An Observation Concerning… Doctors and Mechanics.

“I just shook the handshake, I just sealed the deal, I’ll try not to let them, Take everything they can steal.”
-MGMT, “The Handskake”

We can go straight for the obvious comparison and conclude that both these professions fix things (so we think). By the way, if you didn’t read the title, we’re talking about doctors and mechanics here. Maybe you should go see a specialist concerning your attention span.

We could also make the other obvious comparison that both rip you off in some way, shape, or form. Mechanics: a figurative rectal exam; doctors: a literal rectal exam – and a prostate check for good measure (for men, of course – for women, the use of a speculum).

Every time I go to the mechanics I’m onto their little tricks. They load you up with free coffee and soda, maybe a stale donut or cold popcorn, and distract you with daytime television which you shouldn’t be interested in, but damn, it’s just too hard to look away from a soap opera like it’s some car accident – maybe I shouldn’t compare something to a car accident while at the mechanics because it’s bad juju – just so they can tinker with your vehicle, lifting it up, fondling it’s undercarriage, violating its private parts, and then deny the fact, tell you the car was asking for it and there’s something wrong with it, not them. I’ve seen enough Law & Order to know what’s really going on here. You molested my car, and now you’re raping me. They make up some cockamamie diagnosis that you just have to trust is true. So, I take great satisfaction in saying that I will not be replacing the air filter. Why do they have so many of those anyway?

Kind of like those little plastic cones doctors stick in your ear. I went for just a consultation once, kind of like a meet and greet because physicians change hospitals more than waitresses change restaurants and finding a new one takes months to make an appointment (or reservation), then another month to build a nice relationship (or for them to know your usual dish after a long drawn-out pathetic attempt at flirtation). What the hell are we talking about here? Anyway, the doctor stuck his thing in my ear (gross) and I didn’t want or need it to be done, but just went along with the situation, and then he charged me $50 like he was doing me a favor. My next appointment involved a recommended physical (reference above paragraph for Law & Order similarities, and also the previous sentence for charges). Unlike mechanics, doctors don’t necessarily tell you what’s wrong, but rather state that you’re fine. However, they have a specific tone when explaining precautionary measures that fill your head with curiosity, intrigue, and paranoia. Your other alternative is to check WebMd which is why you’re at the doctor’s office in the first place because the internet site always gives you the worst case scenario for your symptoms. A cough and stuffy nose? Brain aneurysm. So you agree to some tests which means you agree to fees that will eventually either be paid out of frustration or end up at a collection agency.

Two different sales tactics, but two that work, and both offer the it’s your funeral approach. A mechanic intimidates and forces you to eventually coincidently return out of spite for denying an air filter; a doctor is vague and makes you feel guilty enough about your lifestyle that the stress and worry will eventually land you back in their office and not by choice.

Where does this all stem from you may ask? Even though you didn’t I’m still going to tell you. I received two emails this past week. The first, my mechanic is convinced my car is due for service; and the second, my provider claimed my body is due for service. When did they start doing that anyway? Sounds like someone is in cahoots, and I’m not buying it.

Disclaimer: I’m not saying don’t go to the doctor or mechanic when something is wrong. Or do what you want; what do I care.