Vocational Hazards

“The good news is, there is nothing positive.”

You may be able to dismiss this as a generally bad sentence construction, but when it comes from a doctor — you wonder what he really means to convey. I asked him straight on – what he really meant – and found out that the ‘good news’ part of the sentence held more weight than the ‘nothing positive.’ Doctors, probably expect to find something wrong – when we go to them and complain about something. That is the nature of their training, I suppose. So, when they don’t find something – they are relieved to tell us that our fears are unfounded.

I was amused.

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The one thing I am glad about is that most people I know belong to different industries and vocations. My conversations with them allow for interesting (and often funny) experiences. Where we work, and what we do, almost defines us. In a way it is sad, that you can almost identify the industry a person belongs to – by the way that person speaks. Depending on how you think – it can be amusing (or entertaining, even).

It is a code – a sense and satisfaction of belonging – that makes use certain words, phrases and tones. More often than not, we betray our industry or vocation by the words with which we may, for example, describe – something as innocent – as wine. It is tolerable while we are speaking of the linguistic angle – it is another thing when “vocational attitudes” clash.

So, the next time you meet someone, who uses a lot of industry-specific jargon, think about yourself.

You might find yourself more amusing than the bloke opposite you, who you aren’t listening to, anyway.


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