By John Kanelis / firstname.lastname@example.org
My morning started at the Sam Rayburn VA Medical Center in Bonham, Texas, where I went for a routine exam.
During the course of the examination, the radiology technician and I engaged in some light-hearted banter that wove its way eventually toward some of the complaints she gets from veterans such as me.
“If I say something that someone doesn’t like, they go to” speak to the personnel office, she said. “Then I hear from her” and have to explain, she added.
No one tells the personnel office about all “thousands of good things that go on here,” she said.
I laughed. Loudly, in fact. It reminded me of an aspect of my career that I shared with the radiology technician. I will share it with you.
I told her that “when I was a working guy, I wrote editorials for newspapers.” One of the aspects of the job was getting feedback from readers. It could be positive. It could be negative. I told her that “I lost count many years ago of the time someone would say, ‘Hey, I really liked that editorial you wrote.’ I would ask him or her ‘Which one?’ They couldn’t remember, but only told me they liked it,” I explained. Did it frustrate me? Of course it did! I wanted to know the particulars of what pleased this individual; I didn’t tell her that part.
Then I told her, “If they disagreed with an editorial I wrote or a position I laid out, why they were able to recite it back to me … word for word.”
Such is the nature of that line of work and so it is with what my new friend at the Rayburn VA Center has chosen to do.
I ended up telling her, “I hope you know it just goes with the territory.”