Archive for November, 2009

Things I Don’t Understand

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

The phones have been all fucked up at work because some of the pipes in the basement were corroded and, whenever someone (usually I) ran the kitchen sink, water would pour out of them and down the wall over the telephone circuits and short out the phone lines. So, sometimes, the phone rings but won’t let me answer it. This has been an interesting experiment in human behavior and in annoying Dawn because it’s interesting to see how many times people will continue to call a phone line that hangs up on them every time.

Today, someone keeps trying to call the 39 line. Only the 39 line isn’t working. (Also, no one ever uses the 39 line, so I suspect it is a wrong number to start and nothing important.) This person has probably tried to call a dozen times in the last ten minutes. The phone rings 1.75 times and then disconnects. They call back. Ring! Rin–! Click.¬† Call back. And so on.

What’s worse is when my coworkers–who know the phones are acting up–will continue to call a line that is demonstrably not working. I suppose they don’t give any thought to the fact that I have to sit in the office and listen to the phone ringing and ringing and ringing and ringing and ringing, knowing that I can’t answer it (because all I hear is a dial tone). I suppose they don’t give much thought to how annoying that is.

¬†Another thing I don’t understand: there are new guidelines for breast cancer screenings that push the recommended age to start mammograms back from 40 to 50 years of age. This is nothing new. I have seen research and recommendations in the past few years touting this. What I don’t understand is why people are so upset. And I’m not talking about the right-wingnuts who are shrieking over “Rationing! Rationing!” (as though a health insurance company deciding that a patient is too expensive and deciding to cancel the person’s policy isn’t rationing, but I digress). But when I hear,

1. Studies are showing that we can keep you just as healthy with less of *insert uncomfortable medical test here* (pun intended) and

2. Studies show that too much of *insert uncomfortable medical test here* will produce false positives that are more likely to do you harm than not having the test at all,

then my reaction is “Woohoo! Fewer uncomfortable medical tests! What’s not to like??”

So I don’t really get why women are upset that they won’t be recommended to squish their boobs in a machine at age 40 anymore because said squishing tends to do more harm than good.

Maybe they don’t trust medical science. But if they’re having their boobs regularly squished, apparently they trust it enough to tell them when they should go ahead and hack off a body part. But they don’t trust medical science to make recommendations about testing? Hmm. The mind boggles.