Saturday, June 11, 2011

An utterly wonderful turn of phrase!

I LOVE this:

"He gets symptomatic over rights."

I heard it from a social worker at Elgin Mental Health Center the other day, I'll call her Cindie. A patient for whom Cindie was responsible had been complaining that several dvd's had been confiscated from him for no good reason. The patient is a straight-A, on-line college student. The confiscated dvd's were relevant to an anthropology class he was enrolled in. He even had a letter from his professor saying so.

But the bossman of the clinical unit, a nurse's aide named Alfonso, had to prove to this patient that college success counted for nothing. The staff at a state nuthouse can take away anything they want to take away, any time they want to. Patients are bugs to be squashed at Alfonso's whim!

Cindie supports this kind of squashing in the bughouse, because it's really the only way she can obtain respect for her profession and activities. Patients who go to college tend to avoid therapy groups, because they find out that their classes are infinitely more valuable than the basket weaving and navel gazing Cindie teaches. When one of these (upstart!) college kids gets out of the nuthouse, Cindie and her therapy groups might get less credit for it.

Alfonso just steps on bugs directly, and laughs. I actually have been amused in a sick sort of way, by his unflinching cruelty.

Cindie, being much weaker, has to say, "He gets symptomatic over rights."

That is just wonderfully pathetic.