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(The Atlantic)   New study shows those who have to deliver bad news for a living--whether they are oncologists, first responders, HR managers, wedding planners, or Chicago Cubs announcers--are more emotionally sapped and stressed than others   (theatlantic.com) divider line 66
    More: Obvious, first responders, m.d. anderson, American Society of Clinical Oncology, Mr. Burns, solace, Machiavellian  
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1113 clicks; posted to Main » on 04 Jun 2014 at 10:46 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-06-04 07:55:14 PM  
I would put schoolteachers on the list also.  "Snowflake will not be a <insert goal of choice>."
 
2014-06-04 08:04:55 PM  

TheHighlandHowler: I would put schoolteachers on the list also.  "Snowflake will not be a <insert goal of choice>."


Makes sense to me.
 
2014-06-04 08:15:12 PM  
Chicago Cubs announcers

Is this even still bad news? Isn't it just news by now?
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2014-06-04 08:18:01 PM  
Well there's a surprise.
 
2014-06-04 08:21:39 PM  
Finally, jobs where being a sociopath would be a benefit rather than a detriment. It's that whole sympathy thing that makes these jobs so stressful.
 
2014-06-04 08:35:49 PM  
Keep this in mind when the doctor tells you that you only have six weeks to live. Just smile and leave. Save the drama for yo mama.
 
2014-06-04 08:45:30 PM  
Harry Carey seemed pretty unfazed. Of course he was permanently drunk, so there's that.
 
2014-06-04 10:01:29 PM  

ArkAngel: Chicago Cubs announcers

Is this even still bad news? Isn't it just news by now?


I think to misunderstand the definition of "news".
 
2014-06-04 10:03:00 PM  

Gecko Gingrich: ArkAngel: Chicago Cubs announcers

Is this even still bad news? Isn't it just news by now?

I think to misunderstand the definition of "news".


toyou
 
2014-06-04 10:07:08 PM  
I was a bill collector for a finance company for more than three years.  Either working the phones or going out to delinquent account holders' residences were my specialty.  I started out believing that people were basically honest and would do the right thing if they were treated with respect and dignity.  What I found that human beings, especially most of the types I was chasing, could be walking, talking, mouth breathing sacks of shiat, who always had an excuse for their inability to pay and usually that excuse had something to do with the way life was just so unfair or that somebody "disrespected" them on the rare occasion when they came in to make a payment (usually a partial payment).  In short, this job became the most miserable job I ever had and, if there was one good thing about the experience it was to teach me the value of saving regularly and spending prudentially and to steer clear of unnecessary debt.
 
2014-06-04 10:57:38 PM  

ArkAngel: Chicago Cubs announcers

Is this even still bad news? Isn't it just news by now?


It's not news, it's Cubs baseball.
 
2014-06-04 10:57:51 PM  
media.kayfabenews.com
 
2014-06-04 10:58:20 PM  
fark HR managers
 
2014-06-04 10:58:25 PM  
Like butchers and surgeons, Cubs announcers get used to seeing the ugly parts. After enough time, a .073 batting average is just another number
 
2014-06-04 11:00:22 PM  
Can't we just hire sociopaths for those jobs?
 
2014-06-04 11:02:43 PM  

Ambivalence: Finally, jobs where being a sociopath would be a benefit rather than a detriment. It's that whole sympathy thing that makes these jobs so stressful.


Well, that will teach me to post before reading the comments.

/Like I care.
//heh
 
2014-06-04 11:04:15 PM  

shanrick: Keep this in mind when the doctor tells you that you only have six weeks to live. Just smile and leave. Save the drama for yo mama.


Not nearly as serious, obviously, but I noticed HR managers on the list.

There had already been a mass layoff.... and then 4 weeks later there was another round. So when I got the call to go to the office I knew what was up.

All I basically did was ask the two fellas "how have you guys been handling it?" You should have seen the looks on their faces. What? You give a shiat about US, the guys who are sacking everyone??! They were really appreciative.

Turns out the whole business went under not long after that, so I'm glad I didn't make a total dick of myself. Not that it was ever likely to happen.

I hope I can be like that when I get the ultimate termination notice from a doctor.
 
2014-06-04 11:08:18 PM  

Prey4reign: I was a bill collector for a finance company for more than three years.  Either working the phones or going out to delinquent account holders' residences were my specialty.  I started out believing that people were basically honest and would do the right thing if they were treated with respect and dignity.  What I found that human beings, especially most of the types I was chasing, could be walking, talking, mouth breathing sacks of shiat, who always had an excuse for their inability to pay and usually that excuse had something to do with the way life was just so unfair or that somebody "disrespected" them on the rare occasion when they came in to make a payment (usually a partial payment).  In short, this job became the most miserable job I ever had and, if there was one good thing about the experience it was to teach me the value of saving regularly and spending prudentially and to steer clear of unnecessary debt.


www.popcrunch.com
 
2014-06-04 11:09:56 PM  

Big Ramifications: I hope I can be like that when I get the ultimate termination notice from a doctor.


