Monday, May 02, 2005

Nice To See You?

I'm not, by nature, a very gregarious individual. I don't really like parties much unless I know the participants well. I'm very poor at making "small talk". Like other professional groups, University Medical Years, for reasons I'll never understand, seem to feel obliged to have reunions: usually every five years. They are often organised by the people in the year who were pathologically socially active at University. These folk were always arranging this and that, whether anyone wanted them to do so or not. Organising a reunion of a class of 200 or so people is no minor feat, especially when the people concerned may be scattered across the globe, but, for God's sake, no one forces the buggers to do it!

I've only been to one of these Year Group Reunions. We were living in a slightly remote part of Scotland at the time, and for once the party was being held in a hotel quite close to us. This made refusing the invitation a little harder than usual. I had been a bit depressed, for reasons I won't go into, and Wosog thought that attending the "do" might cheer me up. How wrong can you be?

There were one or two people at the reunion that I didn't mind seeing again, but there were several who I really would rather have never seen again. There was one guy in particular, who had been a total proctalgia fugax at university. He had gone to the USA and was now, appropriately enough, a successful gastroenterologist (or so he told us in endless detail). Then there was the guy who was generally agreed to be a total buffoon at university. He turned out to now have some lofty position controlling a budget of several million pounds! All in all it was a thoroughly dispiriting experience, and I vowed never to go to one of these events again.

I wouldn't like you to think, from the last paragraph, that I have difficulty coping with the success of others. By and large, I am quite happy with my lot in life and I don't begrudge colleagues for whom I have genuine respect their little triumphs. I'm not so sure about this guy though!