Trying to Help
to read? Dr. Runninger brings you "just the gems."
can understand if you dislike me. After all, being retired, I am often just struggling
out of bed in the morning when you already have your nose to the grindstone. Although
why you would want to put your nose to a grindstone is beyond me.
an attempt to get back in your good graces, perhaps I can serve a useful purpose.
I propose to occasionally save you hours of wading through a particular book by
reading it myself, and then, eliminating the excess verbiage, give you only the
pertinent or interesting gems.
"As a rule, books contain
too many words," says humorist Dave Barry. "For example, take James Bond books.
The plot is always the same, 'An evil person tries to blow up the world, but James
Bond kills him and makes love to several attractive women.' Just 27 words. But the
guy who wrote it took thousands of words to say it."
Thus I will save your valuable time by reporting
only the pearls pertaining to communication precautions with your patients and staff,
in a book I recently read, "Passion and Prejudice" by Leo Rosten. If you'll forgive
a brief serious moment, I was impressed with his discussion of the purpose of life.
"People debase 'the pursuit of happiness'
into a narcotic pursuit of 'fun,'" he says. "I cannot believe the purpose of life
is only to be 'happy'. Instead the purpose of life should be to be useful, to matter,
to have made some difference that you lived." Good food for thought!
But he also had some lighter moments
in sharing communication problems. The first illustrates why you need to be certain
any questions in your questionnaires cannot be misinterpreted.
On a job application, an applicant
answered these items as follows:
Date of Birth: July 16, 1972.
Weight: 6 pounds, 10 ounces.
Height: 20 inches.
"One of the endearing characteristics of the English
press is the deadpan with which it reports outlandish events," says Mr. Rosten in
reporting this news item from Kirby Misperton, England.
"Government officials paid out more
then 280 pounds to zoo visitors last year for articles stolen by monkeys. The number
one stolen item was eyeglasses. These thefts mainly occurred when people bent forward
to read the small print on a sign hanging on the monkeys' cage, which read, 'Warning:
These monkeys snatch glasses.'"
Greed and gullibility
Mr. Rosten also points out that a combination
of greed and gullibility can be detrimental to a person's financial health. He reports
an ad in the Personal Columns of the Los Angeles Times, which read, "Last day to
send in your dollar to Box 124." The scoundrel raked in thousands of dollars in
Another of his stories further illustrates
the point. Two partners of a clothing store devised a clever scheme to take advantage
of gullible customers. "If the customer asked the price of a suit of the partner
waiting on him, that partner would holler to the other partner at the back of the
store, 'Sam, how much is this suit?'
"'Three hundred dollars,' Sam would
call back. Feigning deafness, the first partner would say, 'My partner says it's
$200.'" More often than not, this made the sale.
Please remember I am just reporting
this, not advocating the practice for your optical dispensary!
OUR CONSULTING EDITOR, LIVES IN ROME, GA. HE'S
ALSO A PAST EDITOR OF OM. CONTACT HIM AT RUNNINGERJ@AOL.COM
Optometric Management, Issue: March 2006