Smile Like You Mean It

There’s nothing like sitting in A&E at 1 am to make you realise how stupid the general public are. From the loud but harmless Eastern European family to the drunk middle class woman with blood dripping down her face, you see ’em all! And of course the majority of us sat quietly, patiently waiting our turn on an extremely busy Sunday night, eyeballing each new addition as they enter the waiting room, secretly hoping they are not the ones to bump us further down the list. The tired moms  and dads still in dressing gowns. Injured DIYers with bags of peas placed on the soon to be mammoth bruise. You realise at that point that we’re all in for the long haul. The hard metal benches are uncomfortable and do nothing to relieve the tension headache  that is slowly developing in the base of your neck. You not only yawn because it’s midnight but because the battery has ran out of your phone and you’ve got nothing else to keep you awake apart from the fleeting hope that the nice doctor or nurse will call your name next. What I don’t understand is the anger aimed at the doctors and nurses and fellow patients. The behaviour of some of the people using the NHS that night was quite shocking. I’m talking about you, chain smoking grandmother with not only a chip on your shoulder but you’ve got a whole fucking bag on there. You and your daughter may subscribe to UKIP but I don’t want to hear your racist drivel. Yes the bloke who you were eyeballing and tutting at was a twat. Simple as that. He was loud, too loud for a waiting room with tired families, even though his kids were there running round like lunatics. Yes he was speaking in his native tongue but did that warrant you to shout at him like you did. You embarrassed yourself by wearing your ignorance with pride. The bloke just laughed in your face and inside I was shouting at you to sit down and wind your wrinkled fake tanned neck in. But I didn’t. I cringed in my seat and wondered what sort of world we’re bringing our kids up in. I made more of an effort that night to smile at the poor souls sat in that waiting room. The young black mother with a crying baby, the old Asian woman being supported by her grandson and the heavily tattooed skinhead were the same as me. There to find comfort and answers in the good old NHS.

*Thankfully all was well with smallest Millward he’s got nasty Bronchitis but it was worrying all the same when he couldn’t catch his breath and we didn’t know what was wrong.

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