The Warning Bells and The Tingling Whiskers

FireI cannot explain why the bells go off or why the whiskers tingle – particularly since I have tinnitus and shave closely every day.

But they do – those internal bells and virtual whiskers that tell you to beware. I used to get them when in practise upon encountering some people who presented for treatment. Something about them made me edgy…

At first I used to ignore it – then the pattern of broken appointments, broken promises, non-payment of bills, and unreasonable behaviour started to become evident. I was able to isolate certain things about a new encounter that were clues – certain behaviours or phrases – but sometimes the warnings would sound even without these. Eventually, after about 15 years in the profession I learned to react to the inward bells and to limit those contacts and reduce the opportunity for trouble.

It was a bit different in business. There I couldn’t shy away from whoever presented themselves at the counter but I still got internal alarms occasionally. Fortunately as an employee I could refer decisions to higher authority and obey their commands – it did not eliminate contact with difficult people but it did not impinge upon my pocket.

I’m sitting here now listening to a veritable carillion and scratching at my shaven upper lip over a circumstance in the next few hours. We’re in a severe bushfire season, this is a hot, dry day and I am scheduled to go to a hotter and dryer suburb for a social gathering in the bush. It is in an area that had a lightning bush fire yesterday with road closures. My problem stems around whether I wish to upgrade being a damn fool to a goddamn fool in the next 4 hours…


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