Craigslist runs a Missed Connections column where would-be romantics (and unsubtle sex seekers) anonymously confess sightings of potential mates that got away in often mundane settings, a wonderful place to explore vulnerable admissions by folks who regret not having voiced their feelings in the lost moment.
One of the finest adaptations I've seen of this column is the artist Sophie Blackall's book of the same name, where she illustrated her favorite submissions to the genre in her unmistakable style.
A recent post by Reflections of a Millennial Doctor beautifully captured star-crossed docs and administrators who almost but couldn't quite hear each other. It got me thinking what a pensive administrator might write that doc in the wonderful and peculiar Missed Connections format.
"Saw you across the conference table at today's QI conference - I was running the powerpoint while you walked in late, head hung, and headed straight to the coffee after an on call shift.
"We haven't spoken much, but I know of you. Your patients adore you for listening to their frustration with the medical system and looking at photos of their grandchildren.
"We are understaffed, and our new EMR has turned you and your cohort into docretaries. What used to be patient interaction is now a documentation marathon, and it continues well beyond the hours you get paid for.
"You thought cost-shifting was making the patient shoulder a greater burden of the cost of their medical care, but I see it differently. The more we can shift your documentation hours from employee paid time to your personal after-hours unpaid time, the quicker my rise through the ranks.
"I know it sucks, but if I have to choose between putting my kids through college or yours, the incentive speaks for itself.
"The best I can do is make you and the other unfortunates who have no choice work harder. Increased productivity.
"When someone breaks from the strain, we'll single him out as a bad apple and let him go. When one of our docs is admitted for an overdose, we'll have a mindfulness expert return t explain how your resilience can be expanded. Because its your lack of resilience that is the problem, rather than our system.
"Thankfully you all took out student loans and mortgages before you knew what this job truly entailed, so I have you by what my father (who cursed like sailor) might call 'the short hairs.'
"The moment one of you decide to leave we'll need to pay 1.5X your salary to hire a locums replacement, and my job will be on the line.
"The doc who can say no will have me by said short hairs. In my experience, thankfully, that doc does not exist."