Doctor Curmudgeon Battles Paperwork

Doctor Curmudgeon, Halloween humor

Doctor Curmudgeon has a lot “on her plate.”

Patients to see.

Forms to fill out.

Phone calls to make.

Emergencies to handle.

She tries to organize, to keep her desk neat.  She is in a losing battle. By nature, the good (and possibly messy) doctor finds her organizational skills lacking.

However, she keeps up the good fight.

Periodically, she tosses items to the shredder, to the circular file.

Seeing a clear area on her desk, she feels so good about herself.

And then, she leaves for the night.

Forgetting her mobile phone, she returns to the office and tiptoes…because it is dark and she always tiptoes in the dark.


8 PM.

The office is locked.

The alarm is turned on.

The office manager’s desk is neat.

Tomorrow’s charts are stacked neatly.

The front desk is pretty neat.

The lab area is clean and neat.

The break room is neat.

Coffee maker is ready to be turned on by the first person arriving in the morning.

My partner’s desk is neat.

And then there is a gentle rustling.

Possibly a paper giggle or two.

A lonely paper slides out from under the office manager’s door.

It quickly glides through the half open door to my office.

It leaps upon my chair, somehow managing to dump some ink on the seat.

Then, suddenly more papers appear.

They spread over the desk in a disorderly fashion.

They come together and they multiply.

Ye Gads! Those papers are procreating!


I will leave condoms and birth control pills scattered around my desk.

Maybe they will take the hint.

But then again, I have heard of ”The animosity of Inanimate Objects!”

What do you do with the papers?

I am despondent.

I am hopelessly enmired as the papers and paper clips grow in number, causing my desk to groan with the weight.

And in the background, a witch’s cackle becomes louder as she approaches and orders me to

Set fire to your whole desk!

Heh! Heh!

That is your only chance

It is futile to resist

Halloween approaches!



Diane Batshaw EismanDoctor Curmudgeon is Diane Batshaw Eisman MD, FAAFP, a Family Physician, writer, voiceover artist, and medical educator. It was in the Neolithic Era that the doctor became renowned for expertise in Trephination. After so much time in practice, Doctor Curmudgeon is now cranky and has rightfully earned the honorific of “Curmudgeon.”

Doctor Curmudgeon has no idea of what will appear in this space. It depends on the Good Doctor’s mood and whatever shamans and doctors are channeled at the moment.

As a curmudgeon, I may stray from what I observe happening in medicine and slink into other areas. But that is the prerogative of a Curmudgeon.  Please check out my first book, “No Such Agency.”


  1. Forrest says


    You cannot just leave condoms and OCPs strewn about and hope the papers will get the hint. They are like horny teenagers – you need some Depo- or Norplant for them…

  2. Colleague in Arms says

    Leave out contraception? Mais Non!

    Leave out little chocolates (wrapped of course) and other tempting inducements for the organizational elves.

    And this is what will happen…..

    At night when you are abed, the little creatures will prance o’er your desk and flit through your office filing, shredding, and sorting labs.

    Surprised but pleased, you will leave out chocolate again, and the same thing happens and more. They show initiative and call insurance companies to ask about pending payments, call patients about payments due. All in your voice because they have that ability and HIPAA clearance too.

    You will leave chocolate varieties, such as chocolate nut clusters and chocolate jellies.

    Your old accounts receivable will be all be collected and your current accounts receivable will be collected within 45 days.

    You will expand your chocolate selection to include truffles, and Belgian and Swiss confections.

    In additioned to all the aforementioned tasks, your computers will start up in a trice with all programs ready to go in the blink of an eye without fail and EPIC will work perfectly all the time. You will think of viruses only as things that cause illnesses in living organisms and you will stop using computer jargon like glitch, work-around and worm.

    Ever doubtful, you and your partner will secret yourselves in the supply closet one night to see for yourself the goings-on.

    At the stroke of midnight, in will come two little elves carrying secretarial and computer supplies and busy themselves with all your work. You have never had employees that were as industrious as these twoare, who will finish long ere the break of dawn.

    Amazed and appreciative, you will turn to your partner and say,
    “These little wights have so helped, we must be thankful and show our appreciation. Let’s study them and figure out what they might need.”

    Skills honed by your years of study and practice of medicine (and the little bit you overheard whilst in your supply closet, which of course you will never divulge) you will discern what are the needs of these delightful creatures.

    That night you will leave out not only your customary delectable chocolates, but also a list of clinics where they can get free or low cost medical care and medications and you offer your services gratis and you give them a teeny-tiny pre-paid cell phone because no one should be without a phone these days.

    After midnight they will come in, skipping and dancing as usual and do their work, perfectly and industriously as always. They will see your chocolates and then your letter and smile and laugh with pleasure and say, “Medical care for us pixies, what a wonderful thing!” And they will whirl and dance, round and round, faster and faster ‘till they rise up in the air and fly out the window.

    They won’t come back to your office.

    But before they go they will scatter invisible golden fairy dust that will permeate every part of your office and hover over everyone that works there.

    And everything will go well in your office and practice from thence forward and forever.

  3. Ellen Kracoff says

    I think even attorneys are being forced into the “paper-less” computer age. I don’t think procreation is permitted in the cloud. It is a “no sex zone”! So once the paper travels from your desk it is gone from sight and mind only to be seen again in the event that you had an actual emergency and then you would have to remember your access id, password, client/patient name and date of incident that your were looking for. Hopefully this need would occur at a place and time that you had wireless access….if not, oh well! Sometimes the old way is the better way! Those of us who love our paper…and our piles of paper….and are willing to fight the paper-less trend….Let’s hold our heads high and recite that positive affirmation…..Hugging your paper …… a warm fuzzy!

  4. says

    OH, colleague in arms.
    You are truly brilliant
    Your writing is superb
    Your ideas enthrall me.
    You are correct.
    Chocolate is the panacea
    I will sleep tonight dreaming of the beautiful place you have created.
    My heartfelt thanks for your wisdom, clarity and understanding

  5. lasermed says

    I seriously thought that this only happened in my office. I was sure that the paper pixies had found my infertility information and had found the secrets of reproduction.
    I am profoundly perplexed to find out that it is just a product of the perverted personalities of the paper pixie personas. Perhaps the prescription for prevention lies in pervasive persuasion with chocolate and other pretty presents..

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