This guy, I think, is arrogant and awful. He doesn’t want to give me adequate painkillers. He doesn’t want to give me sleeping pills. He is annoyed that I want my medication written up properly and he is annoyed that he has to do his job. I am annoyed that I am stuck in a room with his arrogance and awfulness and I respond in kind with prickliness and irritation. He is a doctor and I am on a psych. ward. I dislike him.
A day later, I am sat in the lounge in an (un)fair amount of pain. I have my leg crookedly propped over the chair. He rushes over.
“How is your leg?” he asks.
“Elevated.” I say.
“It isn’t really,” he says.
Oh here we go, I think. I’m in trouble with this…
“Do you want a thing?” He asks, running over to get the footstall from the other side of the room. Abruptly, haltingly, he says: “I hope you’ll feel better soon. Take care.”
He is blushing and looking very socially awkward. He walks off at alarming speed. I suddenly feel a bit guilty. He isn’t actually arrogant, or awful. He doesn’t actually dislike me for no reason. He probably doesn’t even hate his job. He is just a pretty awkward person. I have met many socially awkward people (academia) and probably, I am one sometimes. I have been about as judgemental as I assumed he was being, just because he is a doctor and has a pretty useless bedside manner.
I guess the moral of this little story is, social awkwardness is easily mistaken for rudeness. I should know this. I suppose the moral of this story is… give people more than half a chance. They might halfway surprise you.