Saturday, January 21, 2017

“Dentists” in Uniform – Humor in Military Medicine

Humor in Military Medicine

Sometime ago – I had written a spoof on “DOCTORS” IN UNIFORM 

(I have given the url link at the end of this story so that you can click and open in a new window and read “Doctors” in Uniform after you have read this spoof on “Dentists” in Uniform)

Now – Dear Reader – let me tell you about a few “Dentists” in Uniform who I came across during my long Navy career.

Disclaimer-cum-Warning:
This is a humorous spoof – satire – so read this story only if you have a “sense of humor”

“DENTISTS” in UNIFORM
Dental Memories of a Navy Veteran
A Fictional Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE

A few years ago – after I had retired from the Navy – a fellow Navy Veteran learnt that I was visiting a Civilian Dentist for dental treatment – so – he asked me: “Why are you going to a Civilian Dentist…?”

“It’s convenient…” I said.

“But – if you go to a Civilian Dentist – you have to pay from your own pocket. If you go to ECHS (Ex-Service men’s Contributory Health Scheme) – they will send you to a Military Dentist – and – you can get your dental treatment done “free of cost”…” the Navy Veteran said.

“The Civilian Dentist is located near my home – whereas the ECHS Clinic is quite far away – and – the Military Dental Centre is even further – but – convenience is not the only factor – that main reason is that – I like this particular Dentist – I am comfortable with him. In the Military – I cannot choose my Dentist – I will have to go to whomsoever Military Dentist they send me to – whether he is good or not – and – there is no continuity – next time – they may send me to someone else – especially if the earlier Dentist is posted out…”

“But if you go to a Military Dentist – it is free. If you go to a Civilian Dentist – you have to pay…”

“At my age – as a Retired Senior Citizen – for me – my comfort is more important than money…” I said to my fellow Navy Veteran, “and – let me tell you one more reason – the Civilian Dentist is trying his best to restore some of my teeth which were ruined by Military Dentists…”

Dear Reader – before I tell you about the Military Dentists who ruined some of my teeth (or removed them) – let me begin on a positive note – and – let me tell you about the best Military Dentist I came across during my long Navy Career.

Actually – she was wearing Navy Uniform at that time – but then – like all Military Doctors belong to the Army Medical Corps (AMC) – all Military Dentists belong to the Army Dental Corps (ADC) – and – just like Military Doctors are called Medical Officers – Military Dentists are called Dental Officers.

This happened around 15 years ago – when I was appointed in the premier Naval Dockyard at Mumbai.

One afternoon – while having lunch – one tooth chipped off and broke.

This hapless tooth had been “worked-on” by a Military Dentist long ago during an Annual Medical Examination (AME)

Dear Reader – let me digress a bit – and – tell you that – during the AME – we were sent to the Unit Dental Officer to get our teeth examined.

Most Dental Officers delegated this task to their Dental Assistants – called DORA (Dental Operating Room Assistants) in the Navy.

However – some “Eager–Beaver” Dentists who were keen to “hone their skills” by extensive “Hands-On” experience – would personally examine and “treat” every Officer who came for the Annual Medical Examination (AME).

I remember one such “enthusiastic” Military Dentist who probably wanted to become the best “Root Canal Therapist” in the world.

Since uniformed personnel have no choice to select their doctor/dentist – they have to visit their Unit Dentist for Dental Examination/Treatment.

Luckily (for him) – this passionate “Root Canal Therapist” was posted to a prestigious Military Training Academy – and – he was the one and only Dental Officer posted in this huge establishment with a large number of military cadets and staff under his “dental jurisdiction”

This opportunity provided this aspiring “Root Canal Therapist” plenty of “Guinea-Pigs” on whom he could experiment and hone his dental skills before he quit the Army and started a lucrative dental practice in “Civvy Street”

So – he ruthlessly “root-canalled” everyone who entered his dental clinic – and – sadly – I was one of his early “victims” when he “root-canalled” two of my teeth in quick succession when I reported for my Annual Medical Examination.

Both my teeth were ruined.

Later – one of these “experimentally root-canalled” teeth was extracted by another Military Dentist who was aspiring to be an “Extraction Specialist”.

Fortunately – the other tooth was restored by a Civilian Dentist who painstakingly performed a “re-root-canal” – and – it was only then that I realized that Root Canal Therapy was an intricate procedure involving multiple sittings – not the “shoot and scoot” type done on me earlier.

(Military Dentists are lucky – they have plenty of opportunity to “experiment” on hapless gullible “Faujis” – unlike Civilian Dentists – who run the risk of being put out of business – in case their “dental experiments” start going wrong – yes – just a few “mishaps” can affect a dentist’s reputation/practice in the highly competitive field of dental practice in the civilian world)

Coming back to Military Dentists - like “Root-Canalists” and “Extractors” – I came across a few “Drillers and Fillers” and “Cappers and Crowners” too.

