FRIDAY #FICTION with RONOVAN WRITES Prompt Challenge #28-A Dream.

I'm only the messenger

I’m only the messenger

Another day, another dullard. 

Take the last guy who came into my office, Mr. Drab.  He asked, “Is a dream something that happens while asleep, or something you want really, really bad or is it something else entirely than that?” 

Bear in mind, this guy was high school valedictorian; and yet he can’t read, write, or speak better than a 5th grader learnin’ from a school marm in Appalachia.  He received an on-line Master’s degree in business administration years ago and worked his way up through the ranks. 

You should hear some of his dreams.  They’d make a medal of valor recipient run for the hills in fear.  He likes the fact that I listen as if it doesn’t bother me and he is forever grateful that I help him understand what his dreams mean without yelling, “Oh my God!  You’re such a pervert!”

Being a psychologist is like teetering over the edge of a cliff.  Had I known what I was in for, I would’ve skipped 10 years of college, stopped at my bachelor’s degree, and found a job as a lab assistant. 

Do you know how many audits a clinical psychologist has to endure during a one year period?

“Dr. Stoner?” the unwanted guest in my office asked, repeatedly drumming his fingers on his hideous yellow notepad,  “Are you aware that you failed to fill out form U8AB correctly?”

“All the information is already in the file,” I said.  “If the Agency of Harmful Care Administration would acknowledge the forms used by MediCrave that contain the exact same information, you wouldn’t be asking me stupid questions.”

“There’s a $1000 fine for each infraction, Dr. Stoner.”

“How can you sleep at night?”  I asked. 

“Very comfortably,” he replied, squirming in a seat specially purchased to make people want to vacate within 5 minutes.

I smiled at him and said, “If I’m not mistaken, no one has ever committed suicide because a redundant piece of paper wasn’t in their file.”

“I’m only the messenger,” he said with a sigh.

“Did you study the Nuremberg trials?”

“Never heard of it,” he replied.

“Do you remember hearing about World War II? The Nazi’s?”

“It rings a bell.” You could see the fight to regain control as it happened.  Nose up, eyes hardened, he asked the question I expected him to utter.  “What does that have to do with your failure to comply?”

“High ranking officials, like bureaucrats, were charged with crimes against humanity,” I said. “Do you know what the Nazi’s used as an excuse for their heinous actions?”

“No.”

“They told the court, ‘I’m only the messenger.’”

“You have 200 patients and I would assume you have 200 papers not correctly filled out,” he smirked at me.

“You would assume wrong,” I said, trying desperately to keep a straight face. “Are you prepared to look at all 200 case files today?”

“You know I can’t do that!”

“Why?”

As if it made him better than anyone else on Earth, he replied, “My supervisor didn’t authorize it, and I strive to comply with the law.”

“Well,” I said with a smirk. “It has to go through your boss first, and he might be reluctant to provide you with carte blanche.”

“All it will take is a phone call to begin the process,” he said with a slight chuckle.  “I’ll need privacy.”

“No one is in my waiting room at the moment,” I replied. “Feel free to…”

He looked at the door, looked at me, and pointed at it. 

“Let me be clear. This is my office, not yours.  If, for any reason, I believe you have audited me unfairly I will plead my case to your supervisor!”

While he made the call in my waiting room. I quickly scribbled information onto form U8AB in the 3 other files targeted for inquisition. The sound of half an argument created a wide smile as I stacked the files back in the same order I found them.

As expected, he barged through the door of my office, saying nothing as he reviewed the other 3 files.  I asked, as demurely as possible, “Problem?”

“I was told that if the forms were filled out incorrectly on the other 3, Mr. Drab would consider it.” 

He stuffed his yellow notepad into his briefcase and stormed out.

Now where did I put that application for police psychologist?  I’ll look for it after I fill out the other 196 forms correctly.