I would have written about the necessary culling of a tree in our front garden, but Libran Writer did it so much better that I’ll help you jump to her post.
Instead, I’ll tell you about Adam Kay’s This is Going to Hurt. He spent six years as a junior obstetrician and gynaecologist while learning to make us laugh. Then, in 2010, he quit the British NHS, became a comedy script writer and wrote a diary which was published in 2017. It then became a radio show for the BBC and is now hugely popular in various media formats.
It’s often hard to hear some of the stories that make us squirm in horror or howl with amusement but we are safe because they once happened to other people. The NHS system is exposed as exploitative of the staff and often, unsympathetic to the patients.
‘So I told them the truth: the hours are terrible, the pay is terrible, the conditions are terrible; you’re under-appreciated, unsupported, disrespected and frequently physically endangered. But there’s no better job in the world.’
We listened to his tales on CD in the car as we traversed the autoroutes of France. We’ve been listening again as we ferry our daughter to various cancer treatment appointments (and yes, we only do this when she’s feeling in need of a laugh). The stories are more than a decade old and timeless. The hugely qualified players are underpaid, overworked and often managed by gormless administrators who have lost their way in a byzantine bureaucracy. It’s a potent mix.
‘Good news: it’s Christmas morning.
Bad news: I have to work on labour ward.
Worse news: my phone goes off. It’s my registrar. I didn’t set my alarm and now they’re wondering where the hell I am.
Even worse news: I’m asleep in my car. It takes me a while to establish where I am or why.
Good news: it seems I fell asleep after my shift last night and I’m already at work, in the hospital car park.’
― This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor by Adam Kay (2017)