Mortified: Humiliated or shamed.
That’s what I was last Friday afternoon, and it was my own fault.
It began that morning during my visit to an Ear, Nose & Throat Specialist I was referred to by my physician. I’ve been having some challenges with laryngitis (that’s not good for a speaker to have, right?) 😉 and he was going through some of my history with me.
“I see you had your nose operated on.”
“Yes, 15 years ago. Unfortunately, however, the Dr., Dr. _______ really messed it up. He told me afterward there were so many tiny broken bones he decided to just compact them. Since then, my breathing has gotten worse, not better. I don’t know if he’s even still in the area.”
Then, at about 1:30 P.M. the mortification set in.
I suddenly realized I had given the wrong name of the other doctor. This was another EN&T practitioner I’d visited several years ago regarding an ear challenge and who was very good. For some reason I had simply confused the names of the two previous doctors.
All I could think of is that my current EN&T doc might know the other one and think ill of him, and for no reason other than that I happened to confuse a name.
I had gossiped big-time and had to rectify it. But, what damage might already have occurred? Could my new doctor have already mentioned the innocent doctor’s name to one of their mutual peers, and so on?
Fortunately, although he was now between offices, I was able to get a message to him with the basic info that I had given him the incorrect name and to please call me, which he did.
How could my gossip (unintentional as it was, but still just as potentially harmful) have been avoided? Simply by not even attempting to mention the name of the first doctor from 15 years ago. There was really no reason to. The chances are that — if the current doctor knew him — he’d know if he was good or not.*
Fortunately, it didn’t.
I’m still mortified.
*The reason that what I did qualifies as gossip is because there was no need to share the name. However, if someone came to me for advice regarding potentially using that first doctor, it would be my responsibility to share my experience. It would not be gossip so long as several criteria are met, which I’ll explain in a future article.