Rush of Blood

E@L's first boss was a thespian.

He staged the hospital's annual Christmas Pantomime and also acted in the local amateur theatre with verve and gusto. Smart as whip, camp as a row of tents, benevolent family man, well-read, opinionated, a mass of contradictions and a genuine "personality"... Everyone knew G - not everyone liked him mind you, but everyone knew him.

One day he saw E@L carrying on with a lot of vaguely amusing rubbish in front of the other student radiographers and suggested something... Nothing crude, you awful people, something nice. "Why don't you try and do something in the theatre, E@L. You have a very strong personality and you're smart and that helps a lot." He paused for a few seconds, and reassessed his suggestion. "On second thoughts, maybe not. You are not able to control yourself enough. You get carried away too easily..."

The term typically used is "a rush of blood to the head" - not to be confused with the Codfishplay album of the identical nomenclature. What a perceptive comment; it just shows how well G had pegged his style. E@L often loses the plot and goes over the top when he has to "perform", and he not talking about how the suldenafil blocks phosphodiesterase from scavenging all the cyclic guanine monophosphates (cGMP) and allowing them instead to combine with the specific cGMP-dependent protein kinases (type 5 - or is it 4 or 3?) in the endothelium of the cavernosal arteries of the penis and release the vasorelaxants which promote a precipitant erection in the context of sexual stimulation... not that E@L knows much about that sort of stuff.

This sort of totally mind-numbing and unnecessary detail is exactly what E@L is talking about. The rush of blood E@L is most concerned about is not that to his genitals, but that which affects his judgement during training and sales sessions, when people are paying him close attention. He snorts attention like investment bankers snort cocaine.

When he is at the lectern, performing all sorts of Powerpoint magic before 15 - 20 engineers, sonographers and sales-guys and they are all laughing at his jokes and smiling, writing down notes, asking him questions and listening carefully to his answers, he sometimes gets this adrenalin thrill and can go into this manic state of excessive enthusiasm which makes him jumpy and hyper. Don't get me wrong, this can be good, as it might positively affect the reception of what he is saying - he seems so enthusiastic he MUST be right... but unfortunately for the credibility, coherence and cogency of his training plan ("There's an AGENDA?") he starts adding unnecessary details to the talk - some of them true but not exactly approved by marketing - telling personal anecdotes, getting very EARNEST and EMPHATIC... basically peaking on an endorphin high, getting off on the attention. He is in danger of becoming an attention junky. Teachers must get this all the time. He is afraid that one day he will do a Ricky Gervais in that brilliant episode in the first season of The Office and go home and get his guitar...

The same happens during one-on-one training or even a sales-pitch (not that E@L is a salesman, just the sales guys are usually hopeless on the technical and medical side of things). When the targeted doctor or sonographer shows positive reactions to his little routine and their body-language indicates they like him, he starts pushing the envelope. By the end of the session he is in danger of pointing out the LIMITATIONS of the equipment or diverging into abstruse research-based post-processing tools or physiology details (like the Viagra tutorial above) that do not reflect the Doctor's actual clinical needs (but maybe personal needs?) or even the equipment he has purchased or is intending to purchase, rather than limiting his spiel to the central core of "need to know" essentials. By the end he sometimes feels the doctor has had more training about these complex peripheral utilities than he has on the truly relevant things or even how to turn the machine On and Off or to adjust the brightness of the image.

Some may say (perhaps very perceptively) that this enthusiasm for the obscure reflects the frustrated and dilettantish scientist within E@L. He never completed his Masters of Medicine in fetal vascular physiology, or whatever it was he was going to choose, as he was snaffled up by the "Commercial Sector." So instead of advancing the limits of human knowledge, saving the world from fetal prematurity, he is standing next to some "machine that goes ping" at various conferences around the world and proffering a captivating smile to anyone who walks past no doubt looking for the bathroom rather than a salesman spruiking irrelevant product hyperbole. For a shitload of money. And low tax.

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All this self examination by the way is because he spotted someone on one the Australian medical products booths at the recent Arab Health Exhibition with a brochure from a buddy (genuine not fictional) who has set up an ultrasound school in Australia, and targeted it towards overseas students. This guy had previously asked E@L to join him back in Sydney to be a lecturer, or even to become the Asian liaison person for the school. At that point in time it was limited to Australian students and E@L did not see how he could help, and of course he didn't want to forego his cushy (and debauched) expat lifestyle.

Now the full details have emerged. It seems his buddy has set it up with the Immigration Department to offer 2 year "training visas" for non-Australians with suitable base qualifications to come to Australia and enrol in the course; with Sydney University to offer their campus for his first 14 week Certificate course; with RMIT University in Melbourne to offer placements in their 18 month Graduate Diploma for the successful Certificate graduates; and with certain Hospitals and Medical Clinics around Australia to take the students for clinical placement as trainee sonographers under supervision, while getting paid for their work for 18 months. Brilliant. He is charging $44k per student, which includes accommodation for the first 3 months while doing the Certificate course.

Maybe now that the detailed and complicated bits are out of the way, E@L can see the possibilities of a lecturing role for himself back in Australia or indeed in Asia as that liaison person, recruiting prospective victims suckers participants for the school and taking a hefty cut of course. Or even setting up Asian sites for the 14 weeks Certificate course and being the chief lecturer here... Hmm, possibilities.

But then, if he got to lecturing in front of paying students there's still the danger they'd all become lost as he got carried away on the spur of the whimsical moment and start talking about the physiology of erectile dysfunction again...

*************

Or maybe he will continue smiling inanely for the medical morons, ignoring their incompetence, praising their mediocrity ("Nice scan there, Dr Bob") while taking that huge salary and paying zip tax... then spending up big on hookers, Viagra, booze and gadgetry - and wasting the rest.

E@L

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Posted by: expat@large on Jan 26, 06 | 12:52 pm | Profile


OTHER MONKEYS SAID



decisions, decisions...


Posted by: MercerMachine on Jan 26, 06 | 9:27 pm

I still don't get how you don't pay tax but never mind.


Posted by: Smootie on Jan 27, 06 | 8:49 am

I DO pay tax - but as an expat Area Representative it is only pro-rata for the time that I am actually in Singapore... the rest is well, sort of invisible. Nothing compared to what I'd pay if I was a resident of Australia.


Posted by: expat@large on Jan 27, 06 | 3:16 pm


THIS MONKEY SAYS




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