My day's work is endoscopy - I am a surgeon in limbo. Surgeons are not the favoured group when it comes to endoscopy. For those who nervously enquire, endoscopy is the process of looking inside, with a tube up the ahem, bum. You can of course swallow one, to look at the top 90cm or so of the alimentary tract. Strangely, to us, this is worse than what one of my old bosses used to call meaningfully, The European Route. No it is gastroenterologists who have made endoscopy their own - two specialties meeting at one skill. I have been attempting to learn their subtle more gentle way, rejecting the old push and scream technique used by many surgeons, somewhat inured to the infliction of pain.
Abashed at having actually had a holiday when I only work Mondays, I returned to work this week. It's not my fault, bank holidays, I plead to the looks I get. At least I wasn't sporting a tan. Though it was perhaps tactless, on the 10th of January to be saying Happy New Year to people who had parcelled out the shifts over Christmas like unwanted presents from granny. I do remember, I want to say, the resentment with which you face the incoming tide of the gaily drunk and festive slightly injured which follows the New Year. Less welcomed in than the gongs of Big Ben, and grudgingly dumped in the green plastic A+E seats where some of them sleep off the night's expensive drink or vomit it into festive spew bowls.
Today I bring Somerset Maugham's Of Human Bondage to work. Gone are the days when it was not worth the effort of lugging a novel, given that there wouldn't be time to wee let alone open it. Now we wait around, Heart FM de rigeur driving me crazy while the patients rock up 2 hours late, like it's ok, about on time. The receptionist has entered one as Did Not Arrive already on the creakingly complex new computer system. But you're DNA she said. A look of panic enters his face. Give me my form back he demands. I'm doing no DNA, where does it say we gotta do DNA? So as well as our other guises, we are now suspected of being the Child Support Agency under cover.