07 December 2010

A hurtful comment

Dr Grumble doesn't really know why but he hates those Christmas circulars that come with a few Christmas cards every year. There is something really ghastly about them. So here is an early warning to all Dr Grumble's friends who insist on sending these ghastly missives, please desist.

Why does Grumble hate these things so much? He is not really sure. He thinks it is something about people being determined to show off in some way. They want you to know that they have climbed Machu Picchu and seen the lost city of the Incas. They want you to know how cold it was when they hiked along the Great Wall of China. And they want you to hear about their sea sickness as they voyaged from island to island in the Galapagos.

Dr Grumble is not that interested in holidays especially other people's holidays. He even wonders that these long-lost friends have the audacity to tell old Grumble just how dirty their carbon footprints have become. And he is even less interested that little Johnny has taken up the piccolo and got top marks in his grade 1 exam.

All these things show just how curmudgeonly Grumble has become in his old age. We all like to tell other people about how happy our lives are and how well our children are doing. But you do need to have a little bit of insight into the fact that other people may not be that interested in the performance of your offspring in the long jump.

And now for the hurtful comment. It was passed on to Dr Grumble by a correspondent who has his email address. It was found on dnuk where apparently Grumble had a mention the other day. It was a remark about blogs. Here it is:

They're kind of like those horrible Xmas circular letters - just all the year round!

It is very hurtful. Worse, Mrs Grumble, who never reads the blog, apparently agrees. Perhaps Grumble should be grateful. It has given him some insight.


Anonymous said...

Aye well -I'm hurt too -I'm a committed sender of those dreadful circular letters - but I don't think they are boasts - just a way of letting our friends scattered far and wide know what we are up to. I love receiving them too and can be really happy for Johhny who got his grade 2 with distinction in the euphonium. Victor Meldrew...go back to bed!

Dr Grumble said...

Well you can see that despite my mocking them I do actually read them.

But your speedy reply, anonymous, makes me think that Gr G's readers are predominatly senders of these Christmas circulars.

Aaaaagh! Back to bed for me. And a moratorium on blogging.

Anonymouse said...

Don't forget to take your hot bottle to bed with you Dr G!

Only, what happened to you that made you sooo ancient so quickly?! Not medicine's fault, or is it?

... if only I had your e-mail address! ... cos I got looooads to tell you about za kidzz ... loooads! Where do I begin ... to tell the story ....


Dr No said...

Dr Crumble - Dr No thinks you have an adequate reply, and can resolve your distress. First, if they are discussing Dr G on dnuk, then someone has been reading the year round Grumble circular; and secondly: what are many dnuk forums if not grubby little year round circulars with even grubbier notes appended?

the a&e charge nurse said...

"All these things show just how curmudgeonly Grumble has become in his old age" - this I believe is a natural state of affairs for most 'mature' men, and strangely enjoyable too.

Sadly the bah humbug phase will give way to nihilism and despair (not to mention illness and decay - at least that's what happens in 'Everyman'

Julie said...

Gosh, both you and JD seem to have had an attack of the glums. Is it the weather? Cheer up now immediately! That's an order!

Julie said...

Here's a wee clip on who reads what from Yes Prime Minister;


Anonymous said...

Dear Dr G,

Noone reads a blog by accident, so the DNUK poster reveals his own interest. It's not like Christmas round robins, that are spam rather than blogs.

Dr Grumble said...

Thanks, Phil, for pointing out that crucial difference. With a mind like yours it is no wonder you are paid such a lot.

Anonymous said...

Dr G,

it is possible to be very well paid to point out the obvious. The whole management consulting industry is based on it.

To get rich requires a combination of initiative, opportunism, luck and most of all hard work. Intelligent people lacking in one or more of these often become bitter. After all the world owes them a living doesn't it?

I enjoy Christmas circulars, more than Doctors.net, which seems dominated by the bitter. It reflects badly on our profession, an it is just as well that the general public cannot access it, some of our colleagues seem to hate their patients.

Dr Phil

Dr Grumble said...

I have actually used a bit of dramatic licence to snipe at the Xmas circulars. Neverthless, despite being responsible for an all-year-round equivalent, I couldn't bring myself to send one myself.

As for dnuk, I suppose you could regard it as a safety valve. Only moments ago I was reading a letter saying that we had not done this that and the other for one of our patients and I found a letter in the records showing that we had phoned him several times on his mobile and there was a letter asking him to phone us - which he hadn't. These things don't wind me up but I can see that patients can be exasperating for some. I don't resent the tramp who, all those years ago, failed to stay in the flat I provided for him. But I do try not to waste resources on people who are not going to benefit and you do learn that some patients are very difficult to help. But I do agree with those who commented on the post about the tramp that we do often have to try, try and try again for some patients even though they may spurn our efforts to help. I think it was Crippo who said you have to keep trying. It's what we do.

Dr No said...

