Jack of all trades, master of none.
I’d like to open this post with a quick shoutout to the blogosphere. It’s been a while but I’ve renewed my domain in the wordpress kingdom (both literally and figuratively) and I’m back with a vengeance! Today I’d like to unveil the first in a mini-series on posers. People that pretend to perform the duties of a position perfectly but can’t produce palpable papers when put to the question.
Webster defines the word poser as
1. “Someone who poses.”
I thought my definition had somewhat of a ring to it but you’re free choose whichever you prefer.
In these episodes we will be primarily discussing those who’ve lied or otherwise used some medium of subterfuge to mislead others regarding their occupation and (as the title of this post suggests) our subject today is closely tied with the medical field. There are many reasons to falsify details about your employment. Perhaps you’re trying to charm a prospective mate or you’re in the presence of a similarly gendered individual you intend to eclipse with your tales of fame and fortune. Maybe you’re an unfortunate sitcom character stuck in a mire of mystifying misunderstandings. Or… if you’re Matthew Scheidt, maybe you accidentally were given the wrong ID badge and decided that life has handed you lemons and you fully intend to make lemonade.
Scheidt, a 17-year-old Florida adolescent, born and bred, worked as a clerk in a doctor’s office. He was sent to nearby Osceola Regional Medical Center to pick up his employee ID. The office at the hospital was a busy one, and as a result Scheidt was punched into the system as a bona fide physician assistant, instead of Office Drone #923 that he was. Most people would have become slightly annoyed, corrected the mistake, and proceeded with their daily routine. Scheidt, on the other hand, took one look at his ill gotten credentials and thought: “I’m a medical professional now! It’s time to see the look on an innocent patient’s face when I’M the one placing the icy ear of a stethoscope recently recovered from the North Pole on a helpless victim’s chest.”
Scheidt pilfered some scrubs, a stethoscope (from the freezer I am sure) and wandered away to the depths of the hospital in search of prospective patients. How long would it take for YOU to be caught doing something like that? A couple of hours? A few days? Nope — for several fucking weeks, this acne afflicted adolescent went all Neil Patrick Harris, Doogie Howsering his way around the emergency room and hospital staff.
Despite looking more like Napoleon Dynamite than a Physician Assistant, he was overwhelmingly convincing and knew a boatload of hospital terminology (it simply didn’t occur to his new-found colleagues that so does literally everyone who has ever watched Grey’s Anatomy, House or any crime show on TV). Matthew was able to spout a few words ending in ‘itis’ and seeing as his ID checked out, he was allowed to roam free, handling IVs, conducting medical exams with real professionals, and he even administered CPR to an overdosing patient.
Matthew was eventually apprehended by law enforcement before he accidentally killed anyone in THAT occupational field. Undaunted by his brief incarceration, only months after his arrest, our out-on-bail hero fashioned himself to be a police officer. As luck would have it, a genuine undercover cop happened to bump into Scheidt, who was sitting in a FULLY EQUIPPED undercover police vehicle, typing away on the dashboard computer and gleefully identifying as an officer of the law. Scheidt even reprimanded the authentic law enforcement officer for not wearing his seat belt! When perplexed police officers searched the car, they found it stuffed to the brim with cop gear: By some means, Matthew had managed to get his sticky hands on an Osceola County sheriff’s shirt, a real badge, handcuffs, and a stolen police radio. Oh yes, also a Taser and a fully loaded handgun. I am almost bummed we didn’t get to see this facade play out as long as the last.
In conclusion: pay close attention to your employees qualifications. I don’t want to go to a “dentist” and see a mallet labeled “Anesthesia”.