references and extra information
OUT FOR THE COUNT
I used to endure photosensitivity.
But last October’s pilgrimage to the Holy Land cured me.
Before, I was sensitive to people taking photos.
Well, I’m a throwback to a time when cameras were uncommon, and
we were conscious of the cost of rolls of film and processing. So when
someone was clearly taking a snap, like everyone else I’d respect their
space and wait patiently till they were finished.
Nowadays you find a camera built into everything – not just in tablets
and phones but pairs of socks and packs of sausages and, who knows,
recycled toilet rolls. And a thousand pics cost no more than one - hence
endemic OCD: Obsessive Camera Disorder,
aka Chronic Photorrhoea.
Missed one? Click again.
So I now feel no conscience about boldly going where no man would
have stepped before.
NB There’s another other new phenomenon by way of worshipping the great
god Pixel. People use both hands
to offer up their i-pads or other tablets (sort of Moses going back up).
Incidentally, us pilgrims were 36 people of average age well over 60,
with different walking speeds, attention spans and bucket lists.
But we were a team, and one offering practical lessons for
business as well as medicine. Our
well-versed shepherd Tom has being a parish priest as his day job.
He assigned roles to different people each day – a bit like
ace-leader Ernest Shackleton training his crew to be multi-skilled en
route to the Antarctic. (It’s an
idea that many a manager might use to enthuse staff bored with staring
Our roles don’t get mentioned in books on ideal business team make-up.
But medical departments as well as coach parties could do with
being aware of them. And who
knows but that you or a colleague are their counterpart already.
Entry-fee Holders, Singers and Readers had brief duties.
But from start to finish each day, Back Markers were tasked with
seeing everyone kept in touch - in a land flowing not just with honey
but churches, gift shops, toilets and, hey, those cable cars at Masada
Counters had to make sure we all physically there before the group moved
on. Actually counting and
recounting 36 people quickly in a coach party is on a par with Fermat’s
Last Theorem, and we never really cracked it. (What psychological
personal traits would best suit?
Discuss as an exercise.) Our
retired physician was best – experience with clamps and swabs helped, I
guess. Not so good was the former
secondary school teacher with a doctorate in mathematics.
Fatally, he knew the answer he was looking for: 36.
So he saw 36. Only when
the coach was moving off and three people came running out of the hotel…
Near the Wailing Wall, there was space to try a simple solution,
borrowed from primary schools. We
formed two lines – but added our own wails at being only 35.
Then we spotted one pilgrim with OCD sixty meters away - snapping
this unusual event from a distance.
Alas. Someone. Cured. Of. Photosensivity. Walked. Between. The. Camera. And. Us.