Sunday, 12 September 2010
I always feel cheated if I take a numbered ticket & don't end up with a cheese based product in the end...
(article by Michael Holden)
Strange places, hospital pharmacies. They appear to be capable of spending so long assembling the medication that high-street chemists move like professional martial artists by comparison. And yet the fact that you are here, collecting your own drugs, rather than lying in bed upstairs receiving them intravenously, breeds a gratitude that helps to nullify delays. I took a ticket and sat down, as an older couple on my right began to examine theirs.
Woman "I can't see what it is."
Woman "What it says."
Woman "The ticket."
Man "What about it?"
Woman "Is it 89 or 68?"
Woman (turning the ticket around in front of him to illustrate her dilemma) "89 or 68, see? Which is it?"
It was 89. I knew this because my number was 93. I was poised to intervene when the man, having grasped the situation, sprang into action and approached the pharmacy window.
Woman (sensing trouble) "Sit down."
Man (undeterred) "What's this, then?"
Man (pinning the ticket to the security glass) "89 or 68?"
Pharmacist "It's 89, 68 has gone."
The man came back.
Man "It's 89."
Woman (snatching it back) "I heard her."
She seemed furious at his intervention. He sank down by her side as the pharmacist called their number.
Woman (handing him back the ticket) "About time."
Saturday, 7 August 2010
This week's illustration is brought to you by the 'Carry On Book Of Hospital Waiting Room Clichés'...
(Article by Michael Holden)
On first inspection, the local surgery appears to have a good selection of magazines. It's only when you try to read them that you discover half the people in the waiting room were born after they came out. Having perhaps learned the same lesson, a man near to me refused an offer of a Woman's Weekly from his wife, recoiling so visibly that you wondered if such a pathological reaction was why they had come.
Woman "What's up?"
Man "I just … I can't look at 'em any more."
Woman (wearily) "Oh yeah, I forgot."
Man "They're full of … well, it's just shit, isn't it?"
He nodded toward the one she was reading.
Man "'Halle Berry's custody battle.' I mean, who cares, really? What good is that to you or me?"
Woman "I like her."
Man "That's not the point ..."
Woman (quickly) "Don't read it then."
Man "I don't. That's the thing. You turn your back on all that and pretty soon you don't know who's who. I quite like it. The bliss of ignorance. I looked at one the other day and I didn't recognise anyone. I felt sort of free. In the end there was a picture of Ruby Wax – I recognised her. I was quite pleased to see her. And I used to hate Ruby Wax."
Woman (not looking at him) "Yeah?"
Man (after a pause) "What's up with Halle Berry's kids then?"
Woman "Shut up and I may find out."
Man "I don't feel so well."
Woman (with extreme prejudice) "Don't you bloody start!"
He looked at me for consolation. I couldn't meet his gaze.
Saturday, 12 December 2009
Note to self...for reference purposes, in shared studio very unwise to Google 'nurses uniform' with 'Safe Search' option switched off!
(Article by Michael Holden)
I took my place in a hospital queue and a scene of two halves began to
unfold. To my left a woman yelled Apprentice-level business drivel
into her telephone, while to my right three nurses assembled a plastic
Woman (indignant) “You haven’t spoken to them about it, you’ve just
talked to me about it, and I’m not the cog that needs to make that
process turn around!”
Nurse 1 (straightening out collapsible branches) “How old is this thing?”
Nurse 2 “At least as old as me, and I’ve been here five years.”
Woman “The message is Ian’s just back from holiday, and if there are
35,000 emails in his inbox then we’re all in trouble… what I said to
you was there are four more files, which are big, messy, nasty ones,
by the way. So you can’t just ignore them.”
Nurse 3 “Where does this bit go?”
Nurse 1 “Stick it in the middle”
Woman (almost screaming) “Well you make a start and then
I will finish it off…I understand that…exactly…anyway. We
can’t do that until we know the value of all the pieces…it’s not a
good idea, Andrew’s not into delegation… I don’t know. I’ve been here
for four hours… I imagine he will go berserk. I shouldn’t have to be
pointing this out!”
Nurse 1 (standing back) “What do we think of that then?”
Woman “Well, as I say, I thought you would have done something
already, but we’ll try and sort it out when I get back. Yes, I got
that. I’m getting the fact that you’re unhappy.”
Nurse 2 (laughing) “Look at the state of it!”
Woman “Ok then, thanks.”
She hung up and noticed the pitiful tree. It would take more than that
to make things better.