A senior is one higher in rank, dignity or office. This is not so with Senior Pangolo because there is no dignity and if care is not taken, rank and office, a ma take over. Pangolo is an empty can that is just always making noise. Senior Pangolo therefore is an arithmetic equation, so do the summation.
It’s a sunny morning, even with the curtain blind in our small doctor’s room we can feel the nagging rays of the sun. The leg of the woman is going kri kri one after the other. I want to throw a toothpick but I wonder which of her legs is thinner, then I take pity on her and put it in between my teeth instead.
Dr Sheba, comes to the door and shouts,
‘House officer come over here!’
When my parents were listing the names I was christened, house officer was not one of them, so I don’t reply.
‘Dr Mee can’t you hear that I’m talking to you.’
Oh yeah. That’s me. ‘Ma’ I respond
‘Have you seen all the patients?’
‘Yes ma’ I respond.
She is the one to see the patients but because she wants to go through instagram and facebook on her phone, giving the team doses of the latest gossip, she doesn’t review patients. What is my own, I’m a doctor in training and I will see the patients and learn. She’s the one going for exam, when they ask her question she’ll discuss the gossip on facebook and provide the management.
‘Ok. When you are going to buy food let me know. You’ll get me food and water. Then help me buy groundnut around that canteen side.’
It is at times like this I wonder if I am a house officer or house help. I try to press auto reset in my brain, maybe one button is not functioning, maybe I am not house officer but actually house help. Just as I am about to take my seat, the left breast pocket of my coat catches my attention and I see Doctor boldly written on it. So I know that I am a doctor and not house help. It is like she cannot see the toothpick in my mouth to know I have eaten already. It is this messenger work that has made me start bringing my own food to work.
One hour passes, two hour and she can see that I am not going to buy food, so she calls me to go buy her food. What is my own? It is almost time for the consultant to come. I take the money and leave, and then return after forty five minutes.
On my return, the consultant is shouting so I tell him that Aunty Dr Sheba sent me to buy food and I could not find the groundnut so I had to keep searching. In rage, he calls her in and issues her a query.
‘I don’t know when buying food became part of their job description. You young ones are just abusing power’ so I’m very happy but little do I know that my problems have only just begun.
Today Dr Sheba is playing candy crush on her phone, then another doctor that came to review some patients is documenting. He said I should pass a case note, that’s when Dr Sheba begins to scream.
‘House officer, what rubbish. How can you put your hand over me? Don’t try it again.’ Then she hisses.
Later, she calls me and sends me to buy food.
‘If you like waste time’
This is why some people cannot be great and this is why some people cannot even progress.
Today I want to put laxative in the food because I know if I spit inside nothing would happen. Some people’s antibody would not even recognise it has foreign body ehn because they are not even fresh. Their body is like pako.
But Jesus is looking at me from the cross of Calvary, this is why your work should be work. Other people would have refused her and not even noticed Jesus looking at them till they get back home. Then they would say ‘Father, forgive me for I have sinned’
Or maybe it’s me that missed the point, maybe Jesus is actually saying go ahead daughter and I’m thinking he’s saying ‘Leave vengeance for me’
Anyway my vengeance doesn’t come yet, I know it would still come however.
Instead, it’s her vengeance that comes.
So one day she calls me,
‘Dr Mee take this load to my car’
I take it and my colleagues are abusing me that why you gotta do this, tell her no. The problem with refusing is, it can work either good or bad for you. The senior pangolo may end up realising you are no house help, or the senior pangolo would report to other senior pangolo who now set a ditch for you. I honestly thought secondary school behaviour ended in secondary school.
So the key breaks as I’m turning it and Dr Sheba is screaming.
‘Sorry ma’ I say severally but she’s still shouting. I cannot take it again so I say
‘Please ma, stop shouting at me, It’s not my fault.’ I’ve honestly reached my peak with her and if I was doing doctor job and not house help job her key would never have found its way to me. So she says ‘You dare reply me, I would give you a query and teach you a lesson.’
Query is an English word, people do not understand so they think its capital punishment.
‘Bloody house officer’
I look at her angry, I’m hoping my eyes are bloody.
Bad news spreads faster than good news and everyone is asking what happened. There is shock written on a lot of people’s face as they cannot understand how someone would bastardise the usefulness of query and personalise it. Next I hear is that aunty Dr pangolo is defending herself saying that she would not have issued me one but I looked into her eyes and said she can do nothing.
The query was issued and I responded to which Dr Sheba still was not satisfied. Committee of senior must always be right, consultant heading it say it’s disrespectful to state exactly what happened that I’m indicting my senior and so I should reply only with an apology. This is a statement senior consultants would not make. Maybe this one just finished residency. What is my own?
I’m not even upset because I know she’s doomed already. This bloody house officer has an ori.
Ori mi ma mu and it would be too late then.