Anyone remember Rodney Dangerfield of Caddy Shack fame (1980)? He was known for saying,
“I don’t get no respect!”
Every time he made the self-effacing comment, I laughed along with everyone else in the free world. But not long ago I felt the depth of his personified pain.
Played out in real life, no respect ain’t so funny.
It’s been about two weeks since my husband had surgery and had to spend the night in the hospital. In pre-op I remember the nurse saying if there was a room available after surgery he would go right to a room. If there wasn’t a room available he would have to stay in recovery. Lucky for us someone was discharged and there was a opening.
The next morning the doctor came in early to discharge my hubby who was already sitting in a chair dressed and ready to go. After a bit of instruction, the doctor told us, as soon as I walk out of this room I’ll write up the orders and you can go home.
An hour later the nurse came in. She inquired why my husband was dressed.
Nurse: “Going somewhere?”
Hubby: “Yes we are. The doc was in here an hour ago and said he was walking out the door right then to write the discharge orders.” Pointing to the catheters in his hand for the i.v.’s he asked, “Will you take these out please?”
Nurse: “I take those out when I get the discharge orders and there are no orders in my computer. You aren’t going anywhere.”
Hubby: “Well an hour ago my doctor said he was going straight to the desk to put them in the computer.”
Nurse: “Well maybe he forgot. I’ll call his office to remind him to do it.”
And she did. Twice. I know this because after another hour with no orders I called his office and the receptionist told me the nurse did indeed call twice. She went on to politely let me know someone in the office gave him the messages and that’s all they could do. Then she added that the surgeon was a very important person who has a very important job and he was a busy man seeing patients right now.
Another hour went by and I called the office again. I was again informed by someone else that our doctor, the surgeon, has extremely important job and a he was a very busy man and now has been called out to surgery.
Was he so important that he couldn’t put in the orders between patients or perhaps before he ran back to the hospital or maybe when he told us he would do it at 8:15 a.m.? From my understanding it takes all of two minutes.
Five hours after our original visit by the doctor we didn’t have the orders.
We weren’t getting no respect!
Aggravated as we were about the situation, we were more upset with the thought that there was some poor soul and their family waiting in recovery to get our room or worse, there was someone lying on a gurney in the E.R. waiting in the queue.
Was this doctor’s position more important than his patient waiting to go home or the person in recovery waiting for a bed?
Tired of the wait, we finally discharged ourselves. On the way home another woman from the surgeons office phoned to check on David under the assumption we were already home. David explained all the happenings of the day hoping for some explanation other than the obvious. She assured us the office had received no messages, but even if they had the doctor was an important man with an important job and he had patients who need his attention.
My hubby’s reply was, “Yes I know I am one of them.”
She had no response.
Whether you work on Wall Street or at the local Wal-Mart. A stay at home mom or a single mom holding down two jobs. Whether you live in a humongous mansion or homeless shelter. Whether you’re a police officer trying to do his job, or you’re the person who gets stopped for forgetting to get his tail light fixed. We’re all the same in the eyes of our loving God who created us. We’re members of the human race. Knit together by God in our mother’s womb.
You are not more important than me. And I’m definitely not more important than you. I have to breathe in air same as you.
We’re all made in the image of God and if even for only that reason we should respect one another.
So what gives us the right then to act like we are better than or more exclusive than the next person?
Oh please Lord, let me not forget.
“My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing gold ring and fine clothes and a poor man is shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing the fine clothes and say, ‘Here’s a good seat for you,’ but say to the poor man, ‘You stand there’ or ‘Sit at the floor by my feet,’ have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? James 2:1-4 NIV
Looking forward, pressing on, seeking God.