Ha Ha – Yes – like the Corps of Engineers has “Sappers and Miners” – in the Army Dental Corps – we have “Cappers and Crowners” and “Drillers and Fillers”…

Maybe – it was a few of these “super-specialists” who seemed to have “worked on” the tooth which had now chipped and broken.

Anyway – I rushed to the Naval Dockyard Dental Centre with the broken tooth-piece in my hand.

There – I had expected to see the Surgeon Commander (D) who was the Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of the Dental Centre – who I feared would probably extract the damaged tooth (since he was famous as an “Extractor”…)

But instead of him – there was a pretty young girl in Naval Uniform wearing Two Stripes with Crimson in-between (a Surgeon Lieutenant)

(In the Navy – for Medical Officers – the term “Surgeon” is prefixed before the Rank – and – for Dental Officers – in addition to the prefix “Surgeon” – there is a suffix (D) in brackets)

Seeing the surprise on my face – the young Lady Surgeon Lieutenant (D) said to me: Sir – the OIC had to suddenly go on leave…”

“Oh…”

“Sir – I am officiating as the OIC Dental Centre now…”

“Have you come on Temporary Duty…?”

“No, Sir – I just reported yesterday – they have appointed me as Deputy OIC – Sir – today is my first actual day at work as a dentist…”

I had no choice but to submit myself the young dentist.

I explained my predicament and showed her my piece of tooth which had chipped off and broken.

She asked me to get onto the dental chair and she examined my damaged tooth.

“Are you going to extract the tooth…?” I asked her, fearfully.

“No, No, Sir – we will save the tooth…” she said – and – she began working on my damaged tooth.

While she was treating my tooth – she kept on talking to me – giving a “running commentary” explaining what she was doing.

Normally – I feel terrified when I sit in a dental chair – but – her “running commentary” had a soothing effect on me.

Though she was young – she was extremely dexterous and skillful – and – she repaired and restored my damaged tooth very well.

Then – she checked all my teeth – and said: “Sir – I think two more of your teeth need a bit of restoration – the fillings seem to be coming off...”

Impressed by her proficiency – I asked her: “When can you give me an appointment…?”

“Sir – you can come anytime – preferably in the afternoons…”

I got those two teeth fixed “ship-shape” by her that week itself.

I was so impressed by the young Lady Surgeon Lieutenant (D) – by her gentle dexterity and her professional skill – that I profusely praised her everywhere – even during our weekly meeting chaired by our boss.

“If the new Lady Dental Officer is really as good as you say – I must get my teeth fixed by her too…” he said.

“Yes, Sir…” I said, “She is a really good dentist – not like our “Extractor”…”

“That’s why I avoid going to the Dental Centre – all the bugger does is to extract teeth at the slightest opportunity. I have to go “out-of-station” this week – and – I will get my teeth fixed by the new Lady Dental Officer next week…” the boss said.

Sadly – he was too late.

When the boss reported to the Dental Centre – the Surgeon Commander (D) had reported back from leave and assumed duties as OIC – and – the young Lady Surgeon Lieutenant (D) was relegated back to her position as Deputy OIC.

Now – in the military – seniority is sacrosanct.

Yes – in the military – everything depends on seniority – even competence – so – ipso facto – it is assumed that the Senior is more professionally competent that the Junior (though facts may be otherwise).

So – the senior Surgeon Commander (D) – the “Extractor” – attended to Officers – whereas – the junior Lady Surgeon Lieutenant (D) – the “Restorer” – had to take care of Sailors.  

So – when the boss – who was a Senior Officer – reported to the Dental Centre for treatment – he was ushered into the office of the Surgeon Commander (D) (the “Extractor)

The boss pleaded that he would like to be treated by the young “Restorer” Surgeon Lieutenant (D) – but the “Extractor” Surgeon Commander (D) refused to listen – and he said to the boss: “Sir – you are a very Senior Officer – how can I hand you over to that young inexperienced Dentist – she is only a Lieutenant – meant for junior ranks.  Sir – I will personally treat you myself…”

In the Military – the moment you enter a Clinic/Hospital – the Doctor’s word is final – so – the boss had no option but to submit himself to the “Extractor”.

One hour later – the boss emerged from the Dental Centre with one tooth less – and – a One Day “SIQ” (Sick-in-Quarter) Chit in his hand.

