Vote Nobody

He’s got a Masters in Politics, you know.

I am quite taken by a new development in our current general election campaign. A political party that realistically has no chance whatsoever, has developed a movement for people to vote for ‘none of the above’, as the ballot slip allows. Their campaign posters show a series of unsavoury animals in suits with the slogan ‘Keep the animals out of Parliament’. Predictably the national vets association has complained for comparing innocent animals with politicians.

It reminds me of the old anarchist slogans – ‘don’t vote, it only encourages them’  and ‘whoever you vote for the politicians get in’.  But it goes beyond this to actually attempt to motivate people to vote, but actively vote for nobody at all.

It is an idea whose time has come. Plucky little Belgium has spent a year watching their bickering political parties attempt to form a coalition and fail, with the result that there has been no government for this period. And the sky didn’t fall in, regardless of the siren screeches of the doom-merchants.

So here’s your challenge. Imagine a ballot paper where you are invited to vote either for a politician (living or otherwise) or Nobody. Name that politico who so gets your hackles up that voting for Nobody is a distinctly rational choice. A point or two for the most compelling case, with credit given to pungent and intemperate language.

Meet the new boss/ same as the old boss//

Published in: on June 13, 2011 at 7:05 am  Comments (49)  

Lightweights

By our very own ‘Mr Motivator‘, Mark Harwood.

You’ve got a job to do. Doesn’t much matter what it is, but it needs to be done & you’re paid to do it. So you do. Sometimes it takes a little bit extra to get it done well, so you do that too.

So far, so good.

Yeah well whatever

But then you find yourself working with some bag of gas who’s there to do the minimum.

“I didn’t have time” – from some low-voltage waster who’s never there when work is happening.
“I haven’t been shown how to do that” – alleged colleague who never bothered to find out.
“Minimum pay, minimum effort” – recent quote from one comedian who also lives by the creed of: “I’ve only got one speed”.
“But my tea break‘s at 1 o’clock” – another one who can work to a deadline only if the work is drinking tea.

Thai job applicants demonstrate their skills

I don’t doubt that you chaps have finer examples of the pitfalls of working with  jellyfish

You’re Tarzan / Captain Kirk maybe / John Wayne /Whatever! //
Published in: on March 15, 2011 at 10:06 am  Comments (22)  

Prostate yourself

By our WGYG medical victim, Ming the Bleary

Right. Got a heap of stuff I need to get off my chest and I know just the place.

About 2+ months ago I got a bleary eye, tears dribbling down my cheek. Thought little of it, talked to the staff if they knew of an eye doctor and got the default kneejerk response mai ruuuu (beats me Guv). Talked to Panitta the sensible pharmacist at Yaa Dii (Good Drugs) and she says there’s only one in town worth bothering with so I made an appointment. After an hour with needles in the unafflicted right eye, burrowing down to unblock the obstruction that wasn’t there, they declared success. Only after 15 attempts by myself  to point out their 50/50 error did they attempt the procedure on the visibly drippy left eye.

This is the stuff of nightmares. You can see it all as the needles close in and then you hear ao khem yao yao (Pass me the very long needles) as the giggling assistants home in with the hardware. First attempt went nowhere, bought a heap of drugs, made a second appointment. Same procedure with the assistants this time babbling on about the price of mango (expensive), zero result, more drugs, and a recommendation that I try somewhere sensible in Bangkok.

Back to Yaa Dee and Panitta recommends a hospital with very good doctors for this kind of thing, happily it’s on the right side of the Chao Phraya river so I don’t have to spend hours ploughing through Bangkok traffic. The minibus (screech skid brake) say they’ll drop me outside but don’t. I ask around and nobody’s heard of it (even though it’s only 500 metres away). Find it myself, check in, informed no doctors there today. Zoom 140 km back to Kan (Skid slam Jeez did you see that?) then repeat the journey  the next day when doctors apparently will be present.

Check in, get weighed, blood pressure taken, take lots of silly tests (the meter is running & the bill is rising) then see Dr Rosana. She’s really quite lovely and if there’s anyone you want jamming needles in your eyes it’s her. So tender in an immensely painful kind of way, I was smitten. Procedure failure again, so she packs me off to see a nose doctor, suspecting something up there causing the blockage.

