Thursday, July 05, 2007


I meet a lot of people in my line of work. And as a consequence, this involves a lot of handshakes. (Interestingly, when I meet any Asians, my heritage kicks in and I also perform the cursory bow along with the handshake.)

I walk into the exam room, identify the person most likely to be the patient (this can often be a challenge), introduce myself, and starting with the potential patient, take turns briefly shaking hands with everybody in the room.

Handshaking is pretty much an automated routine. I usually don't pay too much attention to a person's handshake unless it's one of two things: too limp, or too strong.

A too strong handshake makes me question what the hell is wrong with the person: What are you trying to say? Why the hell are you trying to break every bone in my hand? Are you trying to assert your dominance? Are you trying to scare me? Do you just have no muscular self control? Are you bionic?

But the worst is probably the surprisingly limp handshake. Nothing more repulsive than expecting a firm handshake but being presented with a hand that's doing its best to resemble a dead fish. Or as one of my friends called it once, a limp dick.

Me: Hello, good to meet you.

Patient: Good to meet you, Doctor.

[Our hands meet for a handshake]

[To my horror, a wimpy handshake awaits me]

Me: [internally] Bleahh!