Thinking About Opinions While In The Presence Of Sharp Pointy Things

{ Photo by Samuel Scrimshaw via Unsplash }

# # #

Just because something happens, and I am aware of it, doesn’t mean that I have anything to say about it.  Or that I will change my behavior because of it.

I got thinking about this idea the other day when I went to the doctor’s office.  After a brief wait in the waiting room a nurse called me back to the examining rooms.  As we walked along she asked me what I’d done over the weekend.

Basic chit-chat as I got settled into the room, ‘ya know?

Or so I thought.

I told her that we’d gone to a college hockey game.  I was starting to elaborate when she interrupted me with a tirade against the university whose team we’d seen play.

# # #

Her, shocked: DIDN’T YOU KNOW THAT THERE ARE DRUGS ON THAT CAMPUS?

Me, mild-mannered: Uh, no… well, yes… it’s a college campus…

Her, outraged: DIDN’T YOU SEE ON THE NEWS THAT THERE WERE RAPES ON THAT CAMPUS?

Me, contrite: Uh, yes I did… not good…

Her, empowered: DIDN’T YOU KNOW THAT MY SON WOULD NOT GO THERE BECAUSE IT WAS A PARTY SCHOOL AND HE DIDN’T FEEL LIKE HE’D BE SAFE THERE?

Me, polite: Uh, no… didn’t know your son considered it, but if he didn’t feel like he’d be safe there then I’m glad he didn’t go there…

Her, demanding: WHY WOULD YOU GO TO A GAME THERE?

Me, quietly: Because it was for work… and it was free… and we had a fun time…

# # #

Now clearly I hit a nerve with this woman.  And as you, my gentle readers, can tell, I answered her questions as accurately as I could, considering that she had at her disposal sharp pointy and pokey things that she could use, while upset, to inadvertently hurt me.

I’m not a fool.

But this conversation, such as it was, did give me pause.  It got me thinking about how I now live in a society where everyone seems to have strong opinions about many things, and you never know what topics are going to set somebody off.  

[See conversation above.]

I also realized that, ironically, I have to admit that I have no opinion about all the people with all the opinions.  Say what you will, think what you want.  Live and let live, you know?

Just don’t hurt me in the process.  That’s all I ask.

Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Creative. Humorous. Adaptable. Happy enough. Midwestern by chance. Kindhearted most days.

63 thoughts on “Thinking About Opinions While In The Presence Of Sharp Pointy Things”

  1. I appreciate your practice of confirming her feelings and not judging or reacting. Maybe you did her a favour, letting her blow off some steam like that.
    I think I might have peed my pants, if there were pokey things in the vicinity.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maggie, I was surprised that mentioning what I did lead to such a loud response. I thought I was on solid conversational ground, but alas and alack I was not. Kind of a trippy situation to be in.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I have to say, having spent a couple of decades in the health care (mental variety) business, that that nurse’s behavior was at best, unprofessional. You handled her outrage as well as I can imagine. I wonder what would have happened if she had done that with a rabid fan of the team, or passionate alum of the school.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. bobcabkings, I was thinking the same thing about the alumni connection. I have no idea why she was as adamant as she was, but trust me when I say that I was in no position to tell her to chill out. So I decided that this was one of those life moments meant for a blog. 🙂

      Liked by 4 people

  3. I’m always surprised at how passionate some people can be about certain things. I’m even more surprised when they remain passionate even after their original points are proven false. My experience talking with others has shown it’s easier for them to continue believing in something proven wrong than it is for them to do the right thing and admit they were wrong. This conversation you wrote about is common place in the state next door to me with a certain University on the east coast.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Andrew, you said it! There was so much passion in this nurse’s reaction to what I’d said. I’m an introvert so I find chit-chat tedious to begin with, but then to have my seemingly innocent remark lead to such a vehement reaction was odd. I wonder if you’re right about this being a case of fan loyalty to a different university than the one I mentioned.

