The Patch

February 5, 2007

February 5th 2007

Filed under: Miscellany — alice86 @ 9:53 pm

On an overcast day, a gaunt, short, prematurely aged man of unkempt appearance walks into a health centre situated in a Mancunian council estate. When approaching the reception desk, he is brusquely informed that the doctors will no longer accept him at their Practice; he has been struck off. Why? Because he has apparently obtained his prescription from another doctor within the amalgamated establishment.

After repeatedly, emphatically explaining in his Glaswegian accent to the obviously middle-class brick wall WHY this happened; over the Christmas period none of his doctors were available and so, as a one off, he obtained his methadone prescription from a different doctor- this was explained to the attending physician at the time. His tale was then repeated umpteen times to the Practice manager as it became apparent that the automated faux-blonde would or could not listen. The aforementioned middle-aged, distinguished blonde manager also proceeded to ignore the man making it obvious she understood the situation better than him.

The conclusion: despite claiming to have been clean for 5 years, he was still treated as a less-than second-class citizen and forcibly removed by security.

This is not a one-off occurrence either. The vast majority of patients approaching reception without a pristine appearance; those with the slightly haggard “poverty” look are treated as “thick”, stupid, lacking in grey matter or that second wooden plank. Ignored for vast amounts of time whilst the Holier-Than-Thou masterminds of the administration yak. Or converse, as they’d undoubtedly prefer their scintillating Heat discussions to be referred to.

Class-divide is still everywhere. A store manager once confided that she instantly judged by appearances during interviews. Those deemed “too chavvy” had no chance. Similarly those afflicted with that orange foundation appearance. Lovely to know that the books/covers adage is still applicable.

You can witness this division of sorts everywhere. From the obvious male/female toilets to people flocking to their own kind, those who do not conform, say the Hijra, the greasy-haired, the hairy arm pitted or perhaps those with different sorts of clothes are instantly judged. The eye-scan-flick is not reserved to the female population, even in the twenty-first century.

It’s not merely a matter of appearances either. What Forshaw termed “intellectual snobbery” is sadly also rife. Sign on at the Job Centre. Those employed behind the desk emit and bask in their glorious money-earning intelligence whilst keeping a safe distance away from the contagious dole scum. It won’t do to fraternise with the opposition, especially the lowest of low. Granted, in the education circles, those teaching are undoubtedly more intelligent than the students, but if you’re willing to learn, why submit to be patronised?

Yes, we might want to better ourselves; be skinnier, funnier, cleverer, richer but why must we still look down on those who haven’t (in our eyes) achieved what we strive for? Funny how each class wishes to act like the one above it, yet working-class heroes were generally middle-class. How does that work? Though we have fought for equal rights in sex, sexuality and more, we’re still so far from them socially. People assumed to be teenage mothers are still met with scorn for ruining their lives. Sales assistants are obviously those thickos who failed their GCSEs. And every ex-junkie is apparently trying to swindle the system for more goods. Where did all the open-mindedness go?

Anywhere but here, seemingly.

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