Vent If You Must But…………

Final Exam ipod The phone rings. I pick it up; it is my sister. She says “Can I vent?”

Vent, Whine, Moan, Bitch – it’s all the same to me. I said sure; after all it is my sister.

The doctor said he would call Tuesday afternoon with the results of the MRI. He did not. I called yesterday morning; the receptionist said he would call later this morning with the results. He did not. When I called the office the nurse told me that there was no way the doctor could call; it is his surgery day. The nurse said she could not give me the results; the doctor needed to do that. Today the nurse calls with the results; keep her in a sling for three weeks and then we’ll start six weeks of physical therapy. I thought you weren’t allowed to give the results – that the doctor had to do so, my sister commented. The nurse replied if you would like to make an appointment with the doctor to discuss the MRI this Friday we can do that for you. I really don’t like this doctor, but it was an emergency and I had to get her in to see someone. Now I’m stuck with him and not happy, and Jessie’s (my niece) baseball season is over and I don’t know how I’m going to tell her…………………………………………

Yep, that was the condensed version of my sister going on and on and on and on when she called me last week and asked me a three word question……………..”Can I vent?”

Now I must admit while she was going on and on I found myself mouthing those Peanut’s like teacher sounds “Waw, Waw, Waw, Waw” while sitting on my sofa watching Judge Judy call people morons. As an aside I’m still amazed and entranced by the level of stupidity of the people who sign up for that show.

Now just in case you missed what is going on there, my niece got hurt playing in a baseball tournament; my sister is extremely dissatisfied with the doctor’s ability to make a promise and follow through.

Now my sister knows well enough that after she vents she is going to get a mouthful from me. My lack of tolerance crosses all barriers – even my family. I asked her if she was done being aggravated. I asked her if she was ready to solve the problem or stay stuck in the current situation. We do that folks; everyone does at some point in their life; spending more time on rehashing why you are where you are and clinging on to what is bothering you rather than taking steps to get out of the situation.

Lori, you have options I tell her. You can ask for a new doctor; there is another doctor in that office who did wonders with me eighteen years ago when I had my one and only skiing accident; on my one and only skiing expedition. You can let go and move past the lack of perceived customer service from the doctor’s office – we’ve all experienced it; or you can find a new doctor.

Now of course she found “the problem” with every one of those options; but she did like the finding a new doctor one the most. Good, we can at least move forward.

I said to her let’s think about this. You don’t want any doctor; you want someone who is going to get Jess back on the field in the shortest amount of time. So basically you want god.

And how do we find that person” she inquires in a somewhat negative tone.

So here were my thoughts. Professional and college athletes get hurt on a court or field and they are back in the game the next week. We need their doctor. So I tell my sister to call a college athletic department and see who they use. Living in Connecticut, the land of college basketball stars, I tell her to call UConn. She can’t get through (for thirty minutes). She calls me back frustrated. Okay, right now my sister is too attached to the situation; my brother-in-law is………….. Just as frustrated as my sister, so let’s not get him involved.

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I decide I need to remove her from the situation for a bit. Folks, we need to do this at times; for our families; our friends and our teammates in the workplace. We need to jump in and remove them from situations where their thinking has been obstructed. Yes, it might require you to tie up a loose end or pick up an extra responsibility or two; but in the end you’ll spend less time listening to whining. This is your keeper today. Who could use to be removed from a bad situation – even just for a few minutes – for the sake of a better personal or professional life?

Trick or Treat hd I called Manhattan College; both my sister and I graduated from Manhattan. They’ve had a decent basketball team over the years; and I’m sure that a player or two has needed to see an orthopedist. I spoke to the Director of Sports Medicine, told him we were graduates and asked who they use to get their athletes up and playing as fast as possible. He gave me a name. I gave it to my sister. The new doc and his colleague decide to take a different approach with my niece. She’ll be playing a lot sooner than originally thought.

That night my niece called to thank me for finding the doctor. Yep, once again, listening to some whining and removing someone from a situation for a bit came back with a nice reward. Yes, it was my family; but I know without a doubt someone in your professional world has a thank you with your name on it. Go make someone’s life better today. Give em an earful; but then help them out.

And a big THANK YOU to Doug Straley at Manhattan College – for giving a fellow Jasper a few moments of his time – and making an eleven year old a bit happier.

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Rich DiGirolamo is a professional speaker from Wolcott, CT. He calls himself The Big Kid and enjoys “making painful processes fun.” To learn more about Rich please visit or

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