      I don’t know, I don’t care… just don’t stab me!

      Liked by 4 people

  4. Sounds like there might be more background to that story than realized to cause such a reaction. Personal or familial trauma from the past may have played a part in her vehement questioning. That might make me think twice before I answer to openly to a simply, supposed casual question…

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Deb, I was surprised. My introverted little self thought I was saying something fun and casual, but the nurse’s response told me I’d said something wrong. Overall, it’s getting more difficult for me to find anything to say that doesn’t seem to bother someone.

      ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

      Liked by 4 people

  5. There is a big university in our state that within the past 6 or 7 years had a huge drama play out. I found out that it was like politics or religion. Even people who didn’t go to the school had strong feelings one way or the other. Really strong. Like punch you in the face strong. I have never understood how people can get so spun up about things that aren’t in their life but ignore the things that are. Perhaps this woman thinks everyone should boycott all games this school is involved in. Not likely to happen. The problems should be dealt with through the proper channels. Hope you enjoyed the game.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Kate, I’m beginning to think that you’ve hit the nail on the head about this woman’s hatred of a certain university’s fans– and how I inadvertently stepped into it when I mentioned where we had been. I bet you’re right that she wants everyone to boycott all the games at this particular university, and there I was mentioning what a fun evening we had. Which we did, thank you for asking.

      So now college sports are another taboo subject? Honestly, people need to get a grip.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. It reminds me of an Abbott and Costello routine where Abbott asks, “Do you want mustard on your hot dog?”
            “No thank you. I like ketchup.”
            “Do you realize that if you don’t use mustard that the people working at the mustard company will lose their jobs and their kids will have nothing to eat. They won’t even have a simple hot dog, and all because you wouldn’t have the mustard on your all-American hot dog…”
            “I don’t want the poor little kids to starve. I didn’t mean to hurt the little kids. OK, I’ll have mustard.”
            “What about the people working at the ketchup plant… aren’t you ashamed of yourself….” …

        Liked by 2 people

  6. She clearly had no respect for your answering her question – she asked, you told, and to be faced with such a barrage of venom? Next time you visit there and she’s there, pull out the masking tape, and place over your mouth … (ears too maybe – in fact maybe your whole head) and if she asks you why? – pull out your written note … in fact the more I think about this, go there anyway, all bound up and give her a fright … and hand out your written note – yikes, Ally Bean – 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Susan, good point. I hadn’t thought of the fact that she asked me, she started this conversation. I’m an introvert so this kind of blah-blah talk isn’t my strength, but I did try to say something on a topic that I thought was ok. The masking tape idea is a good one, but perhaps a bit… impractical? 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  7. You are so good at handling people with issues! I am in awe. I rarely get that riled up about anything (except maybe the lack of basic education in the schools nowadays, where did Home Ec and Auto Shop or Woodworking go?) but when I was working in a doctor’s office (which I did for 25+ years), I was usually more concerned with finding out what was bringing the patient to the office rather than their personal lives. I don’t really care, you know? Plus, get em in and get em out was usually the rule…time is money.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Janet, you’re right. She didn’t seemed at all interested in why I was at the doc’s office. Although once she got over her dismay, things went smoothly.

      And thank you about handling people with issues. Would that those people not find me, but they do. They always have. There’s something about me that people feel comfortable telling me everything, regardless of my interest in what they have to say.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Apparently, you did not get the memo . . .

    These days, the ONLY safe response to pointed questions about what you did over the weekend is an oblique, “oh, not much . . . how about you?”

    Anything else may not be PC.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Worry not, Ally Bean.
        It’ NOT you . . . it’s HER!

        That said, I expect she or someone she knows was date-raped on a college campus after being slipped a roofie. Either that, or she has PTSD from realizing that her beloved comedian, Bill Cosby, turned out to be a monster. Or she’s still reeling from the election and can’t process that Trump is POTUS. Or . . . (gasp) she was on drugs!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. nancy, any of those scenarios are completely plausible. 😉

          If I cared I’d ask her about them, but honestly I only see this nurse maybe once every 6 months… and by the next time I see her I’ll bet she’ll be back on keel.