I made an observation related to this at an ethics lecture recently. I'm an eye guy, so luckily we don't often deal with mortal issues, but vision is still a big deal. Some patients, I get all steeled up to give my "your eye(s) will never see again" speech. I take a moment, try to impart that I'm truly sorry, have options ready to discuss in terms of visual or auditory aids, ready to talk about further research or send them for a second opinion... And, some patients, they just take it in stride. No anger, no fear, just "well that sucks - thanks for trying, doc." For awhile I thought something was wrong with them, or that they were apathetic, but I think some of them are just that stoic.
 
2014-06-04 11:12:10 PM  
HUH, thats 'nuthin. try IT.

"Uh boss, who's gonna tell the CEO that the porn his "kids" D/L on his laptop had so many viruses that we need to take it out and shoot it."

2 hrs later...

"The 3rd quarter projections for WHAT were on that hard drive???"
 
2014-06-04 11:15:11 PM  

Occam's Disposable Razor: Big Ramifications: I hope I can be like that when I get the ultimate termination notice from a doctor.

I made an observation related to this at an ethics lecture recently. I'm an eye guy, so luckily we don't often deal with mortal issues, but vision is still a big deal. Some patients, I get all steeled up to give my "your eye(s) will never see again" speech. I take a moment, try to impart that I'm truly sorry, have options ready to discuss in terms of visual or auditory aids, ready to talk about further research or send them for a second opinion... And, some patients, they just take it in stride. No anger, no fear, just "well that sucks - thanks for trying, doc." For awhile I thought something was wrong with them, or that they were apathetic, but I think some of them are just that stoic.


I used to hang with a lot of Med students at university. One of them specifically told me he wanted to get into optho because he didn't want to deal with death and horrible diseases.

// I'm sure glaucoma is still a horrible disease
// but you know what I mean
 
2014-06-04 11:17:03 PM  

Occam's Disposable Razor: Big Ramifications: I hope I can be like that when I get the ultimate termination notice from a doctor.

I made an observation related to this at an ethics lecture recently. I'm an eye guy, so luckily we don't often deal with mortal issues, but vision is still a big deal. Some patients, I get all steeled up to give my "your eye(s) will never see again" speech. I take a moment, try to impart that I'm truly sorry, have options ready to discuss in terms of visual or auditory aids, ready to talk about further research or send them for a second opinion... And, some patients, they just take it in stride. No anger, no fear, just "well that sucks - thanks for trying, doc." For awhile I thought something was wrong with them, or that they were apathetic, but I think some of them are just that stoic.


Some people really surprise you, and every so often I want to frogmarch some wimp into the room to see how a stoic person takes bad news in stride.

never forgot one of my crappy staff doctors that told a colleague's 25 yo friend that came in for a simple exam, just a little trouble seeing at night: "you have retinitis pigmentosa. You will go blind. There is nothing we can do, no cures, no treatments." He dropped the mic and walked out of the room to let my friend console his friend.
 
2014-06-04 11:17:14 PM  

Ambivalence: Finally, jobs where being a sociopath would be a benefit rather than a detriment. It's that whole sympathy thing that makes these jobs so stressful.


Finally?  We've had surgeons and nephrologists for a long time now.
 
2014-06-04 11:19:27 PM  

Snarfangel: Can't we just hire sociopaths for those jobs?


Because they're all cops or businessmen or "legitimate" businessmen.
 
2014-06-04 11:23:41 PM  
I'm a manager at an aerospace company. I've had to give people layoff notices four times in the last five years (like half a dozen people each time). It really is stressful, especially during, but before and after too. I just try to keep in mind that, no matter how much it sucks for me, it doesn't compare to what it's like for the person losing his or her job. Most people have taken the news very professionally, but i don't blame the people who don't.

I hope to never do it again, but I'm not holding my breath.
 
2014-06-04 11:23:55 PM  

Big Ramifications: I used to hang with a lot of Med students at university. One of them specifically told me he wanted to get into optho because he didn't want to deal with death and horrible diseases.

// I'm sure glaucoma is still a horrible disease
// but you know what I mean


Folks with advancing glaucoma can at least see it coming, so to speak. Takes years to go blind from it usually, but yeah an absolute biatch to deal with.

