Preface: I’m going to talk about my own past work experience in this review.
Written in the form of journal entries which is exactly how it the book is advertised as.
This book made me laugh, made me repulsed, made me sad on multiple occasions. As someone who used to work in a relatively high security risk organisation myself, it brought me back to all the structural issues faced by the organisations. There are so much crap that just don’t make sense but somehow it’s as expected and deemed as normal, such as the insane working hours. You’d think having sufficient rest is important given how risky your job is and you need to be hella focused but no one gives a shit until something happens but then it’s your fault. There are a certain type of people who can do these jobs. I’m not one of them. It took me less than a month to realise that the job was not for me. But just as the author suggests, it gets to a point where the grind becomes a normal and it becomes something you crave because you’ve built your whole life around it. There is a high that you only get when you are the only person in the office/clinic on a night shift and despite all the shit that goes down that could affect people’s lives you get your shit together and get shit done. I slowly came to like that high. But I truly hated that I did. Because it was hella stressful to be on that high alert, because once that shift is over I cannot do anything else. Everything else is just too damn ass tiring. And I hated that I was slowly normalising that stress. It sure gets work done. Normalising stress (allows you) and allowed me to continue for the one long ass year I was bonded to the organisation but I also knew I never wanted to normalise it. I knew I’d never do that job for my life and this book is really a good representation of how someone who doesn’t know how to swim has been thrown in the middle of on ocean with a boat and the tiger from Life of Pi. You think it won’t get worse – it always gets worse.
Other than the accurate representation, I loved the commentary. The narrative voice is a great hook. Given the grotesque and gory nature of some of the operations and the wounds, the way it’s been written is… – I won’t say comfortable, ain’t nothing comfortable about reading about how a spike that pierced through someone’s genitalia – appealing…? There are some operations I glossed by because God it hurt me to just imagine it. I’ve long made the decision I don’t want to have my own kids and trust me, this book, only put me off the idea of pregnancy even more. So there’s possible triggers on miscarriages 😦 and just sad endings for some pregnancies and just some gory complications in pregnancy (even if there’s no death).
But I do recommend this book to everyone. Doctors are humans too. So are the police, so are the firemen, so is everyone putting their life at stake/on hold to save yours. And everyone has to know the sacrifices these people make because let’s face it, what on bloody earth would we do without these people?