          Like

    1. Janis, excellent point! I think that drugs were just the beginning of her displeasure with the university where we’d gone. I touched off something in the nurse, and could only quietly wait for the topic of conversation to change. Weird experience, beats me why she was so upset.

      Don’t. really. care. why. truth. be. known.

      Like

  9. Stunner for sure.
    Totally inappropriate by the nurse. (who should be more focused on why you are there and health information for the doctor)
    Did your blood pressure go up for this visit?
    After she left/you were past her part of the visit, I hope you brought up to the doctor what she said and your concern she was so angry – upsetting a customer. Using aggressive tone of voice.
    This wasn’t a social visit or public venue like the grocery store (where you slowly back away before running.) A doctor’s office – and they are getting paid to treat you.
    Doctor needs to know. There may be other complaints and she keeps getting a pass. Most doctors do not hire their nurses/assistance now – a corporation does and the doc may have little or no say at all about who showed up. But that nurse has issues/sounds unstable and should not be around the practice – may run people off.
    I don’t care how “passionate” one is, on the job you keep your mouth shut (as you are the face of and represent the company/boss)and do your job efficiently and politely to the customers.
    Sharp pointy objects indeed. I’d specifically insist she not be allowed in the same room with me ever again.
    What is wrong with people? I fear we have empowered inapproriateantisocial behavior by being polite, PC, and willing to offer/create excuses for these people for far too long.
    Totally overwhelming and discouraging.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. philmouse, I hadn’t considered how inappropriate the conversation was in the context of the office visit. She’s been with this doc for over a decade and I’ve seen her in the office over the years, so maybe she thought I was a friend? It’s kind of small town around here, people not all that hung up on professional ethics. I dunno. If anything weird like this happens again, I’ll say something.

      What is wrong with people is the question, isn’t it? No answer. Being rhetorical.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Dang I hate it when idle chit-chat turns me into a monster I never knew I was. It’s always something, isn’t it? This particular case seems brutal! I consider her tone and her subject matter professionally inappropriate.
    I hope you were poked and prodded with care.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. joey, I could have done without any conversation, but that’s not the way of this particular doc practice. Very friendly, and overall competent + professional. I think I just happened to say something that riled this nurse on a bad day and off she went. The rest of the visit was fine, once she calmed down and got around to, you know, healing me.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Over the weekend I went to an execution. It was very entertaining. The executrix read the will. The will was executed on the spot with representatives of the inheritors getting cash payments. The decedent gave equal shares of the money to a parrot, an avian drug company, a feather pillow manufacturer, and a professional meme-mime. Someone took a salute the wrong way, and there was a pillow fight. A number of the participants were upset that the will was read at the grave site during the digging of the grave. One person choked on a feather and died so they dug a larger hole and threw him in with the decedent. They threw his money on the grave ( he was a former dictator of a small country and they said it was blood money ). The mime had no comment. The pillow manufacturer is being sued, but I got a free pillow and a free parrot. The parrot has a lot to say, but I’m not talking.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. That’s too bad. Conversation shouldn’t be a minefield, especially polite chitchat with relative strangers. I understand that she felt strongly about the subject–it was personal to her–but she was, first and foremost, at work. That means professional tact and courtesy, period.

    Everyone and anyone can have a Bad Day. Or even make a social faux pas, for whatever reason. Hopefully this was hers–with you–and that’s it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. nance, you have described it perfectly: I ended up in a conversational minefield at the most unexpected moment about the most unexpected topic. As I said above this nurse has been with this doc for well over 10 years, and I look forward to seeing her because usually she’s got great stories of the My Kids Do The Darnedest Things variety.

      I’m more than willing to give her a pass on this conversation because bad days happen to every one, but I was surprised by what went down.