Yes – in the Military – visiting a Dental Centre is like playing “Roulette” – if you are lucky – you may get a “Restorer” – but – if you are not that lucky – you may land up with someone else – a “Driller and Filler” – a “Capper and Crowner” – a “Root-Canaller” – an “Extractor”– or maybe – an even more deadly “super-specialist”…

Also – when you are in military uniform – you have no choice – and – you have to report to the assigned Military Dental Centre if you have a dental problem (and for your Annual Dental Examination)


At least – after retirement – you can choose your own dentist – if you are willing to pay for it. 

(Dear Reader: Hope you enjoyed this story. I am sure you will enjoy DOCTORS IN UNIFORM even more. 

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer:
1. This blog post is a fictional spoof, satire, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
2. All Stories in this Blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)
 

Friday, January 20, 2017

Humor in Uniform – The Military “Brain” Part 2 – Thought Control

Continued from  Part 1: THE MILITARY “BRAIN”  
url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/01/humor-in-uniform-military-brain.html 

HUMOR IN UNIFORM

THE MILITARY “BRAIN” – Part 2 
THE STORY OF THE CRAZY COMMODORE WHO WANTED TO “CONTROL” MY THOUGHTS
Unforgettable Characters I Met in the Navy
A Fictional Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE

THE STORY OF THE CRAZY COMMODORE WHO WANTED TO “CONTROL” MY THOUGHTS
(apocryphal story by Vikram Karve)

After slogging for 5 years in the Navy  afloat and ashore  I was “selected” to undergo the prestigious 2 year M. Tech. course at IIT Delhi.

On completion of my post graduation (M.Tech.)  I was posted to the military “babudom” in Delhi – what we in the Navy jokingly referred to as the landlocked “Northern Naval Command”.

Though ostensibly it was an R&D billet (in consonance with my recently acquired M.Tech. qualification)  in actual fact  I was a pen-pusher  a Babu in uniform.

One afternoon, while I was elbow-bending in the bar of our Navy Wardroom  guzzling beer  I met an ex-shipmate of mine  who was a few years senior to me.

We sat down to drink and we began to talk about the good old days on the ship.

He told me that he was recently posted in the Directorate of Naval Training (DNT) in Naval Headquarters (NHQ) New Delhi and he was looking after Naval Training Schemes.

I told him about my M. Tech. at IIT Delhi  and  now I was posted to R&D HQ.

“Hey, you are an intellectual type – why don’t you do a management course...? We will fund your course – at least your tuition fees...” he said.

I was clueless.

He told me about the new “Learn while you Earn” scheme to motivate young Naval Officers to learn new things and acquire qualifications in their spare time  in the evenings – and on holidays  in off-working hours.

“Come tomorrow to my office,” he said, “I’ll give you the application form and explain the details. Basically  all you have to do is to take admission to a part-time Evening Course – and we will reimburse your tuition fees once you qualify. Also  all efforts will be made to keep you in station till you complete the course.”

“That’s great,” I said, “I want to do a course in Management.”

“Good. Come to my office tomorrow and I will tell you about all the good Management Courses in Delhi...” he said.

Next morning  while I sat his office  he gave me an application form  and he said to me: “I spoke to your appointer in DOP – he said that they were going to keep you here in Delhi for 3 years  so I suggest you apply for a proper Evening Management Course – I have tick-marked the course in the form – now all you have to do is to get the signature of your boss and give me the form – and I will give you approval in principle which will give you permission to the give the Entrance Test. Once you qualify the Entrance Test and clear the Interview  and you are selected for admission to the course  we will give you the proper sanction letter.”

I duly filled up the form  and placed it before my boss for his signature.

My boss, a Commodore, was not impressed.

He said disinterestedly: “What Management Course...? There is no need for you to do a Management Course. You better concentrate on your work here.”

“Sir  the classes are in the evening  after working hours...” I said.

“I know all that. These civilian courses are of no use. You are a permanent commission officer and you know that you can’t leave the Navy. So  you better focus on your career. Let me tell you frankly – in the Navy  qualifications do not matter – how you perform in your job is all that matters. I am not recommending your application. There is no need to do the Management Course”. Just go to your office  and get on with your job...” my boss said firmly, handing me back my application form.

“Sir  what’s the harm in learning new things...? After all  even the Navy wants us to learn – that is why the Navy must have started this “Learn while you Earn Scheme. Please Sir  I want to do this Management Course...” I persisted.

“Stop giving me bullshit...” my boss shouted, “I know what’s good for you. I don’t want my officers wasting their time and efforts doing management courses. There is plenty of work here. So  you just forget about this management course – and – you focus on your job.”

I felt terribly disappointed. 

I had never expected my boss to have such a negative anti-intellectual attitude. 

In fact  I had thought that he would encourage me to do the management course.

