Breakfast host on The Hits, columnist for nzherald.co.nz Life & Style.

Polly Gillespie: The rudest man I've met in a long time

Without looking at me he responded with an abrupt, dismissive flick of the hand. Photo / Supplied
Without looking at me he responded with an abrupt, dismissive flick of the hand. Photo / Supplied

I have a few wires, switches, buttons and such missing: Mainly the wires that join my brain to my mouth and the button that stops me from walking in the wrong direction.

I have extra wires too. They call this synaesthesia. It's an odd condition that a lot of weird, wild and wonderful people have. It means I see everything as colours and can't read a map. Pharrell has it, but I think he got the better version. He got the pro version. I just got the free app.

Part of what I'm missing is my lack of respect for most authority.

Now, let me be clear: I do respect in main the police, the fire service, good teachers, the late Celia Lashlie, the Dalai Lama, Noam Chomsky and nurses.

I'm not a huge fan of most doctors, and very few specialists. There are exceptions though. I will always be eternally gratefully to Mr Adrian Stewart who helped me successfully negotiate three pregnancies.

Mr Stewart was possibly the best obstetrician ever. He had a wicked sense of humour when you knew him, and I remember my midwife saying, "What he doesn't know about obstetrics and gynaecology could be written on the back of a tiny postage stamp!"

I will always truly love that man. He is a man blessed with an incredible ability to help hopeless women give birth to live babies, but who has himself suffered terrible personal tragedy. If he reads this, and I hope he does, then he now knows he is one of my most favourite people in the world.

I cannot say the same for some other specialists, however. Most I have had for my numerous maladies - some imagined and some real - have been great.

But a couple of weeks ago I went with my partner to a specialist at the hospital. This gentleman was talking to my partner (I think they call it "consulting") about something fairly serious.

I sat next to him and, as I do, added one or two details to the story - now told to 34 doctors over the past eight weeks.

The specialist ignored me, and did not make eye contact with me once. Oh, it could be well argued that it was not my appointment and I was not the patient. I'll take that.

I was possibly not within my rights to expect to be acknowledged, just considered the interrupting girlfriend. I piped up near the end of the 10-minute appointment we'd waited an hour for, to ask in a loud but warm and interested way: "What about his blood pressure? Should we be concerned at all and have that checked at some stage? I know blood pressure can cause complications with all kinds of things."

That was when without looking at me he responded with an abrupt, dismissive flick of the hand, and muttered at no one in particular, certainly not to me: "That's for nurses. Don't talk to a specialist about blood pressure!"

Why, you big dollop of rude douche-baggery! Not only did he dismiss me, my partner's blood pressure, and the importance of nurses, but he flicked his hand like someone dismissing a choir boy at the royal court. What self-righteous entitlement, expecting to be able to behave poorly because of a degree in human plumbing.

I wanted to hiss at him or throw a gypsy curse. One that would make his sweat constantly seep through his shirts and give him offensive sweat stains in front of horrified patients.

I hold respect for the following:

The fire service: My dad was in the fire service. Those guys and gals are heroes. I love them.

Great teachers: I love them. They made me interested in learning about history and art and English, and sometimes, even science.

Police: Good God, what a job. What they see. What the deal with. What they clean up. The abuse, the long lasting images seared in to their minds. Yes, in general, I respect the police.

Ambulance officers and rescues teams: Well, that goes without saying.

Nurses: The most incredible women and men on earth. I bow in their presence.

GPs: They tend to be good people. I like them. I have respect for a lot of them.

I respect all of those people ... but with one flick of his hand a specialist made it on to my list of people I'd most like to light sabre, should The Force ever be with me.

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Breakfast host on The Hits, columnist for nzherald.co.nz Life & Style.

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