Doc Holiday

As you may know, if you're a German male chances are you are going to be drafted into the military. However, if you don't feel like joining the military, there is an alternative substitutional service ("Zivildienst"). It used to be the case that you had to write a text outlining how violence and your consciousness don't go together. I actually wrote a ten-page essay, but a friend of mine just photocopied something a friend had written months ago and sent it in - it was approved.

Realizing that this set-up at best an IQ test, the authorities decided to scrap that whole essay-writing system. Nowadays you simply have to state that you'd like to do substitutional service, and that's that.

A friend of mine went to the doctor yesterday despite having no somatic problems and asked for a sick note. He offered three months, she accepted two weeks. I'm not surprised: When I was in school, I often got "ill" when there was a physics test coming up, and I always got a sick note. This isn't surprising at all because the more patients a doctor has, the more money s/he's going to make, so a doctor has the same incentive to provide what the customer wants as a shopkeeper. Presumably the idea behind requiring sick notes is that a disinterested expert decides whether someone's really ill, but that's just not the way things work.

I say scrap this whole sick note system. I'd prefer the money to be saved and doctors to have more time to care for patients who actually are ill.

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