Saturday, January 20, 2007


It’s been one of those weeks where it’s difficult to know whether to rant or scream with joy. Firstly on the positive side, I came 4th for the first time ever (well I did come 4th in a High Jump competition once, but that was more through lack of competition than ability) in a writing competition. My computer is fixed and I finally got the other half of The Magic Numbers album. My computer is fixed; the Server Guy’s Boss is a genius. And we had a wee writing meeting yesterday after work.

On the negative side (alright this is digging into the realms of last week, month, year) work is, was, has been, and continues to be SHITE. The thing is for the 95% of the day when I’m in the class surrounded by ten year olds its fine. It’s just that 5% interaction with absolute stupidity, incompetence and general fuckwittedness that’s doing my head in. I’ve had enough, I’m having vivid dreams that involve a freak accident with a nail gun (but we’ll come to the vivid dreams in a minute) and the glow of my fourth place was well and truly faded by Wednesday when yet again due to the incompetence of those in charge we were left with an unaccompanied student at seven o’clock at night.

And then I went to the Medecin de Travaille. In France it is a legal obligation to be declared fit to work by a Doctor. To do this you pee in a pot, read a passage in French, do an eye chart and then go and sit in her office in your knickers and bra. This is the bit I object to the most. Why do I have to sit in my underwear for her to take my blood pressure and for us to have a chat about my working conditions? Year after year she has chided me over my one or two kilo weight gain, not drinking enough water and the fact that I don’t have a TEACHER’S desk in my class. So this year there was the inverse of weight gain, I’m drinking enough water (tons of it since the migraine last year) and I have a teacher’s desk, there’s just a honking great computer on it and the kids use it more than me, but we won’t tell her that will we. Anyway, after the week that I’ve had, I just let rip when it came to the question of working conditions and thirty minutes later she was finally taking my blood pressure.

“Oh it’s very low.” She murmured and this is where I am starting to get mad, because she did a great job of listening up to that point, but then the moment your blood pressure becomes a bit low it’s as if you become a set of symptoms rather than a human being.

I left her office shortly after with a month’s worth of magnesium tablets.

According to the mumbled words she threw my way after that, what I could understand is that low blood pressure makes me feel tired and magnesium will solve that.

So I didn’t Google it straight away (because the pooter was still being fixed) but I did do it last night, non of the common causes had anything to do with me and all the others were fairly life threatening and I figured I may have noticed those symptoms. So basically why the fuck am I taking a month’s worth of Magnesium tablets? That’s what pisses me off with some doctors (because I have been to some who explain things to you, even one who got so excited that he pulled out a huge great big tome and showed me a picture. There was a bit of a mad gleam in his eye when he asked me if I wanted my lump cut off though), they are thrilled with the medicine and forget that they are working in a people industry. That doctor could have spent a bit more time explaining stuff to me, I’m an intelligent person, I’m not against medication, I just can’t stand not knowing what’s going on. I eventually looked up magnesium deficiency and accepted that perhaps as a vegetarian that my diet may be a little lacking in magnesium, but rich in dark chocolate and sushi (I’m addicted at the mo), but she could have told me that couldn’t she?

I also realised that I never went back to the vivid dreams. Apparently it's a side effect of taking magnesium: you have vivid dreams which you remember... Unfortunately I've always had weird dreams and none of them have ever involved freak accidents with nail guns.


Atyllah said...

There is something deeply strange and worrying about doctors. One is the thing about making you sit around in your knickers while they take your blood pressure. The other is that they all think they're some sort of god and the rest of us are just, what? cattle? The fun really starts when you show them that in fact you're the god!

Minx said...

They make you sit in your underwear so that there is nowhere to hide the nail gun.
I have one, btw - do you want to borrow it?

Verilion said...

I think I'll take a raincheck on your offer Minx. I'm on training at the moment and the danger is that I would use it on myself. And Atyllah I'm a GOD! Really?

Shameless said...

I have the same fun down here in Lyon ... we've just got a new work doctor though. An old man of 118 has gone and a new, energetic woman has arrived.

She told me I've put on three kilos in 10 months. I told her I'd just had a big lunch!

Verilion said...

I'm sure that somewhere buried in the legislative French Pysche that the work doctor must exist for some good, but she ALWAYS manages to piss me off (and those Magnesium tablets are having some rather unfortunate side effects!)

Debi said...

Years ago G had to have a medical for a lifeguard job (he has diabetes). Suffice to say we then had several months of struggle against this doctor's blanket ban.

But then he WAS the same doctor who wanted to have a swimming teacher sacked on health and safety grounds because she wore glasses and they might fall into the pool!

Verilion said...

Oh Debi, that makes me so mad. How ignorant some people can be. A little anecdote though... I once taught this extrememly short sighted kid and one of the lenses of his prescription goggles popped out while he was swimming. Searching for it took up a vast amount of the class, while I stood on the side wiping the steam from my glasses saying "I think I might see something over there."


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