I am not a pensioner. I am not a dole bludger. I am not some malingering half-bonged purse snatcher "on the sick".
I work for a living, and have been earning money by the sweat of my brow since I was 12. I've had three breaks in my employment history - one to galivant around Europe for 3 months, one during the recession that "we had to have", which eventually forced me to up stumps and flee the economic wasteland that Perth had become (how things have changed) and the last one of a few months after the Monkey was born.
Apart from that, I've had the nose to the grindstone for 3/4 of my life.
Why then is it that every time I have to visit a medical clinic of some sort for treatment or a scan, I get asked if I recieving some sort of CentreLink payment? I rocked up this week for an MRI scan on the bung knee, dressed in a suit, and was asked if I was on the dole or a pensioner! Fuck me lady, does it look like I'm wandering the streets with a shopping trolley, scrounging for empty beer cans and half smoked butts?
Jeeezus, it gets to me. Has it come to pass that it's become a rarity for anyone but the workshy and the decrepit to front up for any form of medical treatment?
It really got up my nose a few weeks ago when I was diagnosed with a nasty fungal infection around the gonads. It flared up after our visit to Narandera, and it got to the point where I could barely waddle. The quack took one look at it and diagnosed a 3 month course of evil, nasty fungal murdering pills.
The kicker is that the treatment will cost a bit over $300. The quack tried to break it to me really gently, and made many searching enquiries about whether I could afford it etc etc.
I felt like breaking his neck. Fuck, my balls are on fire, I can hardly sit down, and he's asking me if I am prepared to pay $300 for some pills. If he'd told me it was $3,000 I wouldn't have even blinked. I just would have handed over the plastic, demanded a pill and a glass of water to wash it down.
As it was, I had to go to the chemist to actually get the pills, and the same treatment was repeated there. "Are you a pensioner?"
"No. Are you?"