Tricks of the Dominatrix
Tricks of the Dominatrix
I really don't know enough about the subject to truly make the call,
but I'm pretty sure I met a dominatrix when I was 22 and working as an
extern at Johns Hopkins Bayview Hospital in Baltimore. Her name was
Miss Ursula, and I could not make that up. She was a technician (by
day), working there taking vital signs and giving bed baths to patients
who were immobile. I worked with her on some of the night shifts that I
worked at Bayview while I was in school.
So, of course, I was scared of her. She towered over me, and she had shoulders that I've really never seen on a woman. If I wasn't so afraid of her, I would've asked her if the NFL had ever seen those puppies, because lord knows she should've been backing lines with shoulders like that. I take my lessons on what to do when you're afraid from the wild--play dead. That's pretty much what I did, I avoided her at all cost. Unless she told me to do something, in which case I did it, hopefully the way she liked it.
Miss Ursula didn't have a lot of formal education, and I'm pretty sure in her private studies at home she hadn't come across the words hierarchy, or authority. Johns Hopkins produces some of the world's most talented, and arrogant doctors on the planet. I've seen some of the doctors request an extra place setting for their egos. "I'll have a bagel, and my ego will have the eggs benedict." I love peace, I stalk it. So it usually isn't any problem for me to defer a little to get it. Handling Miss Ursula was not a problem for me. But the strange phenomenon I noticed in working with her was that EVERYONE deferred to this woman. She was crazy, she had no idea what the heck she was talking about. Yet, I'm pretty sure she could've told one of the doctors to "crank up this fool's medicine" and they would've done it, or at least considered it. Gaining respect in the medical field is right up there with a quick trip to Mecca, and yet every Doctor there called her Miss Ursula. Attending docs don't even acknowledge people not directly related to accomplishing their purpose, and she was not only acknowledged but actually called Miss? How was she doing this?
I watched her and I talked to her. I had to know how she, with a 4 week training course on how to take vital signs, and where to put adult diapers, was running this cardiac unit. I won her over, accidentally, that was not my intention, and she started to advise me. She gave me the kind of advice that only makes sense on 2 cups of coffee at 3 am when you have a test to take in the morning, and you've only eaten doritos for the day. I can't repeat all the advice as there was just far too much swearing, but the gist of what I picked up from this woman is--how you are treated is essentially your choice, and your responsibility. People will only treat you how you let them, and when they don't get the memo that you will be respected, that you will not be taken for granted, then it is up to you to kindly remind them.