Thursday, June 19, 2014

No Shame In Saying I Don’t Know, Is There?

No Shame In Saying I Don’t Know, Is There?

So they called me today all of a sudden in the middle of my canteen break (for those of my readers from countries which were never under the shadow of the British Empire – a canteen break is a midmorning visit to the in-house cafeteria – say around 11am- for a coffee/tea) with an emergency call and unlooked for appearance of a postgraduate student standing beside my cafeteria table, staring morosely down at my tea before saying “they want you back at the department sir, something not right with the laser”.

So I leave my half drunk tea on the canteen table with a look of longing and hurry back to the surgery room screaming “What? What? What? What happened?” to find the two guilty persons who tried to use the laser unit in my absence (temporary/tea break) adopting an unconcerned “we are not responsible” look. Seems they had tried to do a case (a surgery) all by themselves and the laser had malfunctioned and they tried to lay the blame solely on me saying that “you were the last person to use it” to which I replied irritably “yeah and I left it in good working condition just a few minutes ago”. For I knew they were trying to pin the blame of the malfunctioning unit on me and try to appropriate my next month’s salary towards repairs for the at-fault laser unit- on the principle that the last person gets blamed and foots the bill. 

So I went up to the unit and checked it and found it was working fine. Surprised I asked them to demo to me what they were doing with the laser. So they sat there the two of them and applied the laser to the anesthetized patient and waited for it to start cutting and then after a few minutes they turned towards me and said “See, its not cutting”. Whereupon I asked one of them to vacate the seat and sat down took the laser in my hand put it near the surgical site, operated the foot switch, cut the tissue and showed them “see, it works now, by magic”. The poor fools had not realized that the laser operated with a foot switch which they had comfortably left all alone between the two of them and neither of them operating it and they had thought that you just need to point a laser at something for it to start working. And of course they had thought they could do it in my absence in the mistaken belief that what he does we can do too- without learning at least the basic functions of the machine. 

Which shows once again that people would pretend anything except to accept their ignorance of something. I hope they all realize soon that it’s never too late or too much to ask for help and its definitely no shame to say those three magic words “I don’t know”.


  1. This experiment is on an anesthized patient? Oops !

    1. Double Oops Jaishree...thank god for small mercies atleast the patient was aneastehtised