Saturday, September 3, 2016

Rats Desert a Sinking Ship

not where I was last night

People seem to think that looking younger than one's chronological age is a really great thing. I am inclined to  agree that, especially one reaches some arbitrary point of adulthood, it' probably is a hell of a lot better than the reverse, or looking older than one's actual age. Still, there are heachaches associated with it.

Among the very worst part is attempting to go clubbing or bar-hopping. It's bad enough before a person is of legal age and is trying to gain entrance to drinking establishments with fake or borrowed IDs. One would expect such to be a risky proposition at best. The real problems arrive when one is of age, and bouncers bartenders, managers, and everyone else is doubting the validity of a perfectly legitimate ID that was actually issued to the person who is holding it and attempting to use it to gain entrance into a establishment. The establishments always fall back on the old caveat of "we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone." I'm not sure how simply printing such a blanket statement on a plaque makes it a legally binding policy, anyway. It didn't seem to work all that well for those bakers in South Carolina or wherever who refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple. Championing the cause of a gay couple seems far more politically expedient and sympathetic than does standing up for the rights of someone who looks younger than he or she actually is.

And I'll explain one more time that my motive in clubbing and bar-hopping is typically NOT to becomes totally wasted, not that such makes any difference in the grand legal scheme of things. My primary motivation to spend time in drinking establishments stems form a desire to socialize with my friends, or at least with people I thought were my friends. They decided upon a local establishment.  Everyone in the group was admitted other than I. I've at least gotten smart enough to go only if it's in a place with decent cab service. Once I was stuck outside for two hours playing with my phone waiting while everyone else partied it up inside.

This past  week was an especially rough work week. Patients seemed to die right and left - on the O.R. table, before they could make it to the O.R. table, in recovery following cardiac surgery, in the ambulance before they could even make it to the hospital. Our cardiac patients just couldn't win last week. In no case was it physician or hospital error, nor in these cases did anyone even allege that such was the case. (It's far from infrequent for someone to insist on blaming doctors and hospitals whenever death occur despite the inevitability of one's expiration and the clear-cut evidence that neither medical malfeasance nor malpractice was present.)  In a legal sense, the cardiac unit did its job well enough last week, but legal-schmegal; no one wants to watch patients die.

Compounding my personal woes were that I worked sick for more than half of the week. We can be compelled to work when we're sick as long as whatever ails us is non-communicable. For that matter, I didn't want to miss work. At this point, any missed opportunity to work is a missed opportunity to learn. Not only do I need to learn everything i can for the good of myself and my future patients, but I'm also dealing with a highly competitive system. We're competing for favor with attending physicians, grades, for class ranking or standing, for residency placements, for fellowships, for bragging rights, and for just about anything one might imagine. Our atmosphere here isn't quite so dog-eat-dog (I hate the expression, but it's highly fitting) as it is in other medical schools, but competition is still a very real part of the process. No one who cares a great deal about his or her future in medicine is going to willingly take himself or herself out of commission even for an hour, much less for one or more days.

After having worked in a state of illness and weakness for the better part of a week, I felt entitled t loosen up amongst a few friends  (???) with much ground in common to mine.  I'm not a blithering idiot; I know that drinking myself under the table would have been, speaking in a medical sense in terms of  me as a patient, a very stupid thing to do.  Nonetheless, i would have enjoyed a very low-octane strawberry daiquiri followed by a few glasses of seven-up and a few soda crackers. Alas, such was not to happen last night.

I admit to being hurt that my associates too often are unwilling even to TRY another establishment for the purpose of one more attempt to get me through the door. I understand that time is a rare commodity for all of us, and that my classmates don't wish to travel all over the Bay Area trying to find a bar that will accept my ID as legit, but there was a roughly equivalent establishment right across the street. One cohort mate said to me, "You can go there if you want, Alexis, but we're all going in here" [the establishment that rejected my ID, and, hence, me]. My dignity will not allow me to enter a bar alone and pursue drinking as a solitary activity. I took a cab home.

I've been helpful to my peers. I've covered shifts. I've shared notes. I've helped by explaining and re-explaining difficult concepts to others until they finally got them. If, on the other hand,  last night is representative of the way my cohort mates are going to treat me, perhaps they have not yet even begun to see just what a cutthroat bitch I can be when provoked.

P.S. It wasn't Matthew's fault. He went home for the weekend.


  1. I was refused alcohol when I was 27 (and the legal age in the UK is 18!)! Name and shame the place on Twitter! Is it in San Francisco? Vile place. They gave my table for one to a couple behind me because they were a pair. Stupid! The couple had a jug of water and a salad between them. I would have had champagne, wine, a three course meal and stayed on for dinner! "W don't treat single people like that" said the manager when I complained later on the phone. Me: "You just did." Honestly, Tweet them into shame! Great piece, as always! X

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  5. One of my sisters looked really young until she was in her forties. She is tiny, though.

    Sounds like you had a rough week. Hope it's better for you this week.

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