Nose doctor Sathit jams all kind of hardware up my nose, including a camera, and announces the presence of polyps. These undoubtedly are exerting pressure on the tear duct and they’ve got to go. After 3 hours heated argument with the bureaucrat-fascists in the finance office who just want me to pay up rather than having them process my insurance (they can’t be bothered) then I’m off again with another carrier bag full of drugs. I’m due back in a fortnight to have the polyps removed.

Check in, take weight, blood pressure, more silly tests (ker-ching!). They zonk me out & do the operation and my first sight is someone waving a plastic bottle in front of me containing ex-polyps. “Polyp go already!” they exclaim, waving the evidence. Back in my room I’m groggy and just want to sleep but no bloody chance. Every 2-3 hours some nazi nurses come scuttling in to make my life a misery. “You! body weight” (6 pm) Why? Have I suddenly gained/lost 10 kilos?. “You! blood pressure” (9pm). You! sign paper now” (11pm). “You! bed bath” (2am). At this point my normally sunny disposition deserted me and I threw them out and extracted promises that they would not bother me again. “You! food” (4am) and yes, it’s a huge bowl of rice slop. How I missed remains a mystery to this day. I hobbled over to my door and locked it then pulled my IV drip onto the balcony and smoked like a fiend till the sun came up. If I locked the balcony door they couldn’t get me & I wanted it just that way, amused myself flicking my dogs ends 4 floors down onto their cars.

At 7am I decided it was time for “Don’t retreat, reload”. Starting buzzing them to come to me. “I want coffee, black, no sugar” “Cannot” “Can” “Cannot” “Wanna bet?”In dog end car park I can see a coffee shop with medical staff checking in before a long days bill inflation. “Right, I’m going there then, stand aside” “Oh it shut today already”. Default lies. When I got my IV drip to the door they relented and brought me a flask of hot water. And the coffee? “Cannot” “Can” etc. A nong brings me one sachet but I see another on her trolley & snatch it. “Cannot” “Watch”. About 11am, after another misguided bucket of rice slop, I’m told I can check out once the paperworks done. 2 hours later after much wrangling with the bureaucrat-fascists they admit my insurance has paid the 48,500 baht bill ( $1,600+ USD) and I’m on my way with a crate of new drugs (ker-ching!).

Get a taxi (swerve slam I don’t believe he’s doing this) with a funky guy who used to work in export but now drives cabs but his brother’s cousin’s girlfriend knows someone still in trade. Do I want to export anything? Yes, you. Normally I’m terrified on Thai roads if someone other than myself is driving. It’s just total traffic madness with amazingly stupid and dangerous high-speed stunts pulled all the time, I’m always jamming my foot on a non-existent brake. This time I just slumped behind him so I couldn’t see the idiocy in front and just zoned out on my remaining anaesthetic. Now that’s the way to travel.

I have another appointment to check up on the nose operation and faithfully take all the drugs as prescribed. 3 after breakfast, 6 at lunch, 4 at evening meal (which we don’t have, I’m on a diet) and another handful at bed time. After about 10 days I can’t pee. I can, but it’s slow, painful & inconclusive. I’m up all  night. Get back into bed and immediately need to get up for another dribble. I’m alarmed & google it to discover I have all the symptoms of major prostate disorder. I’m alarmed as my Dad died with this, family history etc., and I’m at the right age for this to kick in. Check out the Bangkok hospitals dealing with this and they want $$$$$$, way over my insurance.

Back to Yaa Dii and Panitta says there’s an army doctor in Kan who’s great and has a private surgery in the evenings. The local hospitals are a complete & utter waste of time for this. Go his clinic, get the old KY prod and sundry tests (ker-ching!) and he says I’m OK but need more drugs (a tiny bagful!)

Go back to the Bangkok hospital (screech slam Jesus!) to check on my nose. It’s OK & healing but the bleary eye problem remains. So the nose surgery was a bill-inflating distraction that achieved zip. Mention the prostate scare and doctor says “Oh yes, all the drugs I gave you often do that”. Say whut? Right, that’s it, no more drugs at all. I had such a struggle to persuade him of this, it’s inconceivable that a patient leaves a Thai hospital without bags of drugs. But I won after threatening to bin all and any drugs he prescribed (without paying).

Afternoon spent with more needles in eyes and no progress. Gorgeous pouting Dr Rosana announces that I must have another operation (ker-ching!) to replace the blocked tear duct with a bypass synthetic tube thingy. Around $12,000 USD. She too is flabbergasted that I want no more drugs. “Not even nasal spray?” Not even that.

