The flip side to today’s blog about your ideal job is what was your worst and what did you learn. I am prevented from fulfilling this because of the very strict libel laws in this country but I can tell you about a couple of occupations that I definitely would not want.
The profession of medical Consultant sounds pretty glamourous, all that respect from grateful patients, particularly the elderly who will worship you as a God. The chance to save lives and you get great money too particularly if you also work in private practice. But and you just know there’s going to be a but, we know a man, a very good, experienced senior consultant and we saw him one Saturday afternoon in town. He had escaped from the hospital for a break but it was clear from his demeanour that he was very troubled by something. On enquiring he responded that he had a patient who was very seriously ill, he had tried all the usual techniques, explored all the possibilities but to no avail. He had run out of ideas and his patient was deteriorating. Imagine the frustration of being on top of your game and yet having no idea what to do next. I don’t know whether the person lived or died, but the look of anguish on that man’s face was clear for all to see.
Continuing the medical theme… Midwives, a lot of people think this must be a wonderful job delivering babies to happy new mothers. What they seldom pause to think about is the ones that don’t make it. I had a work colleague, they had a couple of children already so giving birth to the third should have been a breeze. Sadly the baby died during childbirth. How do you tell someone who has carried a baby for nine months that it hasn’t survived? It must be one of the most painful things a midwife has to do and I imagine it stays with you for a long time. And pity the couple who have to tell their family and friends that at the final hurdle they fell.
Finally, have you seen the film Slumdog Millionaire or Kevin McCloud’s excellent Channel 4 documentary on Dharavi? In both you can view in great detail the lives of the poor as they scramble across rubbish tips trying to salvage anything they can sell. This is not a job I would volunteer for, but to them it is the only way of life they know. There is no escaping the poverty. They may be performing a very useful service recycling useful items but is this how we want young children to spend their days?