The stuff that's more relevant to this topic is like the guy who wakes up with blackness in one eye and comes to clinic thinking that of course there's  something to be done about it. Then it turns out the blood flow to the optic nerve was interrupted, just like what happens to brain tissue during a stroke. Those are the conversations it sucks to have.

/but not as much as the "your child has a deadly eye tumor" conversation
//seen it, but haven't had to give that one yet
 
2014-06-04 11:24:57 PM  

Fano: Occam's Disposable Razor: Big Ramifications: I hope I can be like that when I get the ultimate termination notice from a doctor.

I made an observation related to this at an ethics lecture recently. I'm an eye guy, so luckily we don't often deal with mortal issues, but vision is still a big deal. Some patients, I get all steeled up to give my "your eye(s) will never see again" speech. I take a moment, try to impart that I'm truly sorry, have options ready to discuss in terms of visual or auditory aids, ready to talk about further research or send them for a second opinion... And, some patients, they just take it in stride. No anger, no fear, just "well that sucks - thanks for trying, doc." For awhile I thought something was wrong with them, or that they were apathetic, but I think some of them are just that stoic.

Some people really surprise you, and every so often I want to frogmarch some wimp into the room to see how a stoic person takes bad news in stride.

never forgot one of my crappy staff doctors that told a colleague's 25 yo friend that came in for a simple exam, just a little trouble seeing at night: "you have retinitis pigmentosa. You will go blind. There is nothing we can do, no cures, no treatments." He dropped the mic and walked out of the room to let my friend console his friend.


My doctor cried telling me this last fall. Honestly, she took it harder than I did. But then....she was the 4th retinal specialist and 6th Dr I had seen in 6 months, so I was probably better prepared mentally than she was. Mr. ShutYerBeak? Not so much... He's still researching options.
 
2014-06-04 11:26:43 PM  

Fano: Some people really surprise you, and every so often I want to frogmarch some wimp into the room to see how a stoic person takes bad news in stride.


Haha. I want to do that in the retina clinic daily. "Oh, you're down to 20/30, and it's so horrible? That 84 year old lady out there has had 70 shots put into her eyeballs, comes here every 6 weeks, and is happy to still see the fingers on my hand."

Having said that, I'm a big wimp and would be terribly distraught to lose any vision, so I get it.
 
2014-06-04 11:27:02 PM  

Occam's Disposable Razor: Big Ramifications: I hope I can be like that when I get the ultimate termination notice from a doctor.

I made an observation related to this at an ethics lecture recently. I'm an eye guy, so luckily we don't often deal with mortal issues, but vision is still a big deal. Some patients, I get all steeled up to give my "your eye(s) will never see again" speech. I take a moment, try to impart that I'm truly sorry, have options ready to discuss in terms of visual or auditory aids, ready to talk about further research or send them for a second opinion... And, some patients, they just take it in stride. No anger, no fear, just "well that sucks - thanks for trying, doc." For awhile I thought something was wrong with them, or that they were apathetic, but I think some of them are just that stoic.


I act that way and then deal with it when I'm alone. I know some think I'm a robot because of that. I'm not. I just don't like to make a scene.
 
2014-06-04 11:27:45 PM  

Big Ramifications: Occam's Disposable Razor: Big Ramifications: I hope I can be like that when I get the ultimate termination notice from a doctor.

I made an observation related to this at an ethics lecture recently. I'm an eye guy, so luckily we don't often deal with mortal issues, but vision is still a big deal. Some patients, I get all steeled up to give my "your eye(s) will never see again" speech. I take a moment, try to impart that I'm truly sorry, have options ready to discuss in terms of visual or auditory aids, ready to talk about further research or send them for a second opinion... And, some patients, they just take it in stride. No anger, no fear, just "well that sucks - thanks for trying, doc." For awhile I thought something was wrong with them, or that they were apathetic, but I think some of them are just that stoic.

I used to hang with a lot of Med students at university. One of them specifically told me he wanted to get into optho because he didn't want to deal with death and horrible diseases.

// I'm sure glaucoma is still a horrible disease
// but you know what I mean


A lot of people would rather die than go blind. Coming to terms with a retinal detachment or diabetic retinopathy can be hard
 
2014-06-04 11:28:11 PM  
I'm a mental health worker and I work with the worst of the worst cases of mental illness in kids and adults, and there is nothing crappier then having to explain to a parent that their child has had a psychotic break and will never be "normal". Its so overwhelming when they realize their loved one will always hear voices and will never lead a full, peaceful life. It's heartbreaking to care about clients who are so sick with delusions they can't comprehend reality, but we do what we can. I feel for all the professionals in the article.
 
