An -ism Rant
I’ve just started week four of six of my first clinical placement of year three. It’s kind of a big deal as it’s one of only two before I register with the Health Professions Council and become a real-life radiographer.
I was dreading this placement on the Isle of Wight as the last time I was there I didn’t get enough clinical experience, due to lack of opportunity and I had to do some recovery time over the summer. But this time round things are so much better; not only am I enjoying working in the department, but I feel that I’m making headway on my competency framework (it’s like a log-book of our experience).
So it’s not the hospital stuff that’s the problem, predictably, it’s the commute.
It’s only about 15 miles, but it’s been taking anywhere between one hour to two and a half, and the combination of the drive, hovercraft, and two buses can be really tough if they don’t all line up.
But it’s not even the journey as such that’s getting to me.
As a student, there are various offers and discounts available to me, but occasionally when I ask for them, I get a reaction which effectively says “WTF?” and I’ll admit that it gets pretty annoying. This happens a lot on the Isle of Wight buses, I’d say at least once a day, I’ll ask for a student ticket whilst showing my ID and I’ll still face disbelief and requests for further evidence. This is despite travelling with Jo, who is also a student, but a more “conventionally aged” one. She almost never has to show ID, even on occasions such as today when I was told I have to show ID every time I board a bus.
I don’t have a problem with showing ID at all, I usually show it before being asked, the problem I have is with the attitude and blatant ageism of the bus drivers. I’ve had them actually laugh in my face when I’ve asked for a student ticket, while the less “forward” drivers will merely ignore my request and try to charge me full price. Most of the time I’ll just roll my eyes at Jo and laugh it off, but to be honest, it’s really pissing me off. I only turned 28 last Friday, but it’s not even about that; age is completely irrelevant, it’s a STUDENT ticket, not a TEENAGE one.
Is the concept of a “mature” student too alien for people? Because amongst healthcare students, it’s fairly bloody common.
I have three more weeks of this; that’s 28 more chances for age-related humiliation, and I can’t guarantee that every one of my responses will be polite.
End of rant.