Nurse Duane Promotes Weirdness (A Dr. Bob Story)

Posted: July 18, 2014 in Dr. Bob, On Being Apostolic
Tags: , , , ,

Another Dr. Bob Tale, In the Which Nurse Duane Promotes Weirdness

When we last encountered the intrepid Dr. Bob, he had found himself in hot water with state regulatory agencies (as well as certain powerful medical associations) for his cherry picking proclivities.   And whilst focusing his not inconsiderable energies on dealing with and repairing the damage caused by his peculiar way of looking at data, he found himself in need of help…good help, effective help, image-sensitive help…to see that day to day operations at the clinic went smoothly.

Enter Nurse Swiãtopôłk Plesko. However, since no one at the clinic could actually pronounce his name, for some reason he was dubbed Nurse Duane. And it stuck. Nurse Duane hailed from the town of Wejherowoin in the Kashubian region of Eastern Pomerania, and spoke with a pronounced Slavic accent. Not that he couldn’t be understood, mind you…his English was quite good, actually…but his accent was pronounced enough to let you know that he most certainly wasn’t from “heah.”   Further, with rugged Slavic good looks complete with high cheekbones and thick, dark eyebrows…well…

But he didn’t actually have any eyebrows. Where those thick, dark, Slavic eyebrows should have been were only baldish eyebrow ridges. Sure, his head was shaved…but that was kind of stylish. And it seemed maybe a little odd that his face was also hairless…that he didn’t have a tough-guy goatee to set off his shiny head. But he didn’t have eyebrows, either. His face was completely hairless.   His entire face was bald. And smooth. Like it had been waxed or something.

It was weird. And disconcerting.

But Nurse Duane was a crackerjack administrator! He reorganized, shuffled, cleaned, polished, hired, fired, billed (as much as he could), collected (as often as he could), paid (when he must) and dodged (when possible) with an icy coolness and efficiency that earned him the admiration of Dr. Bob and the respect (but not love) of the entire staff. And after a period of about six months or so, the clinic looked to be well on the way to recovering from Dr. Bob’s cherry picking debacle.

Then it started. The changes. It was like Nurse Duane drew everyone in with his good looks and remarkable efficiency, then started making demands and issuing requirements that seemed a bit…odd. And while the performance of those demands & requirements wasn’t openly spoken of as necessary to maintaining employment at Dr. Bob’s Clinic, it came to be “understood” that if you wanted to work for Dr. Bob, you’d do what Nurse Duane required.

At first it all seemed reasonable enough. All nurses had to wear white, like in the old days. That was a bit of a hard sell at first, because most of the nursing staff hadn’t worn white in, well, forever. Some had never worn white…always those funky nursing scrubs. But, Nurse Duane made a good case…and slowly won the nurses over.

But that wasn’t all. Next, all the physicians on staff had to wear those really old school white tunics that looked like they came right off the set of a 1960’s TV medical drama. That caused a bit of a ruckus because the doctors weren’t used to be told what to do by anyone except Dr. Bob. But Dr. Bob stood behind Nurse Duane. And the fact was that the starched, white uniformity created a kind of efficient, antiseptic image that set off everyone’s South Beach tans to a remarkable degree. So, after a while, they all came ‘round.

Then it happened. One fine Monday morning, Nurse Duane called all the staff together and informed them that in the interests of cleanliness, no facial hair of any kind would be permitted. Since none of them happened to be bearded or mustachioed, they inquired as to exactly what he meant. And in his strongly Slavic yet entirely understandable accent, Nurse Duane told them that he meant they should all shave their heads, including their eyebrows. It was in the interests of cleanliness, after all, he said. In the interests of cleanliness, the android, face-bald look would now be de rigeur at Dr. Bob’s Clinic. And as understanding and gentle as Nurse Duane appeared to be with those clamoring their objections, in his equally understanding and gentle way he subtly implied that those who didn’t comply would find themselves in the unemployment line.

“In fact,” he understandingly, gently, and subtly intoned, “I don’t understand at all why medical professionals would object to such a thing. How is being face-bald hurtful to your profession? Does being face-bald affect your performance as a doctor? As a nurse? Will being face-bald cause you to lose your license to practice? You should just submit to being face-bald and trust me that I know what’s best for this clinic.”

They responded by asking him to show them in some authoritative medical journal or textbook the results of a study, of any study, that demonstrated that being face-bald was in any way indicated for medical professionals.

And with that he told them of how in 1575, in the Kashubian region of Eastern Pomerania, a bloody warlord had risen up to oppress the peasants. He had inflicted unspeakable depredations on the population, and had looted and pillaged at will. With his wild, flowing, black braided locks, and his long, thick, jet beard, and his bushy, beetle eyebrows, he was a terror to behold. And in response to the warlord’s depredations, a local priest had begun to encourage the men of the region to go face-bald, so as to clearly identify that they were not followers of this madman. In time, the women also began to go face-bald as well.

Understandable as being face-bald may have been in 1575 in the Kashubian region of Eastern Pomerania as a response to despoliations of a hairy, brutal warlord, it didn’t make a lick of sense to the very South Beach staff of a clinic in the Cape Cod region of Eastern Massachusetts in 2014. And they objected. Stridently. In fact, one could almost say that Nurse Duane kicked off another Revolution.  Because, for some reason, the medical staff couldn’t see any connection between not wanting to identify with an Eastern Pomeranian, Kashubian warlord from 1575, and the practice of medicine in Eastern Massachusetts in 2014.

And of course, there was no connection. Being face-bald may have made sense in Eastern Pomerania in 1575, but not now. And for Nurse Duane to demand it of Dr. Bob’s staff showed that, however skilled and efficient he was, in his mind there existed a fundamental disconnect from reality. The upshot of the whole debacle was that after the entire staff of the Clinic threatened to walk out, Dr. Bob fired Nurse Duane.

If you see him, you’ll probably recognize him right away. He’s still face-bald.

And that, my friends, is the story of how Nurse Duane promoted weirdness.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s