So that’s where I’m up to. I’m due a check-up with the prostate doctor on Saturday for more KY fun followed by the new eye operation on Feb 15 with another overnight stay with rice slop and demented nurses. But the prostate problem vanished pronto as (a) I binned all the hospital drugs and (b) I only took the prostate ones.

Had I known all this I would have settled for a bleary eye. I mean, it’s not crippling and easily explained away (“I always weep when in the presence of genius tourists”). The next operation will only be a temporary fix as the by-pass needs replacing after 3 years (ker-ching).  But it’s times like this you realise how valuable the cheap, accessible and professional medical services are ‘back home’ (wherever that may be). And I’m just so f**king incandescant with fury at the time, effort and mind-numbing idiocy that has gone into such a trivial affair.

Analytics have got/ my type worked out/ analytics on me/ the poison render//

Published in: on January 21, 2011 at 7:36 pm  Comments (17)  

Jagged little pill

By Medical Ming, our  pharmaceutical correspondent.

Been on antibiotics for the last 12+ days. Let me tell you why.

We always avoid doctors and hospitals when we get ill. They are generally clueless and only interested in selling you drugs. The meter starts running once you’re through the door. Check body weight (Ker-ching!) Take blood pressure (Ker-ching!) Check height – why? why? (Ker-ching!). Helen was feeling run down once and went for a check-up, the doctor said he hadn’t a clue what was wrong with her, then he said “Do you want any drugs?” “Will it cure my symptoms?” she enquired. “I don’t know” says he “What do you want?” . He was most crest-fallen when she decided not to buy any old random drug. A patient, buying nothing? Unthinkable! What if they all start doing it?

So that’s why we all avoid doctors and instead get diagnosis and treatment from the very sensible Yaa Dii (Good Drugs) pharmacy. It’s where I went when I came down with a throat infection last month, I know it’s pharyngitis, I used to be prone to it. Got my antibiotics and off we go. No body weight, no blood pressure, just a swift purchase.

Took ’em for 2 days and felt OK & stopped. I know, I know, finish the course. So it came roaring back. Bought some more, finished the course, back it comes after 6 days orbiting Planet Zob with no beer. This time I had no choice and had to go to the hospital.

  • You body weight (Ker-ching!)
  • You blood pressure (Ker-ching!)
  • You measure height (Ker-ching!)

Wait an hour then see the doctor. He listens to my story and diagnoses pharyngitis. This amazing medic doesn’t even need to examine my throat, he just shuffles his wedge of papers, asks me where I bought my shirt and Shazam! Instant diagnosis. Prescribes more antibiotics then goes off on his sales pitch.

  • Do you fever? A little (Ker-ching!)
  • Is throat sore? Yes. (Ker-ching!)
  • Headache? Yes. (Ker-ching!)

Go to the cashiers desk to pay and find I’ve been sold overpriced paracetamol, strepsils and decongestants that you can buy in a 7-11. I give them back and mayhem erupts. “Doctor he say you buy now!”. I tell them it’s a “Have already” (at a fraction of the price) and they back down. And no, I don’t want 3 plastic bags for a single strip of pills.

Take the pills, finish the course, and  had the first beer in over a week. Then the bug bounces back. Back to hospital.

  • You body weight (Ker-ching!) You weighed me on Saturday!
  • You blood pressure (Ker-ching!) It’s rising, Pinhead!
  • You measure height (Ker-ching!) Have I grown since Saturday?

See new doctor, he studies the notes, I point out the key parts and turn the pages so they’re right way up, he asks me where I come from and prescribes the same again. Go through the whole rigmarole again at the cashiers (No I don’t need bandages or a crutch, have already) and walk out with my meds. Take ’em, bug comes back again.

So here I am, firmly planted back at Square One. Days and days feeling totally spaced out and no beer. Might be good for my diet though. Panitta at Yaa Dii now says it’s not bacterial at all but viral, so stop the antibiotics. It’s probably stomach acid reflux into the throat. She had something for it but after rooting through a jumble of boxes finds she’s out of stock. Maybe 2-3 days she says.

But wherever you are, don’t knock your medical services, you’ve no idea.

White boy in town/ Big black, blue sound/ Night club, I paid in/ I got a stamp on my skin//

Published in: on August 7, 2010 at 7:51 am  Comments (43)