Drs G/P - in an interesting twist it would appear that neither Dr G not Dr P read Dr G's circulars or more particularly all the added comments. Dr No made the point earlier (comment 4) that the dnuk lot had shot themselves in the foot...not that Dr No is miffed, let alone about to go and boohoo on dnuk.

I agree that dnuk seems to attract the bitter (and twisted). It also seems another own goal to hide it from the public. Not only is the hiding remarkably thin-walled; the fact it is hidden at all suggests the docs have got something to hide (and indeed perhaps they have - being all bitter and twisted) - but it also adds to a public perception that we are a bunch of cabalistic freemason misogynists, which of course we are not.

Anonymous said...

Dear God, how much I agree with you about Round Robin letters in Xmas cards. I don't want a single extra word beyond the obligatory Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year and, frankly, I don't like even like that very much. Like you, I was trying to analyse why I dislike these letters so much. Maybe because I'm a miserable cunt but then my wife, who is temperate and lovely, hates them too. She reads them out over a glass of wine whilst we all piss ourselves at the presumption of these arse-holes who feel the need to tell everyone about the dog's operation and little Johnny's new callipers. I think it's the arrogant presumption that others want to know about all this familial botty-wipe that fucks me off. There may I suppose be some mitigation for people who live in Australia and genuinely cannot get over (not much, frankly, when we all have email) but some of these ridiculous missives come from people who live round the corner. If these letters come from people you know well and see regularly (not many because most of our friends are of a similar view) they are otiose, and if they come from people you don't see often, they are a reminder of the fact that you don't see them for good reason (not least that they spout crap) or possibly it's a sign of the fact that they cannot be bothered to get in touch in a conventional manner. Fuck the lot of them.

God, I feel better for that!

Merry Xmas to all

(Sorry to write anonymously but I don't have a Google identity.)

Eliza said...

I'm with you on the "Round robins"
Who cares :-)

Anonymous said...

the major difference is that I choose to read this blog - I own the decision.

Wading through the nauseating rubbish posted to me by people who would scarcely give me the time of day - often about people I have never met - really does tire me.

Anonymous said...

I agree that blogs are different as it is the reader who choses to read (or not)

I think my objection to round robins is that they are so obviously mass-produced - I would be much more sympathetic if the same information came in a real letter.

I have a relative who always sends one, and it bugs me because most of the information is stuff I already know, as I see them 2-3 times a year, so it doesn't feel as though any thought has gone into it.

(I also receive one from a former colleague who has sent me a card & round robin every year for the past 9 years but despite the fact that they have apparently moved twice in that time, have never yet included their address.You'd think they'd have given up by now...


Claire said...

Hi Dr. Grumble,
In view of an earlier post I couldn't resist posting this.....my Christmas circular.Hope you enjoy!

Dear All,
This letter comes with all our wishes for a very Merry Christmas and a Peaceful and Happy New Year. This year is ending the same way it began with snow and ice – but beautiful landscapes! It’s one of the lovely things about living here –watching how the country-side changes through the seasons. In the spring it’ was exciting to watch our trees break into leaf and really take off this year –beginning to look like a real woodland and not just a plantation. The hay meadows are getting a greater diversity of flowers –although due to dry weather in April and May the grass was slow to grow this year meaning we only got about a third of the number of hay-bales we normally gather in. It was the same for all the local farmers so this winter is going to be a tough one with animal fodder being really expensive and the current harsh weather meaning stocks of hay, corn and silage are being eaten into at a rapid rate.

Last year we started keeping turkeys with plans of Christmas dinners for us and our friends. Two of the biggest ones did indeed grace the dinner table but four girls were spared and started laying eggs –and then quickly became broody! The turkey hens would suddenly disappear and then we would find them under a woodpile or in a hedge fiercely sitting on a batch of infertile eggs due to lack of a suitable partner. So – a suitor was sent for – involving a drive over to the Welsh borders and a hectic chase around a farmyard to catch the reluctant male. Mr. Gobbles arrived on the farm and was settled in his pen with wings clipped whilst Claire and friend Carol went inside for a coffee. When they went back out to admire the new purchase he was nowhere to be seen. Frantic searching went on with vision of 20lbs of living turkey flying back to Wales when a “gobble gobble gobble” was heard above their heads. Mr. Gobbles was 15ft above the ground in a sycamore tree! More shenanigans and eventually he was back in the pen –this time with a roof on it! However, he proved his worth with four clutches of very sweet turkey babies and gobbled his way onto “Country-file” a few weeks ago!

Well this is just a snapshot of life here.

Seasons greetings to you all!

Dr Grumble said...

Claire, you have now really upset Dr Grumble because he is thinking about those two unfortunate turkeys that graced your dining table.

Actually you have reminded Dr G of stories he tells: one about a Christma turkey, one about a cow called Mugabe and another about how Dr Grumble helped Mrs Grumble's chickens to lay eggs. It might make a good Christmas post. On the other hand it might be very boring. Insight at last.

Season's Greetings

Claire said...

LOL -A turkey is for life and not jsut for Christmas!