A Lesser Being (Part 1)

December 10, 2011

I unboarded the county bus and made my way to where the city buses boarded. I boarded a random bus to take me to a part of the city I had not yet seen. I took the bus, being sure not to go too far that I couldn’t walk back to the transit, nor to unboard too far from a bus stop. The idea was to get off at a random location and look for medical offices and clinics to inquire about job shadowing and volunteer work opportunities.

If Google Maps is to be believed, I walked for a ninth of a mile before spotting a pediatric clinic. Since I love children and am fairly sure I want to work with them specifically as a doctor, I considered this a fortunate turn of events.

I made my way inside to a rather shabby looking interior. There were other people in front of the receptionist desk, so I took my place in line. The line moved quickly enough and I was soon faced with a receptionist. As I explained my purpose for being there, my college statues and provided references to confirm my story, I was given rather hurtful glares by the receptionist. As I wrote down my contact information, the receptionist twiddled a pen with her thumb and index finger, giving me a look that clearly told me two things: first, she did not want to be within ten feet of me and was evidently disgusted with my presence; second, she did not feel I was worthy of observing a physician in his or her workplace and that my life goals were merely an annoyance to her workday. Nonetheless, I remained adamant, impervious to her barefaced glares and determined to stick to business. As I wrapped up my descant and thanked her for her assistance, I offered her my hand to shake. She glanced at my hand, acknowledged its presence with a nod and turned her back on me to walk away. My hand still in midair, I stood there dumbfounded and dazed. I lowered my hand, turned to the exit and walked out.

As I walked away, something inside of me wanted to turn back, reenter the clinic, walk back up to the front desk and firmly, yet calmly state to the receptionist, “I’m human too.” I did not turn back, but rather I kept walking onward and away, angry voices screaming in my mind.

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