Not that anyone reading this has ever done this, but I'm sure you've all at least heard about it happening to other people.
You know the time that gossipy email was accidentally sent to the very person being gossiped about? Or the time that personal email went out to the entire company? Or the time you butt-dialed someone and they heard you talking smack about them?
My situation isn't that extreme, but it is one that forced a conversation before I wanted to have it.
It seems my second opinion doctor forgot to ask me (or I forgot to mention) that our most recent meeting was clandestine, and to not forward her notes to my current oncologist. We've had this arrangement in the past. I was still dancing around the idea of how one breaks up with their doctor, and would ideally have a plan in place before even broaching the subject with him.
Much like the email being sent to the wrong person, her notes from our visit were sent to my current doctor. Oops.
He became very aware that I was not only cheating, but (potentially) leaving. And I know this because he left me a very awkward voicemail, which I promptly ignored.
But bright and early Monday morning, there I sat in an exam room, knowing that uncomfortable conversations were about to be had, some truths told, and ultimately the groundwork laid for our break-up.
In all fairness to him, I wanted to explain why I was seeking a second opinion, and very much considering a move to a new doctor (which he labeled as his competition and tried to one-up in that awkward voicemail). Everyone is entitled to constructive feedback, even doctors who may not want to hear it.
The catch to giving constructive feedback is giving it to someone who is good at listening, especially when that feedback is all about how they don't listen - that whole being heard without really being heard thing.
So there I sat, trying desperately to interrupt him and tell him that I didn't feel he listened to me, while he continued talking over me. I play the scene out over and over in my head, because it alone was all the confirmation I needed that it was time to move on.