Of Attitudes and Prerogatives
How many of you have had to remind business or medical professionals of your prerogatives? Or am I the only one who runs into this? Here’s my newest scenario.
Elv burned his hand on the welder exhaust yesterday while working around his pickup. Joe, the Nortrax mechanic who was also on the job doing a repair on the processor, dug a small packet of Burn Jel out of his own first aid kit and told Elv to use it for pain relief. It worked nicely. It’s a bad burn…a big blister on the side of his palm. He was able to work, but part way through the day he called to ask me to get him some Burn Jel at the pharmacy. Meantime a friend of ours offered some hot shot natural burn salve which they gave us instead. Even though it is good stuff; it didn’t work as well as the Burn Jel for the pain. So it was later when I called Walgreen on the phone to ask if they carried the special salve and to see if they were still open at nine PM.
The pharmacist trying to be helpful asked, “Do you know that burns tend to get worse before they get better?” and “Does your husband have diabetes or a heart condition?” and “Just what does his burn look like?”
I was thinking, “Wait, what does this have to do with whether or not you carry Burn Jel?!” so finally I braved up and asked her why she was asking all these questions.
She said, “I’m trying to decide whether or not he should be seen by a doctor.”
This is the point at which I tend to get snippy if I am not really careful, so I laughed and said, “I’m sorry, we will be making that decision ourselves!”
“Oh!… Yeah, we have burn creams but they’re not really for bad burns they’re just for sun burns and that type of thing.” she was a bit grudging and sparing with her information and seemed to be quite willing to end the conversation.
Lance heard our conversation and went off to the drug store to look for Burn Jel. He came home with the very article!
Or like the time the electric company personal asked me, “And what is the name of your husband’s employer?” in her pen-poised voice.
“Never mind, deary, that wouldn’t be any of your business.” in my mind-your-own-business voice.
Then there was the day I was sitting in the little county health office preparing for immunizations for one of our toddlers.
“Lets see… he needs, besides this routine booster, a Hepatitis B shot.” very business like and assuming.
“We won’t be doing the Hepatitis B shot, thanks.” I said since I had educated myself about it prior and had decided against it.
Which was her cue to engage in a very authoritative I-am-going-to-educate-you tone of voice telling me all the reasons why I should get him this particular shot. I took that as my cue to say that if some day he would do inter-city work or go to a third world country we would then recommend the shot to him.
“But you know this is important…” she was persistent.
I finally realized that she needed to know the jig was up so I reminded her, “I guess you know that as the parent, any and all immunizations are my prerogative , right?”
She subsided at that point.
These times we live in are challenging to our call to non-resistance, and Jesus’ words to us to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. The bottom line here is: how can I be like Jesus yet stand up for what is right?
I have been labeled as self-assured and know-it-all by my friends and family. I find this to be rather humiliating and depressing since I am quite quaky and normal on the inside. Yet, when I face those professionals who would push their ideas onto me which I consider to be optional I find myself needing to tone down and be careful in my responses.
So what is the answer? Tell me what you do.