2014-06-04 11:29:47 PM  
As a life insurance underwriter I find most of the bad news I deliver is to our reps to tell them their clients are fat and hypertensive.

/Or conveniently forgot to mention they smoke
//Or are drunks
/// Or are batshiate crazy
 
2014-06-04 11:31:17 PM  

reklamfox: I'm a mental health worker and I work with the worst of the worst cases of mental illness in kids and adults, and there is nothing crappier then having to explain to a parent that their child has had a psychotic break and will never be "normal". Its so overwhelming when they realize their loved one will always hear voices and will never lead a full, peaceful life. It's heartbreaking to care about clients who are so sick with delusions they can't comprehend reality, but we do what we can. I feel for all the professionals in the article.


It would have to be easier (as an adult) to face an issue with yourself than with your child.

I don't have any kids, but I would gladly take a cancer so that my nieces wouldn't have to if such a thing were possible.   I do know that if they ever need a lung it would be their's without hesitation. I can't even imagine what a parent feels.
 
2014-06-04 11:31:47 PM  

reklamfox: I'm a mental health worker and I work with the worst of the worst cases of mental illness in kids and adults, and there is nothing crappier then having to explain to a parent that their child has had a psychotic break and will never be "normal". Its so overwhelming when they realize their loved one will always hear voices and will never lead a full, peaceful life. It's heartbreaking to care about clients who are so sick with delusions they can't comprehend reality, but we do what we can. I feel for all the professionals in the article.


Dude, awful. Sincerely, you've got my respect. That's a brutal job.
People get a lot of their ideas about what "crazy" is from movies and TV, and it's usually much worse.
 
2014-06-04 11:45:28 PM  

Occam's Disposable Razor: reklamfox: I'm a mental health worker and I work with the worst of the worst cases of mental illness in kids and adults, and there is nothing crappier then having to explain to a parent that their child has had a psychotic break and will never be "normal". Its so overwhelming when they realize their loved one will always hear voices and will never lead a full, peaceful life. It's heartbreaking to care about clients who are so sick with delusions they can't comprehend reality, but we do what we can. I feel for all the professionals in the article.

Dude, awful. Sincerely, you've got my respect. That's a brutal job.
People get a lot of their ideas about what "crazy" is from movies and TV, and it's usually much worse.


My woman found that out during nursing clinicals on the 6th floor. The one that got to her was the young man who handed her a list of things he needed that day. A building, sweater, and a presidential coin collection. Sad
 
2014-06-04 11:53:43 PM  

Ooba Tooba: Occam's Disposable Razor: reklamfox: I'm a mental health worker and I work with the worst of the worst cases of mental illness in kids and adults, and there is nothing crappier then having to explain to a parent that their child has had a psychotic break and will never be "normal". Its so overwhelming when they realize their loved one will always hear voices and will never lead a full, peaceful life. It's heartbreaking to care about clients who are so sick with delusions they can't comprehend reality, but we do what we can. I feel for all the professionals in the article.

Dude, awful. Sincerely, you've got my respect. That's a brutal job.
People get a lot of their ideas about what "crazy" is from movies and TV, and it's usually much worse.

My woman found that out during nursing clinicals on the 6th floor. The one that got to her was the young man who handed her a list of things he needed that day. A building, sweater, and a presidential coin collection. Sad


I worked with a client once who had delusions that he was married to an extremely wealthy woman who was "away on business" and he flat out refused to ever buy himself anything lest his rich wife comes back and buys it for him. His apartment was totally empty, no furniture, no clothes, no food except a box of cereal and a bowl. This guy lived for DECADES like this, always waiting for his nonexistent wife to return and buy him nice things. He was in and out of hospitals regularly because he refused to care for himself, he insisted "it was his wife's job". It was heartbreaking to see how isolated and sick he became.
 
2014-06-05 12:01:45 AM  

TheHighlandHowler: I would put schoolteachers on the list also.  "Snowflake will not be a <insert goal of choice>."


That's a firing these days.
 
2014-06-05 12:03:28 AM  
I've been given the same "you've got about 6 years to live speech" twice.  By the same doc.  About 4 years apart.  Last time was about, oh 7 years ago.

/sometimes beating the odds just means a delay of game.
//still doing better than the Cubs
 
2014-06-05 12:03:55 AM  

Occam's Disposable Razor: Fano: Some people really surprise you, and every so often I want to frogmarch some wimp into the room to see how a stoic person takes bad news in stride.