I walked across to my ex-shipmate’s office in Directorate of Naval Training (DNT) and I told him the story.

“Leave your application form here...” he said, “I will speak to my Director and try to do something.”

In the afternoon  I got a call on the intercom.

It was the Admiral’s Staff Officer: “Come fast. The Admiral wants to see you.”

“The Admiral wants to see me...?” I asked, surprised.

The moment I reached the Admiral’s Office, the Staff Officer said: “Go right in. He is waiting for you. And  by the way  your boss has just gone inside and he seems to be furious.”

Before I could react, the Staff Officer ushered me into the Admiral’s Office.

The Admiral was reading a file.

My boss was sitting opposite him.

On seeing me  my boss gave me a threatening look.

“Good Morning, Sir...” I said, looking at the Admiral.

The Admiral looked up.

I saluted the Admiral.

The Admiral did not ask me to sit down  he got straight to the point: “What is all this crap about this bloody Management Course...?”

Before I could answer my boss, the Commodore, interrupted – and – the Commodore said to the Admiral: “Don’t you worry, Sir – I will see to it that this Officer is severely punished.”

“Punished...? For what...?” the Admiral asked the Commodore, looking a bit bemused.

“Sir, he has bypassed the chain of command – instead of following the proper channel  he has gone over my head directly to you...” my boss said to the Admiral.

“He hasn’t come directly to me. The Director of Naval Training spoke to me and sent over this form...” the Admiral said, tossing my application form on the table towards my boss.

My boss picked up the form  but he did not say anything.

Looking at the Commodore, the Admiral said to the Commodore: “What’s wrong with you...? Why don’t you want to recommend the young bugger for the Management Course...? It will be better he spends his evenings sitting in a classroom learning something  instead of boozing away in the bloody bar  which he seems to be doing every evening...”

“Sir, I don’t want my officers wasting their time doing these management courses...” my boss said.

“Waste of time...? I thought all that management stuff that the bugger learns may help him do his job better. That’s what the DNT thinks anyway...” the Admiral said.

“Sir, his work will be affected. He will refuse to work late  he will refuse to go on temporary duty…” my boss said.

“Will you...?” the Admiral looked up and addressed me.

“No, Sir. I will do all my duties sincerely. I have to do all my duties, Sir – it is an evening course, subject to exigencies of service…” I said.

“That’s right...” the Admiral said.

Then – the Admiral looked at my boss and asked him: “Any problem...?”

“Sir, he will keep studying in working hours...” my boss said.

“Will you...?” the Admiral asked me.

“No, Sir. I will not bring any books to the office. I will study in my spare time at home...” I said.

“Sir, he will keep going to the library…” my boss interrupted.

“Please, Sir – I will not go to the library in working hours – even if I want to draw a book  I will do so in lunchtime…” I pleaded.

“Sir  I don’t want him to do the Management Course. His work will be affected...” my boss persisted.

“But how...? How the hell will his work be affected if he does a Management Course in the evening...?” the Admiral asked, a bit incredulous.

“Sir  he will be always thinking “Management Thoughts...” my boss said.

“What...? Management Thoughts...?” the Admiral said, looking quite bewildered.

“Yes Sir  he will be always thinking management thoughts” – his brain will be full of management thoughts...” my boss repeated.

The Admiral looked at my boss with curiosity – and the Admiral asked him: “What the hell do you mean by that...?”

“Sir  his brain will be full of thoughts about what he is learning in the Management Course  and he will always be thinking these ‘Management Thoughts even during working hours...” my boss said.

“May I say something, Sir...?” I asked the Admiral.

“Go ahead...” the Admiral said to me.

“Admiral Sir  how can he control my brain...? Can he prevent me from thinking “Erotic Thoughts in working hours...?” I said, pointing to my boss.

“That’s enough...” the Admiral said, trying to suppress a smile.

My boss was looking at me angrily.

The Admiral looked at my boss.

My boss  the Commodore  remained silent.

So  the Admiral said to the Commodore:

“Tell me  in the office  isn’t it better that the young bugger thinks “cerebral Management Thoughts – or – do you want him to think horny Erotic Thoughts...?

My boss promptly signed the application form and he gave it to me.

My anti-intellectual boss did try his best to sabotage my Management Studies by creating hurdles and making life difficult for me  but  I succeeded in completing the Management Course with flying colours.


VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer:
1. This is a fictional spoof, satire, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
2. All Stories in this Blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.
Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Abridged and Updated Extract of my article THE CRAZY COMMODORE WITH A PHOBIA FOR “MANAGEMENT THOUGHTS” written by me Vikram Karve on 19 November 2013 and posted online in my various blogs including in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/09/humor-in-uniform-memories-of-my-babu-in.html