A 16-Ounce T-bone, Please
Rhonda was a Medical Assistant student assigned to our office for a one-month internship before she graduated. Unfortunately, she became the final straw in a long line of incompetent students we'd endured over the years. First, she thought she was "above" filing medical records and her few attempts at blood drawing ended with a hematoma on the patient's arm but no blood in the tube. Furthermore, Rhonda insisted on taking her fifteen-minute smoke breaks twice a day. Never mind that we were overloaded with call-backs or behind schedule (because to her dreadful filing and phlebotomy skills.) Worse still, I learned after she left our office she was smoking more than just cigarettes during her lunch breaks. Unbeknownst to me, she wore a roach clip on her belt to hold her joints. No wonder her filing was a disaster. And I'd thought her merely dyslexic. One day, when every single urine dipstick showed 4+ blood in the patients' urine, I became suspicious that Rhonda wasn't performing them correctly. When I decided I'd better observe her reading one, it turned out she was holding the dipstick upside down! Thus, I had to call every single patient and tell them, "The good news? You don't have blood in your urine and you can cancel that referral to the urologist. The bad news? My medical assistant student is a moron." (No, I didn't actually say that.)
With time, we noticed the office was prematurely running out of pens and Post-it notes. Then postage stamps, rolls of toilet paper, and hand sanitizer. Soon, even an electronic thermometer marched out of the office. I suspected our new student had kleptofingers but couldn't prove it.
The final straw? We had a luncheon scheduled with a pharmaceutical representative for the next day so we circulated a menu for staff members to select a lunch item. Imagine my shock when the office manager stormed into my office and said, "Wait til you see this." She slammed down the lunch order and my eyes bulged in horror-- Rhonda had ordered herself a 16-ounce T-bone steak with loaded baked potato, a large chicken Caesar salad, extra rolls, soup, fried cheese sticks, fruit tea, and cheesecake. "This is just plain wrong," my office manager fumed. "She's exploiting them."
I shook my head in agreement. The girl had only worked with us three weeks and already she had the nerve to order over sixty dollars worth of food for one lunch meal. In fact, her choices added up to more than the rest of us combined!
"She needs a lesson in office etiquette. Change her order to a small, plain hamburger. No fries. If she has the audacity to complain tomorrow, tell her she can discuss it with me."
Imagine our shock when Rhonda showed up for work the next day with a steak knife, bottle of A-1 steak sauce, and a large Tupperware to-go container. When she opened her clam shell lunch container and eyed only a dinky hamburger, she pitched a fit. "This isn't my order! I ordered a one-pound steak and a loaded potato and a chicken Caesar salad. And where's my soup and cheesecake?" She glared at my office manager like she had stolen them.
Munching a French fry, my office manager informed her of what I had done and why.
With no remorse, Rhonda sputtered, "My daddy always told me if someone offered to treat me to a meal, I should order the most expensive thing on the menu, along with an appetizer, soup, salad, and dessert and to ask for extra rolls."
I concluded Rhonda was more suited for a job with the federal government (maybe the Government Services Administration) than a medical office.