Haha. I want to do that in the retina clinic daily. "Oh, you're down to 20/30, and it's so horrible? That 84 year old lady out there has had 70 shots put into her eyeballs, comes here every 6 weeks, and is happy to still see the fingers on my hand."

Having said that, I'm a big wimp and would be terribly distraught to lose any vision, so I get it.


I feel for that lady, I have CRVO in one eye: (link for those that don't know)  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_retinal_vein_occlusion Docs had no clue what caused it and nothing much in the way of treatment. I asked about the odds of it happening in the other eye and got told "we don't know". I said "thanks for doing what you could" and moved on. That was 10 years ago. Blind in one eye and deaf in the other, that's my world. Try replacing surface mount components on a circuit board with one eye closed, by hand.
 
2014-06-05 12:16:33 AM  
Get one of those Nelson figurines that say 'Ha Ha' with the press of a button. Should help.
 
2014-06-05 12:16:48 AM  

ArmednHammered: Blind in one eye and deaf in the other, that's my world.


That's got to suck. Hopefully someday they'll make a hearing aid for eyes to help you out.

/at least they can both still smell.

;)
 
2014-06-05 12:29:11 AM  

ArkAngel: Chicago Cubs announcers

Is this even still bad news? Isn't it just news by now?


TOO SOON!
 
kab
2014-06-05 12:40:20 AM  
Frankly I don't see how funeral directors aren't on that list.
 
2014-06-05 12:40:23 AM  

Occam's Disposable Razor: Big Ramifications: I used to hang with a lot of Med students at university. One of them specifically told me he wanted to get into optho because he didn't want to deal with death and horrible diseases.

// I'm sure glaucoma is still a horrible disease
// but you know what I mean

Folks with advancing glaucoma can at least see it coming, so to speak. Takes years to go blind from it usually, but yeah an absolute biatch to deal with.

The stuff that's more relevant to this topic is like the guy who wakes up with blackness in one eye and comes to clinic thinking that of course there's  something to be done about it. Then it turns out the blood flow to the optic nerve was interrupted, just like what happens to brain tissue during a stroke. Those are the conversations it sucks to have.

/but not as much as the "your child has a deadly eye tumor" conversation
//seen it, but haven't had to give that one yet


Dr., I think the patient is just crying because he's happy to be able to smoke a lot of weed for the rest of his life.
 
2014-06-05 12:51:07 AM  

kab: Frankly I don't see how funeral directors aren't on that list.


Funeral directors don't deliver bad news; families are already aware that their relatives are dead.
 
2014-06-05 01:01:42 AM  

Occam's Disposable Razor: Big Ramifications: I hope I can be like that when I get the ultimate termination notice from a doctor.

I made an observation related to this at an ethics lecture recently. I'm an eye guy, so luckily we don't often deal with mortal issues, but vision is still a big deal. Some patients, I get all steeled up to give my "your eye(s) will never see again" speech. I take a moment, try to impart that I'm truly sorry, have options ready to discuss in terms of visual or auditory aids, ready to talk about further research or send them for a second opinion... And, some patients, they just take it in stride. No anger, no fear, just "well that sucks - thanks for trying, doc." For awhile I thought something was wrong with them, or that they were apathetic, but I think some of them are just that stoic.


I try to do that. My line of thinking is usually that the doctor is just doing his or her job, and I have friends, a boyfriend, and a therapist to handle the emotional fallout. I nod, I smile, I listen for anything I need to do to follow up.

I've broken my neck, had a false positive HIV test, a false positive Hep C test, and been in the ER more than some eighty-year-olds. Freaking out isn't going to change the test results, it's just going to scare the doctor who is going to advise me.
 
2014-06-05 01:02:45 AM  

Prey4reign: kab: Frankly I don't see how funeral directors aren't on that list.

Funeral directors don't deliver bad news; families are already aware that their relatives are dead.


But what about all the times that the funeral directors have to tell the families that the body of their loved one has been eaten by bears?
 
2014-06-05 01:07:57 AM  
The "human rottweiler" type cop thrives in the job and dominates the work culture almost everywhere.  Being a humanist cop would be rough.  We all wish there were more of them.
 
2014-06-05 05:01:37 AM  
Back in the Vietnam war, there were coscientious objectors (mostly Quakers and Jehovah Witnesses)who actually served, but not in combat roles. One of the nasty things the services did to them was routinely give them "notification duty". A year or two of that will last a man a lifetime.
 
GBB
2014-06-05 06:12:14 AM  

Prey4reign: kab: Frankly I don't see how funeral directors aren't on that list.

Funeral directors don't deliver bad news; families are already aware that their relatives are dead.


Have you seen the cost of a funeral these days?  Sudden bills that size are bad news.
 
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