“I’m sorry Mr. Bray,” said the receptionist, “the earliest appointment the Doctor has is for next Friday. Shall I book you in?”
“Next Friday!” I cried, “But I won’t be sick next Friday… hopefully.”
She’d sighed, “Again, I’m sorry, but that’s the only appointment available, do you want it, because there are people waiting?”
People waiting?! Honestly, who waits a week for a Doctors’ appointment?
After calling three more surgeries, I discovered there are quite a lot of people waiting and a weeks’ wait for an appointment is very reasonable nowadays.
Unfortunately, trust is also in short supply these days, as my workplace requires a Doctors’ certificate to confirm that my absence was actually illness, and not fishing, related. Ironically, a relaxing day on the water would probably have been more therapeutic than a stressful day spent trying to get a Doctors’ appointment.
Optimistically, I fronted at a couple of bulk billing medical centres only to find that they were overflowing with sick people. At this point I started wondering if we were in the grip of some unnamed epidemic?
I toyed with visiting the Hospital Emergency Department, but that’s only an option for people who are flopping through Deaths’ Door and they take a real dim view of treating folk who are merely loitering by Deaths’ Letterbox.
Back home, I muttered, “Physician, heal thyself!” and consulted Dr. Google. The Electronic Doc advised me to rest up, but was unable to issue a medical certificate.
Eventually I decided it would be easier to go back to work sick as a dog and infect everyone else; that would certainly prove beyond all doubt that I was genuinely ill. And, if any of my colleagues get crook, then one of them can have my Doctor’s appointment next Friday, for a reasonable fee.