Thursday, June 14, 2018
The young man slumped into the chair.
I reminded myself to smile and take a deep breath as my impatience started bubbling to the surface.
We were already 4 minutes into his 10 minute appointment. The first couple of minutes had been spent waiting for him to arrive after repeatedly calling his name over the public address system. His name would have appeared on the screen in the waiting room telling him what room to attend.
After waiting nearly 2 minutes, I had gone out to call him.
Sometimes people have popped into the loo or have mobility problems or a huge pram so can take a while getting to the office.
Not this guy. He was sitting right there, headphones over his ears watching something on his mobile.
That was when my irritation set in.
"How can I help today?" I managed a courteous face.
The history came out.
He was a third year university student and needed a letter to explain his absence from at least sixty percent of lectures over the course of the year.
He wanted to defer his end of year exam or apply to repeat the year.
Still hoping I was of relevance to the story, I asked him the reason.
"I couldn't get myself out of bed so early in the morning cos I stay awake till around three or four am".
"And why do you stay up so late?"
"Dunno, just playing on the X-box and on my phone and stuff. But the lady at the office said if I could get a letter saying it was like my mental health and stuff, it would help."
He went on to explain that he did manage to keep going to his evening job because he needed the money.
"But I'm not like "depressed" or "suicidal " or anything. My mum actually took me to the counsellor the other day but they said I need a doctor's note."
I sank back into my chair and sighed.
We had a brief chat.
In the most firm but polite way, I asked him to go and discuss his problems and priorities with his university liaison person.
He had given away his game consoles which was a good start. I wished him well.
He wasn't the first, and certainly not the last person with that problem. In fact, it is a growing epidemic.
And until it was given an actual medical term, I spent the next few moments trying to figure out what to put down as the diagnosis.
I couldn't find "Millenialitis"