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Rated: ASR · Short Story · Other · #1860522
Phoenix has to give an assessment...but his last three participants have been no-shows...
The situation was fast approaching "dire" for Phoenix with the MCMI-III assessment report deadline looming just two days away.  He had not even administered the test yet due to volunteer participants "totally spacing it" or "having no excuse," and not showing up.  These volunteers were undergraduate students who had signed up for the opportunity to earn extra credit through participation in the assessment process with a graduate student.  They earned one extra credit point for every 15 minutes spent assisting a graduate student with the assessment process, whether that be the Clinical Interview alone or the Clinical Interview and a personality assessment, such as the MMPI-2 or the MCMI-III.  Phoenix had been stood up twice outright by these students, and was soon, he feared, going to be stood up for a third time.  This third no-show would likely, as the story went, be due to an unexpected work shift scheduled at the last minute for the participant.  Phoenix was not sure that he bought the excuse.  He was also waiting to hear back from this particular individual on the status of changing shifts with someone so that he could meet Phoenix the next day.  Well, the next day was here, and still no word from the kid on whether or not Phoenix had to pull out all the stops and find a way to get this assessment done.  Phoenix had to get it done one way or another.  The question was ethics.

The ethics question.  All Phoenix had to get was a filled-in bubble sheet and a Clinical Interview.  He had many volunteers outside this extra credit participant group willing to help him out with this.  They would lie, of course, and make their information as fictitious as possible as not to reveal anything personal due to ethical considerations, but at least Phoenix would have a completed MCMI-III bubble sheet to score and an interview to back it up.  Maybe.  Phoenix thought about doing it himself.  The question would be the ethics piece.  The professor would not know until after the fact that someone had completed an assessment with someone other than an extra credit student.  She would know, though, because she was attentive to detail and always taught ethics first.  Phoenix really did not want to violate the ethics of the situation.  He did not believe that he could, even.  Phoenix was, for the most part, an honest person with integrity.  At times, that was all he had to hang on to.  This situation was definitely testing his resolve on this point.

Phoenix had e-mailed the professor the night before to give her a heads-up on the situation.  He needed to know what his next move would be.  Should he just keep calling people?  And having them not show up?  He needed this assessment done now.  Not later.  He had a firm extended deadline of the last day of class, a difference of one week, on the day of the final.  Panic was setting in.  A high, unmanageable level of stress was plaguing Phoenix's mind like a fatal disease.  Thank God I see my doctor today, thought Phoenix.  Assessment or not, he would see his doctor and be able to work through the stress that was quickly becoming overwhelming.  Phoenix was not sure how he was going to react to being stood up again if it happened, nor did he know how he would proceed from this point.  Should he talk to the professor about his unethical ideas?  Phoenix did not know anymore.  He needed help, both from his professor and from his psychiatrist.  That day.  Phoenix only hoped that the day would not take an evil twist beyond what was already going wrong.  A curveball at this point might break him.  Phoenix had an ECT treatment the next day as well, which was a relief on one hand, but took him out of the game for at least two days on the other hand.  He needed the treatment, though.  It would be his saving grace - that and his psychiatrist visits.  Phoenix had read the Scriptures and journaled the night before, praying that God's purpose would be fulfilled somehow through this fiasco.  Since this was painful for Phoenix, he figured it was a lesson he needed to learn, and God had chosen the time.
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