Customer Service for the Terminally Retarded
Got a complaint? We have a department for that. It’s located in the “Disciplinary Program.” Unfortunately, your contract is with the “Diversion Program.” The difference? In exchange for five years of perfection, we will remove the Scarlet A (for addict) Please read the fine print. So, if you have a complaint, you had better put the words “and I am so grateful for this” at the end and call it a thank you note. Otherwise, we suggest that you put that sucker in an envelope, slap a Forever stamp on it, and wait about three years to pop it in the mail.
Because you are a drug addict for right now. For right now, your complaint means nothing.
You must wait until you have been deemed Normal again for your complaint to mean anything.
Besides, your contract has a “no complaining” clause…RETARD!”
So, you are a Masters prepared RN with 14 years of experience, “four years clean and sober,” in the infancy of your doctoral program and loving your life, finally…warts and all. You are sitting at a table looking at 6 Board representatives who have all told you that they want what is best for you and to please give an honest accounting of how you are doing. And you have decided to be honest in giving them just that.
School…8 out of 10 (but concentration tougher since the whole bipolar dx and meds)
Home, 4 out of 10
Money 1 out of 10
Recovery…still holding strong, one day at a time).
And…let’s see…the BRN consultant in charge of your case, calls you a “RETARD.”
It seems that a month ago, one of your quarterly reports was two days late, and this is the second time in six months. This means you are non-compliant…a retard.
How do you respond to that?…What do you say when someone calls you a retard? What do you do?
Well, I’ll just TELL you what I said and did!
I swiftly whipped my nursing license out of my purse, threw it on the table in front of said BRN consultant, and smiled brightly before saying with great enthusiasm… “Have a fabulous day!”
Right. And then I pursued a challenging career as a maid at Motel 6.
That’s right , you can’t be a nurse without a license, now can you silly?
That is why the woman from the BRN could call me a “retard” without batting an eye, and that is why five other people would sit there and let it happen.
AND it explains why my actual response was, what any good little indoctrinated drug addicted participant of the BRN Diversion program has been trained to do…
I nodded my head, allowed the tears of shame to flow, and promised not to be so retarded anymore…promised to be perfect from now on. Please…please…anything…just please: Do…not…take…my…license.
You lose your voice when you face stigma. In the case of the Diversion Program, if you USE your voice, you can lose your license.
But, in my desk, in an envelope, addressed to the Executive Officer of the California Board of Registered Nursing, there there was soon a letter…a complaint if you will, with no words of gratitude anywhere to be found…with TWO Forever stamps on it, This letter went in the mail on July 26th of that year. Can you say com-ple-tion date?
“I can help the next retard at this window…”
“Next retard please!”