Sunday Specials: Hostility Issues 1 by Paul Jackson
Paul Jackson was born in North Georgia way back in the time when dinosaurs ruled the earth. Well, maybe a few years later, but not according to a lot of my cadets.
I am widowed, have an eight year old cat named Wookie, a girl kitten named Thursday, and a little boy kitten named Oliver. All three are rescue cats.
I am a Major in the Confederate States Army, and serve as the Chaplain for several units.
I’ve been doing living history since 1978, and enjoy it immensely! I also portray General Gabriel Rains, the inventor of land mines and torpedoes.
I love to read, write in several genres. My favorite genre is historical fiction, and I have one historical fiction novel published named A Servant’s Story. It sequel, The War Years should come out this year.
I also have a Christian fiction novel named Do I Trust You published, and a YA Fantasy Fiction novel, There’s No Such Truth as ‘Just Because’
Trigger warning: child abuse, sexual assault, anger issues
Today we begin a 5 part series written by Paul Jackson. One part goes live each Sunday for the next five weeks.
Dean Wilson entered the office of Dr. Rachel Spockenfelter LP, and was not very impressed. The first thing he noticed was the smell—some sort of air freshener diffused via the ventilation system reminiscent of vanilla bean ice cream with a piquant floral finish. The furnishings were faux Victorian, down to the pastel mauve design on the wallpaper. The chairs had the same color of upholstery, sans the cream background, and they looked very uncomfortable. He checked the time on his cell phone and took a seat. Dean was eight minutes early for his court ordered appointment.
The artwork was minimalistic at best—framed, printed quotes, mostly from feminists. The only thing Dean could appreciate about this waiting room so far was the background music –Vivaldi’s Four Seasons softly playing through hidden speakers; Bose quality surround sound. The soundtrack was in the beginning of the Summer section of the piece. Hidden air freshener, hidden sound system, ugly décor—Dean had a succinct hunch there was not going to be very much about this whole experience he would enjoy.
After waiting until the third movement of Summer began Dean checked his phone again for the time. Dr. Spockenfelter was late, and not being punctual was one of Dean’s pet peeves—always had been. As a school teacher, tardiness was one thing he never put up with. Once class started the door to the room was locked, and no student would be admitted without the note from the office acknowledging that the student’s lateness was a matter of school record.
As the second movement of Winter began the door on the far end of the room opened and a woman somewhat past her prime informed Dean that Dr. Spockenfelter would see him now. He checked the time once more and rose, following her down a hallway to an ornate oak door, which the receptionist opened for him. Dr. Spockenfelter was seated behind a large, too-ornate-to-be-tasteful desk, and she obviously observed him as he entered the room and walked halfway across the floor. She nodded toward a chair – same style as those in the waiting room – and Dean took a seat. The way things were arranged Dr. Spockenfelter sat almost a head taller than Dean Wilson. He took in that fact, wondering what her game might be.
“Mr. Wilson, I am Dr. Spockenfelter.”
Rachel Spockenfelter coolly looked across her desk at Dean, and he returned her gaze, frowning. She was the first to look away.
“I sense some hostility here,” she said. “Perhaps we should discuss that before we go any further.”
“Perhaps we should,” Dean answered. “The way I see it you owe me one hundred and thirty dollars. Once we take care of that detail we can get this charade on the road.”
Dr. Spockenfelter raised her chin and sniffed loudly enough for Dean to hear. “Why would you think I owe you any money?”
Dean pulled a folded paper from his shirt pocket. “Are you familiar with the little instruction sheet your office sent to me?”
“To what part of the instructions are you referring?”
“The large couple of paragraphs explaining that if I miss an appointment without a forty-eight hour notice, I am still liable to pay for it. That part is in bold face, so I assume you take it seriously.”
“Of course I take it seriously. My time is very valuable to me, and when a patient does not show up it costs me money.”
“I’m glad you understand the concept of punctuality, doctor,” Dean said. “But I am taken aback a little since you don’t seem to think that it applies to yourself.”
“I am sure I do not understand your meaning, Mr. Wilson.”
Dean held up the paper. “This clearly states my appointment was for ten o’clock this morning. I was here on time, but was not ushered into your important presence until ten twenty-six.”
“And at two hundred and fifty dollars for a fifty minute session, twenty six minutes ought to be worth a hundred and thirty dollars.”
Dr. Spockenfelter looked at Dean across her desk but said nothing.
“My specialty is English and writing,” Dean said. “But this is pretty simple math.”
“It is hardly the same thing if I am a little late for a session, compared to one of my patients missing one, and costing me valuable time.”
“So what you are saying is your time is valuable, but you have no consideration at all for the value of the people whom you are supposed to be helping?” Dean tugged at a tuft of his beard. “Doesn’t seem to me that you value your patients very much, doctor.”
“It is not surprising that a patient who came to me for help with anger management issues would be hostile when it comes to accepting therapy.”
“A little deflection there, doctor?”
“Classic deflection. You look at me as your enemy, instead of as a person who is trying to help you resolve your problems.”
“I was talking about you deflecting, Dr. Spockenfelter. You don’t want to even consider the possibility that you don’t have any respect for your patients.”
“I assure you,” Dr. Spockenfelter said icily, “my patients always get a complete session, even if contingencies arise and it begins late.”
“Have you ever considered that if their session starts twenty minutes late – even if they do get your undivided and professional attention for their whole fifty minutes – you have caused them to be twenty minutes late for whatever they had to do next?” Dean said. “Might be another appointment, or picking up their kids from school.” Dean stroked his beard. “Either way, being late is still unprofessional of you.”
To be continued…