If I were to be told today that I’m now a brain surgeon, and then also told that I won’t get to be anything other than a brain surgeon for another four years, then I suppose the first thing I’d do is procrastinate. A lot.
First I’d brag about how I somehow bypassed all formal training and education to get to here, until one of the nurses finally tells me to shut up, then literally drags me to my first operation.
Then I’d yell something like “I’m good at this!” (hoping it’s true) before flailing around aimlessly in an repressed state of panic. Maybe turn some knobs on the anesthesia equipment. Maybe hold the defibrillators to my chest and make an inappropriate joke. Maybe surf the news or tweet from my phone until someone asks me why I’m bringing unsterilized devices into an operating room. I might lash out at that nurse for speaking to me, the brain surgeon, in such a rude way. You know, to buy myself more time.
Then, after seeing that others are still watching, and waiting, I might pitifully whisper that “surgery is a lot harder than I expected,” vainly hoping for someone to come over with a hug. And maybe hope for that someone to say “aww, well then let me take over for you.”
Eventually, it’ll become fairly obvious that I just can’t pick up that scalpel, not when a precious life is at stake. So I’d probably wind up nobly apologizing to the room, before resigning from my position. Everyone would applaud me for having the courage and conviction and self-awareness to realize my own limitations.
Afterwards I’d celebrate my decision with a glass of scotch, and then maybe hit the links.