Letters to the Editor

Reasons some lash out

Editor:

Re: Unwelcome behaviour, April 13 letters.

While waiting for an X-ray at Peace Arch Hospital, I found myself reading the April 13th issue of Peace Arch News and, ultimately, a reader’s letter written about signage in an Ocean Park medical laboratory that indicates “Foul language and abusive behaviours are not acceptable.”

Ironically, while getting dressed after my X-ray, I heard a young man in the waiting area of the hospital talking on his cellphone. His language to whomever was on the other end was defiantly rude – full of F-bombs, complemented by other words not fit for the general population, not to mention the sick people sitting in the waiting area.

When I came around the corner I saw the young man/boy about 18, 19 lying on a stretcher with his left arm wrapped up, obviously waiting for his X-ray.

In a low voice I asked the gentleman to please watch his language. He immediately fired back, “what are you going to do about it”.  My reply was “nothing,” what could I do, there were no signs giving anyone the power to do anything about it.

So with the power I did have, I repeated close to what the article writer had indicated was in the Ocean Park clinic waiting room.

After speaking to him about his demeanor in a public place, he fired back: “I’m in pain”. “I understand that,” I said, “but it’s not fair to those around.”

I agree it’s unfortunate that some medical places or even public places need to post a sign that foul language or abusive behaviour is unacceptable – but in the Ocean Park clinic’s case the lone technician has no power but the warning sign.

We don’t know the circumstances that led to this.

I’m not sure what the writer was trying to say, but people doing their job get burned out by rude and offensive attitudes, not to mention the people waiting, worried for what results the tests might bring.

If the letter writer was indicating he was being treated rudely by the technician or receptionist because of no eye contact, perhaps a positive gesture to cheer up the person rather than writing an article bringing unfair attention to that particular office.

I would suspect the writer was treated fairly and professionally and had no reason to write the article other than to gain political ground with the statement “government monopoly” suggesting that gave the office right to post the signs.

Paul Olson, Surrey

• • •

Gotta tell the letter writer, John McLeod, he’s made quite a real reach here.

I attended the very same lab approximately three weeks ago and was treated with nothing but respect and politeness. As a matter of fact, I’ve never been treated in any other fashion at any lab that I’ve chosen to use.

Maybe, John, the person of which you speak was having a tough day. People have those.

As for the signs you saw? My wife suggests it’s because you’re in a place that is frequented by people of which most of whom are not well. When people are not well, they can tend to become irritable – much more so than when they have grocery shopping to do or are gettin’ their hair done.

Might just be me, but it looks like you’re just an advocate for private medicine, and if that’s the case, you should just come out and say it.

Trying to discredit an entire group of workers on the result of this one visit is insulting if not laughable.

Gord Fletcher, White Rock

 


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