It’s interesting that most people believe they give the same level of respect to the janitor as they do the CEO, however, how real is that belief, in all actuality? I had a reasonably seasoned career in a well respected position in the medical community. Most would hear what I did for a living and say things like “Wow, I couldn’t do what you do!” or “Wow, thank god there are people like you that want to take care of sick people.” This year, I chose to go in to another side of the medical community–a support role. In this supportive role, I support the very people that I would normally be working along side of.

There’s a hierachy of the medical field, with doctors being at the top of the food chain. The clerical help and support staff are at the bottom of that food chain, so to speak. Even though without good support staff, the whole system would probably not run very smoothly and might even, collapse. I also held a support role while I was slaving away in college to obtain my degree, so this realization of respect isn’t anything new to me. I remember very clearly being in my college years and having a doctor throw files at me because he couldn’t keep up with the amount of scans I brought over to him to read on a very busy weekend.

Last week, I had another opportunity to see how the level of respect is disregarded when a member at the top of the food chain bellows to unreasonable requests and the support staff couldn’t accommodate him. I wonder if these same pillars of the medical community preach to their children that the janitor should receive the same amount of respect as the CEO, as they throw temper tantrums when their unreasonable requests can’t be met.

Don’t get me wrong, doctors do amazing things. They deserve a great deal of respect. I am alive today because of some amazing doctors. However, they are also human. I’m not bashing them at any rate, just making an example and maybe provoking some thought to anyone reading this that we don’t always give the same amount of respect to people that have jobs that aren’t at the top of the pay scale. I think it’s almost subconscious in some ways. Maybe we can all be more cognizant of that. Because at the end of the day, I know I am pretty darn grateful for all the janitors and housekeepers who are keeping everything sanitized in today’s world. Aren’t you?

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