And the relevance factor is…?

I had an appointment with a skin specialist yesterday – at an Outreach Clinic in town, where the doctors fly up from Sydney for a couple of days a week on a rotating basis. (That fact being totally irrelevant to my story, other than as an aside where I consider that it makes us sound like we live out bush somewhere, rather than in a “city” on the eastern seaboard…)

(As another aside, I was there to try to find a solution to my constant red, blotchy chin –  something I’ve put up with for years – but which also has nothing to do with my point!)

Anyway, this doctor says to me straight up – “So! What do you do for a living?”

Well, you know how I feel about this question!   Only this was even more specific. “.. for a living?”

I hesitated slightly, then came straight back with my “I’m a.. CEO Domestic Affairs” line.

He processed this, and then said “So your husband looks after you then..?” (or words to that effect.)

Woah! To the point, aren’t you? I thought.

I hesitated, and said “Yep, and I look after him too.”

Then! He asked me how old the kids were.  I wondered what his judgemental process made of their  ages, so before he could make any more comments, I added that I was starting out with freelance writing. That I’d had some stuff published.

“A book?” he asks.

Sheesh…When I then say I’ve had one article published in a magazine, it sounds like a bit of a comedown.  (Note to self – must say “freelance writer – feature writing, and travel articles” in future.)

Fortunately we finally got on to why I was there. (No definitive diagnosis yet – just a trial of antibiotics (more tablets!)  and creams, and I’m going back in January.)

So I’m rather undecided about his warm up patter. Is what I do ‘for a living’ relevant to the consultation? Is it relevant at that part of the conversation?  I guess he uses it as an icebreaker, but sensitive ol’ me always reads between the lines – or rather the responses.

What I have decided is that I still have some work to do. I’ve yet to come up with the perfect line in answer to that question.  Perhaps in this case I should have just reverted to the tongue in cheek line “Oh… for a living? Well – I’ve got this great set up with my husband. He earns all the money, and I spend it.”



Filed under it's just another manic mum day

6 responses to “And the relevance factor is…?

  1. if I was you, and if I had the guts, I would have asked him an irrelevant question!

  2. bushbabe

    P’raps you could ask him how his ex-wife and kids are going… equally relevant!

  3. Wendy

    What a great topic! As an aside, I don’t know about you (don’t want to offend anyone here) but I have always found skin specialists to be a bit like that. I think they have to make totally inane small talk while looking alien-like wearing the big magnifying thingy.
    I read your linked article and have to totally agree with that one too (sorry to be so agreeable all the time). I personally cringe every time I fill out forms have often been tempted to put *brain surgeon* but worry about the legal implications ….. *anyone on this flight a brain surgeon?* type situation.

  4. It’s a thing doctors and nurses do to judge how relaxed/worried/unwell/ truthful/ focused/rational the patient is in regard to exchanging relevant medical info and if they’re capable of understanding the procedure/follow-up treatment/medication instructions, etc, no biggie 😉

  5. It gets my dander up when they put it like that. “Oh, I’m a kept woman, a bit of a consort really. I put my clothes on just to see you because the Man prefers me to work naked, doncha know”


  6. The best thing, guys, is that Himself caught sight of this post over my shoulder last night, and asked to read it, and he was just as incredulous!

    Hey, don’t feel bad about being agreeable Wendy!! It’s what every blogger loves, eh!

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