if you’re an alien being. 

We’ve all had these annoying experiences which may prompt us to utter language or display hand gestures that we don’t typically use.  But should this stuff really get us down? Here’s some news that I’ve confronted in the past 48 hours.
  • Called a physician colleague for a routine issue and discovered his daughter just passed away.
  • An endoscopy nurse recently retired and now has stage 4 breast cancer.
  • A patient I saw yesterday is living in her car.
  • A patient I saw an hour ago earned a Purple Heart for wounds he suffered in the Philippine Islands in 1945.  He spent 5 weeks in a hospital.

Are you having a bad day today?

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