last friday, after working for a stretch of multiple days, something i am admittedly not used to, i was having a decent sort of a day, unsullied by rude co-workers* or week-old tuna sandwiches wedged between filthy molars. in came jane,*** the barmaid from a local watering hole. when i asked her how she was, she sighed and made some sort of non-committal grunt. this was my first red flag: anyone who can't be bothered to maintain the most vestigial forms of social politeness has Issues. and hey, jim, i'm a doctor, not an ornithologist, so i don't do Issues. still, because i'm so fucking nice, i persisted and she warmed up to me somewhat.
jane: i just want you to know that i have sinus issues. you can't put the chair back very far. because then i cough. because my sinus drains. and i had a VERY late night last night, so i am exhausted and i will need to yawn a lot.
moi: ...ok. let's see if we can make this work.
moi (in my head): are you absolutely certain that your coughing is due to the mythical "sinus issues" and not to the pack a day habit that i can smell from here?
jane: i have very sensitive teeth. be careful.
moi: i will be gentle.
moi (in my head): suck it up and cope princess. sweet lord on a fucking stick. what are you, fourteen****?
this went on at length. i cleaned her teeth. i placed some desensitizing solution on them for her. i was gentle. i coddled. i smiled. i gently joked. i let her have her "sinus" cough every 32.7 seconds, as well as a theatrical yawn ever 48.2 seconds. i sat her almost vertically, so that i had to twist myself into a goddamn yogic pretzel. i was bloody nice. i accommodated. i periodically asked her how she was doing, the answer to which was a deep and heartfelt sigh. cause, you know, life is HARD. and at the end, i didn't even get a fucking thank you.
sometimes, i want to kick people in the teeth. on the island, it doesn't happen quite as often as it did in the frozen hellhole of fort mcmurray, but goddamn, some people really need to learn to put on their big girl pants and go to war.
*my temporary wednesdays in ladysmith, on the other hand, are quite sullied by a co-worker who seems to have taken instant and deep dislike to me, putting me in somewhat unfamiliar territory, seeing as i am so fucking likable** to both patients and staff.
**you think i jest, but oddly enough this is actually true: with some notable exceptions (mentally unbalanced people, every last one) i am actually very well liked at work. i save my bitterness and rancour for these here pages while my patients get the very best of me. i am heartily sorry, but you come here of your own free will whereas they get poked by me with sharp metal instruments, so it all works out in the end.
***names have been changed because i have a shitty memory.
****what is it with women of a certain age (40's and up) who act as though they have been raised on a fucking unicorn farm in the clouds? huh? she works IN A BAR, i'm pretty sure she's not made of silk, cashmere and pearl dust, you know what i'm saying?