Wednesday, 19 January 2011

The Stress Cure

Waiting to see an Occupational therapist in Canary Wharf. As stressful as any encounter with a mental health facility in London, and I presume, the world. I arrive to meet my "occupational therapist" whom I have never met before, at the Reuters building where I am challenged twice on the way to reception by an unecessarily hands on security guard (a woman, you sexist!). I then queued only to be told by the receptionist (a man, you sexist!) that as an employee, with an employee's magic I.D. card that i could just go straight in. I toddle off again, proffering my card, to be told that my the bad sort of I.D. I find myself back in the receptionist's queue again.

My occupational therapist doesnt actually work in the building and only occasionally uses it as a base. she cannot therefore be telephoned to alert her to my presence. So I ask the receptionist to e-mail her. I have no idea whether he has done so. So rather than billow around the ninth floor like a quintessense of dust in the air-con, on the look out for somebody I have never met, I sit in reception and wait; shivering under the glare of the security guard's baleful eye.

I'm on a cold marble bench by the revolving doors. Everything is habitat beige. There is a tanned and cheerful man of middling years standing behind a podium like a Maitre d. I'm unsure of his function but he seems happy enough in his work. Everybody else, the little people trailing in in trainers, their work shoes in their handbags, seems cowed by the enormity of it all. The place needs a fucking tapestry or something; soften it up a bit. Throw cushions. Bowl of wax fruit. Instead it has an enormous plasma screen pumping self aggrandising Reuters bollocks silently across the south collonade; and unending succession of tanned patrician faces; often on split screen if they're reporting from both Washington and Basra.

I hate it here. They hate me right back.

It's 9.27. i've been here half an hour. I'm in the right place, on the right floor, at the right time: this may be the first time these things have ever come into allignment at the same time! Call Justin Toper. Regardless, I'm on my own.

Why is occupational therapy always such a balls?

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