We have speech therapy on Friday and I am very, very nervous.
It’s in a health centre and the therapist is sweet, kind and very skilled at getting my son to work with her. She’s nice to me too, making it slightly less necessary for me to do the grovelling act of proving myself…Which is how I usually behave with medical people I see with my kids. You know the whole “Look at what a down-to-earth-sensible-clued-in-and-yet-not-pretending-I-know-it-all- mother I am.” It’s a relief actually. That act is hard work.
So why am I scared?
Well, this is what happened. Last week we arrived for our appointment and passed a man standing outside smoking, who looked pretty surly. Once we were in the waiting room I realised he worked on reception, and smiled to myself imagining his job interview.
“So do you enjoy working with people?”
“No, I hate them.”
“Great, we’ll put you in reception in our health sector.”
Then my son needed the toilet. We found two of them but the only one not occupied had a sign saying “Employee toilet. NOT for visitor use.” The other one just said “Toilet”.
My law-abiding little boy was worried, but luckily, in time I persuaded him that sometimes it is ok to break the rules, and swore I would stand holding the door and deal with any disgruntled employees.(which, in fairness, I did.)
After a few minute of waiting and “Yes, I’m still here”ing, the other door opened. Mr Surly came out and nodded at me. Unable to stop myself, I said, “This is the employee toilet, right?” He nodded to the sign as if to say “Obviously”, and went to walk past me.
But I hadn’t finished. “You work here don’t you? Why don’t you leave that toilet for visitors?”
“I like that toilet.” he said, and marched off.
In the heel of the hunt, we were called to an office for our therapy which was then interrupted by Mr Surly's supervisor who wanted to know what my problem was with the toilet situation in a less than polite way. Totally forgetting my kind-nice-blah-blah mother act, I wasted a few valuable minutes of speech therapy telling him exactly what I thought of him and his staff and then the therapist wasted more looking very panicky and asking if I needed a complaints form.
Anyway, driving away l noticed he was there at the door again, smoking. So, seeing as the car was moving and the doors were locked, I made quite a rude hand gesture in his direction. It was a short lived moment of victory really, as my husband pointed out when I got home “You have to go back next week!”