I suppose that some people might say I’m not a proper doctor.
Probably the same sort of people who say that a home economist isn’t a proper economist, table tennis isn’t proper tennis, and caterpillars aren’t actual pillars. But it hurts, nevertheless.
I mean, vets never get that sort of abuse. It’s never ‘Oh, you’re not a real medic because your patients have four legs’. Just because my patients are made of cellulose and don’t move doesn’t mean that I have it easy.
Admittedly, I don’t have to make any complicated ethical decisions – I just have to check whether my patient has a preservation order - and nobody minds if I leave my watch inside a patient. But aboriculture is a skill and art, just like neurosurgery. Or engineering. Or texting while walking.
I mean, every artist has his tools. Since mine is a chainsaw and I operate without anaesthetic, you’d think people would be relieved that I don’t work on humans!
What really gets to me is the small talk.
“So, what do you do?”
“I’m a tree surgeon”.
“Oh, and how did you get into the business?”
“I got the key out of my pocket, inserted it into the lock, turn-- ”
“So you failed medical school?”
I didn’t fail. The tutors and I reached an agreement that it would be mutually beneficial if I were to leave.
“So why were you thrown out?”
It was an easy mistake. Anyone could have made it.
“Did you kill someone?
No. I’ve never done that. Not knowingly.
I don’t want to go into the specifics of the incident, but suffice to say that it would be impossible to recreate without a monopoly dog, twelve rubber bands, a suspect radiologist and a rather elderly patient.
“As one door closes, another opens.”
You should complain to your landlord about that.