      Like

  13. I suppose I have some fairly strong opinions, I’ve just learned over time (and over the internet) that (generic) you don’t care about my opinions and I don’t care about (generic) your’s. Outrage and shouting doesn’t change anyone else’s opinion after all. I only talk about such opinions in the presence of someone I trust to also be of the mindset that it’s okay if we have different opinions. Still, I do manage to step in that conversational minefield (nice imagery) once in a while and I find myself falling back on my old shrink days. I knew those skills would come in handy one day. Your responses make me think you would’ve made a good shrink.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Zazzy, everyone who has a working brain has some strong opinions and I’m all for it. However, I sure didn’t think that saying we went to a hockey game would get such a strong opinion. I mean, it was chit-chat as we walked along, not defending your PhD dissertation before the committee! I’m going to write this experience off to Bad Day and leave it at that. But it did make an impression on me and got me thinking about the place of opinions in anyone’s life.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, agreed Ms. Bean. I used to have a friend who I could count on to make my most innocuous opinion – or piece of conversation – into a knock down drag out fight. You will note I said used to. I hope it was just a bad day for this woman and perhaps she realizes she stepped over the line.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I can understand why she used to be your friend. I don’t like being around argumentative people who stir the pot just to see what happens. Fortunately, like you, I don’t allow them in my life anymore. Give me mellow!

          Like

    1. Joanne, I am nothing if not balanced! Well emotionally, at least. Less balanced in a physical way.

      I’m getting to a point where if something didn’t happen to me when I went out in the world, I’d think something was wrong! People are getting nuttier by the day, imho.

      Like

  14. See now, I’m gonna suggest she was the kind of person who can go on these tirades independent of the topic, usually on little information. I have no patience for such people. They are the ones who if you say “I’m going to buy a Honda” might go off on how they knew somebody who knew somebody who was killed in a Honda. You were very diplomatic. Sometimes I try to “redirect” such people back to the business at hand…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. writerinsoul, good observation about this personality type. I love your Honda analogy. So true. I didn’t even think to try to redirect her back to the real topic at hand [me]. Just let her get it out of her system.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Margaret, I’ve seen this nurse in the office off and on for over 10 years, and this is the first time she’s been goofy. I dunno what was up with her, but I’ve now added college sports as another topic to avoid in general chit-chat. Live and learn, I suppose.

      Like

  15. I would have considered that to be a disguised attempt to get your blood pressure up so they can prescribe more medication. I think there’s a conspiracy between doctor’s offices and the makers of expensive blood pressure medications. In fact, how could you go to a place that would engage in such underhanded tactics like that? I would never there because I wouldn’t feel safe with all of those sharp pointy objects laying around….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. evil, your explanation rings true. I also believe that the makers of those automated blood pressure cuffs, that pinch me then say my pressure is high, get some sort of kickback from the makers of the blood pressure meds. It’s a conspiracy, I tell you– and this nurse was in on it!

      Like

  16. Oh my goodness, what a great story to share with us. I used to work in an OB/GYN office, so I’m well aware of how “innocent” conversations can turn into all-out verbal brawls! There is something about being sequestered in an exam room that encourages people with strong opinions to sound off. Maybe it’s that they feel “you’re on my turf, I got somethin’ to say, and you’re gonna listen, because I know you don’t wanna deal with the nasty hassle of havin’ to reschedule!” 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kate, that’s an insightful take on what happened to me with this nurse. She was so sure of what she was saying, and that I was wrong. You’ve explained a possible backstory that makes sense to this conversation. Interesting. Thanks.

      Like

  17. Confirmation that when people I don’t really know ask me question, I’m always extremely vague. I didn’t know that I was protecting myself from nuttiness like this. *shudder*

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Tara, I’m going to follow your lead and be vague in the future. This was an unexpected conversation that I don’t want to repeat. I really didn’t think I was saying anything controversial…

      Liked by 2 people

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