Saturday, February 23, 2008


Today while waiting for my physical with my new doctor, who is fabulous BTW, I was sitting in the waiting room minding my own business. New York was hit with a slushy/snow mess Thursday night, so I got stuck at work until 11 am Friday morning (yuppers a 15 hour shift).

Because my appointment was across the street at 11:30, I didn't bother to walk home, shower, change, was too gross out. I looked LOVELY, mind you, but I digress.

As with most inclement weather, the physician was running behind, so I had plenty of time to take in the sights and sounds of the waiting room. Although the cast of patients were entertaining to watch, people's snow attire never ceases to amaze me, I was flabbergasted at the unprofessional ism of the front desk staff.

Maybe it had to do with the layout of the office, but I overheard every single word of the clerical staff's PERSONAL phone calls and they were so inappropriate. One clerk was on the phone referring to "how gay" the person was (I don't think she was referring to a jovial state). The other clerk proceeded to give a patient the pointer finger ("1 minute") as she gabbed on and on about the boyfriend of her friend and how he's a low-life, dead beat, etc. Real nice, hunh? When the first clerk was done "gay-a-fying" the first person, she then went on to start calling everything "retarded." Call me old fashioned, but the inappropriate use of those two terms/free interchange with generation X slang, is not okay.

When did "gay" become an acceptable adjective to describe something that isn't quite to one's own taste/satisfaction? Why is something that you don't agree with or asaine "retarded"?

Let's take a look at what has to say about these choice words:

gay Pronunciation Key - [gey]
Pronunciation adjective,[gey]+ -er, -est, noun, adverb
–adjective 1. having or showing a merry, lively mood: gay spirits; gay music.
2. bright or showy: gay colors; gay ornaments.
3. given to or abounding in social or other pleasures: a gay social season.
4. licentious; dissipated; wanton: The baron is a gay old rogue with an eye for the ladies.
5. homosexual.
6. of, indicating, or supporting homosexual interests or issues: a gay organization.
–noun 7. a homosexual person, esp. a male.
–adverb 8. in a gay manner.

re·tard 1 (rĭ-tärd') Pronunciation Key
v. re·tard·ed, re·tard·ing, re·tards

v. tr.
To cause to move or proceed slowly; delay or impede.

v. intr.
To be delayed.

A slowing down or hindering of progress; a delay.
Music A slackening of tempo.

Umm, okay, see what I mean. It's fascinating to look at how language has evolved and how common place words can be used in such a derogatory and offensive manner.
Before I climb down off my soap box, I'd just like to a take a minute to remind you to think before you speak. You never who is listening or who you could offend.

OK, Thanks!


valmg said...

You look at the misuse of the word retarded the same way I do. I have a son with Down Syndrome and it makes me feel physically ill and so angry when I hear it. I used to get angry, now I've taken to trying to embarrass the person that says it in a hope to educate them and display their ignorance to the world.

skeet said...

I think I'd have had to repeat some of the conversations to the doc - after the physical was completed so as not to create a distraction. Yeah, I can be that mean about unprofessional behavior and those kinds of word usage. The staff needs to get a clue, but probably won't until their boss knows.