The thought that someday, your signature could be what determines the fate of something or someone brings with it a sheer satisfaction. The thought that the same signature could someday be what fails to stamp what parliament has passed arouses some inconsistent pride from within. The power of a signature, is what makes most of us want to be the leaders of the free world. Only that we aren’t left-handed.
The beauty of being a medical student is that, one thing is always very clear. To you and to everyone else around you and in medical school. PEOPLE ARE BUSY!! And everyone respects that. Except, when one person’s busyness interferes with your busyness. Which happens pretty often, all the time.
Within everyone’s busy schedule, I understand some things can delay. What I never knew nor anticipated is three-days long signature.
While working on my research project; which by the way if I had an option I’d skip it (for obvious reasons), everything was pretty smooth for me. One of my friends kept telling me, (as though in attempt to frighten me) how KNH-UON ERC can delay you. Which is true, but as for me and my house, favor was on my side. I was cleared in less than two weeks.
Ethics clearance is quite a milestone! They say. This narrative clouded my judgment over the next step. A few other clearances. The initial steps were smooth. Very smooth. The very last signature unfortunately, couldn’t take less than three days.
It’s a Monday afternoon and I’m walking into her office for the very last signature. I’m excited. She doesn’t look as excited. “I’m leaving now, put the forms on my desk. I’ll sign tomorrow.” She tells her secretary. I am torn between shock and disappointment. So I opt for anger. It isn’t even end of business yet, but she’s leaving? Giving a “really now?” look to the secretary as he gives me the “I know right” look, I walk out angrily but silently.
What is wrong with some women? How inconsiderate! What is it that couldn’t wait for at most a minute? These are the women who make it hard for the realization of women empowerment. They can’t handle it! Can they? How long does it take to put down a signature? This, I later realized, three days was the answer.
In my normal day to day life I know tomorrow is the day that follows today. Later, I realized we didn’t have the same definition of tomorrow. This is because, ‘tomorrow’ she didn’t report for work and the day after ‘tomorrow’ also. She lied! I concluded.
You know what else hurts more than someone who delays progress in your life? The fact that they have a guy secretary who looks harmless, is fairly cute, tall and slender. And also, him being apologetic for his boss’s behavior. You’d want to tell him “dude, stay out of this.” But, how soothing. He’s sorry for you.
Thanks to his kindness, he later asked me to leave my number. Said he’d text me when she finally reports and have the forms signed. I did exactly that. Three days later, he did exactly what promised. Three hours later, I picked up my signed forms and went on with a beaming face.
A few weeks later, I’m walking down the corridors of KNH and it dawns on me. Three days long signature. I brush it off. But three days of lamentations, seemingly, couldn’t be brushed off in three seconds. That’s when I realized I had been too harsh in my judgement.
Think about a day you feel you overreacted to a situation.
As I thought about the woman and the three days long signature, I realized the fact that I waited meant I could wait.
It’s a Saturday evening, several weeks later. It’s a bit chilly and quite windy. I’m walking past the KNH Comprehensive Care Centre, heading to my friend’s place. As the wind blows my hair across my face, it also blows otherwise unwelcomed thoughts into my mind. Loud enough for my ears to hear. I hear every reason why I shouldn’t have judged her harshly.
She’s a woman of a reproductive age. My mind determinately lays out every possibility of an infant’s accident that would urgently call for his or her mother. What if she has an aging mother who survives on tubed oxygen to see the next day? What if her oxygen tank needed a refill? What if she has a diabetic father whose insulin got misplaced? What if his sugars were running too low? I felt so much pity as I thought. What if she has a reckless son or brother who had knocked himself down for recklessly driving down a busy street? What if she was the only hope for their fiery young life that needed a little containment?
I had to distract myself from the wild imaginations of all the possible emergencies that call for a woman, a sister, a wife and a mother immediately out of her workplace. Especially, in this era where women and girls honor their careers. That’s when I realized I was wrong to have harshly judged her. Rather, I could have been wrong.
The thought that we’re too busy to wait is sometimes an illusion inspired by our selfishness and inconsiderate nature.