Sunday, October 4, 2009

Mistaken Identity

When we find ourselves in a transitional space, moving from one phase of life to another, we tend to be grateful for any kind of encouragement we can get. It was certainly that way for me a few years ago, while I was working at a hospital in Denver and about to make my escape to medical school.

I'd just gotten off work one afternoon and had to stop at the bank on the way home. The stuff of daily life. Anyway, standing at the teller window, I became engaged in a discussion with the branch manager about the pros and cons of using online bank

Clipart of bills and coins

ing while she gave me directions for finding my way through the maze of the bank's web site. Realizing I'd taken more than a few moments of her time, especially at a busy hour, I made it a point of thanking her by name. A simple thank you just didn't seem polite under the circumstances and yes, she was pretty and no, that didn't have a thing to do with it.

As I turned to leave, I heard her reply, "You're welcome, doctor." Startled, I thought to myself, how could she know? Am I exuding "doctorness" without even realizing it? Is this some kind of mystical thing that's so mysterious and esoteric that all the "I wanna be a doctor when I grow up" books don't mention it? Kind of like a secret criterion that admissions committees use to make their final decision: did s/he have the "doctorness" experience? If yes, they're in and if no, toss them back like a fish that's under the limit?

By the time I'd gotten to the car, my bubble was big enough that something was bound to happen (you've probably got this figured out already). It occurred to me (darn it) she no doubt saw my place of employment on the computer screen with the account information, noted my jacket and tie, and thought to herself, if he's not a doctor, I'm better safe than sorry.

Sigh. A moment of transcendental significance come and gone. Oh well, mistaken identity or not, it was fun while it lasted.

(Image via Wikipedia)

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