Turkey and I have engaged in quite a bit of pontificating recently about health care, doctors, and their maddening practices (or lack thereof). Today I introduce a new topic into the discussion, one that isn’t necessarily about doctors or their practices but one which cannot be ignored. In this case, “the clinic,” as I shall call it, serves as the backdrop for some of the most inappropriate and arrogant work behavior I have ever encountered.
First I want to make clear—a private business owner can do whatever he/she wants with his business (within the law). I understand that. So please don’t bombard me with arguments reiterating this. The right of the employer is a priori. But the thrust of this blog will be about the appropriateness of exploiting certain philosophies and beliefs in the workplace. In this specific case, I am talking about religion.
The staff members I work with are all of the Christian persuasion. How do I know this? It’s not hard. I overhear them talking about their churches, pastors, and biblical names of their newborns, ad nauseam. Not long after I began work there the owner of the practice remarked that while it was tough for him to have faith that his employees would correctly perform their job, he had no doubt that “Moses parted the Red Sea.” (He later acknowledged he had a slight control issue, but that’s another matter.)
At first, I didn’t allow all this holy talk to bother me. I liked the job, and for the most part, the people. The patients are all pretty nice, but lately I noticed they all share a similar quality. One day a pleasant young woman asked me if I had met ___________ at church. Uh, no. It then struck me that most of the patients go to the same churches as the clinic’s owners. I began to realize I was surrounded.