The Power of Initials

Article

Shrink Rap's ClinkShrink explains what happens when people learn you're a doctor and why its bothersome.

This post originally appeared on Shrink Rap.

I took my car in to the shop last week to visit his Car Momma. I've been going to this garage for years and I know most of the mechanics. I've run into Car Momma at the hair salon with her head wrapped in a towel. I've heard about her son, his school activities and her home renovation projects. She's heard about my vacations and seen my climbing pictures. I've always been on a first name basis with the people I know there.

This time, I had to leave the car and get a rental. I left a voice message with the rental desk and when the rental guy called me back at work I answered the phone with my usual, "Dr. ClinkShrink". Now, my garage knows what I do for a living and it's just never been an issue or really even a topic of conversation once the novelty wore off.

The difference this time was that the guy worked on my car was new to the shop. When I arrived at my scheduled time the next morning, he was standing in front of the shop, clipboard in hand, waiting for me. "Dr. ClinkShrink?" he asked and he shook my hand. He had all the paperwork waiting to go, my rental was lined up and waiting, and every reference to me was preceded by "Dr.". I gotta tell ya, it felt weird. Eventually he asked me if I was a medical doctor, explaining that he asked because "there are a lot of people who go by 'doctor' who aren't actually MD's."

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