Post 65 The Doctor and the Lottery Ticket

Working for the general practitioner’s night call service, I was sitting in our medical centre with Dave Morrison, my regular driver.    It was two in the morning and all was quiet.    We’d already undertaken a couple of visits, neither terribly dramatic, and were waiting to see what else turned up.    If it remained quiet for the next hour or so, I would probably get Dave to drive me home to get some sleep. It was unusual for there to be any calls after three. Time passes slowly in the wee small hours when you’ve nothing to do, and we generally idled the minutes away chatting about the weather, sport and current affairs.    Inevitably though, there were times when our conversation flagged, and Dave would then fill the silence by embarking on a game he loved to play; the ‘what would you do if’ game. ‘Hey Doc,’ he might ask ‘what would you do if a fellow with a knuckle duster on his fist met you on a dark night and demanded your wallet?  Would you just hand it over?’         Or alte

Post 64 How NOT to ask for a reference

It was always going to be a difficult letter to write. I'd got on the wrong side of the boss from my very first day in the job.    ‘Report at 9 am to the Administration Department’ the letter had said, which is precisely what I did.   It was scarcely my fault that my new boss had instructed the HR office that I should report to him on the ward at 8.30 am!    And then to be ‘bawled out’ in front of the rest of the staff for being late, without being offered a chance to explain, had been unforgivable.   Things had gone from bad to worse. The induction programme was a shambles, postgraduate education was virtually non-existent and I was expected to work overtime at short notice without a 'please'  or a 'thank you.' Worse still was his behaviour.    He was short with his patients, rude to his staff and he treated anyone junior to him with contempt.    Furthermore he was racist and sexist.    He once stated quite openly that he would never have appointed me had he rea

Post 63 Apple Blossom Time

Elsie's committed suicide in the hospital bathroom.     She bought the razor blade in the shop downstairs and by the time the nurse found her the water was as red as the body was white.     The bathroom door's locked now, but Elsie's still inside, and the nurses are whispering in corners when they don't think we can hear.     They can't understand why she did it.      She'd had her foot amputated, it's true, but that's no big deal.     She was managing very well on her crutches and was due to have a prosthesis fitted this afternoon, but that's not going to happen now. Dulcie and I know why she did it though.   She found a small ulcer on her right heel this morning and she knew where that would lead.     Elsie was seventy years old with no family to look after her and she didn't want to spend her last few years as a cripple in a nursing home. Dulcie and I don't blame her.    We've both considered suicide ourselves so we know the tempta