Lady in scrubs

Ahm a laydee, but this isn't mah drayss. Translation: Get that pink THING away from me.

Ahm a laydee, but this isn’t mah drayss. Translation: Get that pink THING away from me.

I see more as I get older that the definition of a Southern lady is less a woman with good manners and more one who can say anything to your face and have you thinking she’s a sweet person when you walk away.  I came to this conclusion after affecting an old South accent and a smile with patients at my workplace (Haaai, hun! Ah will get those papers awout to you in just a mihnit). People immediately relax after I start talking.

Today one patient in  particular began haranguing me about her relative’s pain and its reaction to narcotics. I looked up from the computer and firmly explained the dangers of taking more medicine than prescribed. Her reaction: “Why didn’t anyone  explain it to me like that in the first place?” Seriously.*

They had. Multiple times. It wasn’t me, so the only thing I can think of that caused her reaction was the accent. Later on, I mentioned something about it to a couple of the doctors I work with and started presenting with the accent. Hilarity ensued.

Fortunately or not, emotion and accent aren’t conveyed through text messages, Facebook or Twitter unless you’re emulating Faulkner and/or an emoticon-happy 12-year-old. The only way to be a lady (or a gentleman) in these media is to be nice. The electronic record you create here does not go away, so if you’re rude to someone through their page or indirectly, it sticks. Instead of being a lady, you’re just being rude.

The Golden Rule applies to social media interactions. Use it and live it, folks.

*Side note: Y’all, taking medications as prescribed is important for your health. Also, read the labels. 

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10 Comments

Filed under See Clair Write

10 responses to “Lady in scrubs

  1. One of my best friends is a doctor at Children’s Hospital. She’s noticed the same thing. She naturally has a very neutral accent, but she’s found that the families of her patients seem to calm down, feel more comfortable, and really listen to her more when she affects a deep southern accent.

  2. Laura Gallitz

    My accent gets thicker as I work with older people or country folk. I don’t fight it – it works.

  3. Southern women: Velvet gloves for the iron fists of humanity.

  4. I’ve never thought of that before. I’ll have to try it. 🙂

  5. The same thing doesn’t apply to Southern (gentle)men. When I toss my midwestern accent (developed long ago for a career in radio news) and go back to my northeast Texas twang, people tend to start asking me about my cotton crop.

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