Drama: The Persistent Weed Pt 2

This is a continuation of my last post.

I stopped writing last night because I have a race next weekend. This morning’s run was fantastic, and the endorphin rush and energy lasted me till 5pm. I’ve been so reticent about running in the morning in winter because the sun won’t have risen yet, and it’s usually windy/rainy/crappy. However, with the big race so close, I got up and ran a new personal best, which I’m quite happy about. 10.5km in 57 minutes = 5:25 min/km!!

The view at the end of a new PB run :D

The view at the end of a new PB run 😀

Anyway, my life is currently overrun with drama. Let’s talk about uni, which has once again become a large part of my life.

Teaching hospitals are hotbeds of politicking and drama.

1. My year is the first cohort of post-graduate students for this course. They gave us fanciful labels, like “pioneers” and “scouts.” Oh please, you mean “guinea pigs.”

I wish I’d gotten a photo of what MF from my study group wrote on the whiteboard one session:

Welcome to Journal Club. In your first year of uni, can you say that you’ve killed/sued/brought on a nervous breakdown on your professors?

Or something like that.

2. They have tried to treat us like the usual 17-18 year old undergraduates, who are basically children. When Nurse G tried to reprimand us, we immediately gave feedback to our class representatives, who got the staff to speak to her and say, “You can’t do that.” She got the message.

3. They are trying to dictate new clinic coat standards. P has told me there is no evidence for cross infection control, or research on the incidence of proven patient/patient transfer in our setting. But they remain adamant that we must meet their new requirements, despite the fact that students for the past 10 years have had short clinic coats, and neither they nor their patients are on anti-retrovirals. Fucking saliva splatter studies.

4. The replacement for the course coordinator who had a breakdown is a real piece of work. Why?

  • I can understand that you want our undivided attention, but it’s unbelievably disrespectful to snap your fingers at us. Our cohort has students of a comparable age, qualifications, and life experience. Your attempt to avoid conflict by a dictatorial attitude is not appreciated.
  • We will be your future colleagues. Who the hell do you think you are to tell us to lower our screens because we don’t need to take notes?
  • I don’t want to hear your life story, about how you went to the best university in America, and “dated your professor on the quiet” and got married. I don’t care that your son has final high school exams, or about your “amazing” daughter who’s never dealt with death before, but has taken on all the cooking for her friend’s mother’s funeral. Shut up. If you absolutely must, finish your lecture on the history of the topic, and then talk through actual important, clinically relevant topics, you twit! Jesus fucking Christ.

5. I’m not encouraged to excel with my practical work. Last week, I was ahead of everyone else for one activity, standing around, waiting for 45 minutes to get something checked in 30 seconds so I could proceed to the next step. The tutor asked me why I was rushing and the coordinator told me to hide my frustration.

But you know what? I get it. This is the way things are. I just need to keep my head down, use my time more effectively instead of standing around, get through, and then leave this crap drama behind. Water off a duck’s back. It’s not worth the emotional energy. I have more important things to worry about. Like study.

Today, I was ahead again. We were allocated 6 hours for our practical work. I finished in 3 and a bit. People started asking me to critique their work, so I did it a bit. And then more and more people asked. I felt like such a twat. I mean, I learned it at the same time as you and I’m ahead, but I’m not more experienced or anything. And here I am, playing tutor. Oh well, they asked for my feedback. It was better than twiddling my thumbs.

I have seriously considered transferring back home for the course. We’ll cross that bridge when it comes time.

There may be a part 3, on my clinic partner, and a small group of girls who have distinguished themselves in our cohort as bitches.


Airport Traffic Cops

Traffic Wardens from Hell #666

Image by Ennor via Flickr

In my degree, most of us started working in second year and a common complaint quickly emerged: what we learn in theory isn’t applied in practice. And it’s true to some degree. If someone asks for an antihistamine, other medications don’t usually have an impact on the suggested product. But of course, we learn it all; it’s what allows us to stand behind that counter, check that it’s appropriate therapy and discuss any concerns with the patient in counselling.

However, there’s a point where you just accept that theory and practice don’t line up. I’d certainly like to disabuse a particular airport traffic warden of that notion. In the four years I’ve been here in Australia, picking up someone from the international airport late at night has been a simple process:

  1. Drive to the airport to arrive close to anticipated exit time from customs.
  2. Wait in the pick up lanes (vs. the drop off lanes).
  3. Greet and hug the person(s), then load the car.
  4. Drive off on our merry way.

Tonight was different. I drive there and get in the lane to wait. This middle-aged traffic warden in high-vis clothing walks up and gestures her hand in a circle above her head. I figure she’s indicating the halo that must be above my own head as I’m the very image of a saint. or something. Let’s go with “for being a good child and picking your dad up from the airport.” and for driving a Prius. Ok, my sister’s Prius.

No. I am mistaken. This presumptuous creature strides up to my window and raps on it with her filthy knuckles. (Even if I was in my crappy Toyota Corolla, I don’t care. Don’t touch my car.)  From her gaping maw issues a statement: “You have to circle. You can’t wait here.” I can see some cars moving into the actual pick-up lane behind me, so I thank her politely and make the circuit. I come right back around because I’m acting as per experience. She come right back and repeats her message. I am disappointed her excitement doesn’t match mine at my dad visiting.

After 2 hours of this rigmarole, I realise something. She’s an absolute @#$!-ing idiot. It’s the same 3 cars that are doing this ridiculous circuit you insist on. There’s room in this pick-up lane for 10 cars. It’s not a high-traffic time. And if I get a text message from my Dad saying he’s here, I’m going to !@#%-ing wait in the !@%#!@# lane because I know he’s gotten through customs.

“Well, you’re going to have to park and then come in if he’s not here for you to pick up.”

Uh, no, because that’s not how this goes, you _____ (adjective) _____ (adjective) _____ (adjective) _____ (noun). Don’t you dare imply I’d be incapable of understanding what you’re saying, you racist cow. You walk the traffic lanes at a deserted airport on a Thursday night. And you entirely stuffed up what should’ve been a quick, efficient happy pick up from the airport. _____ (noun).