Flat White

Dr Jill and the importance of being qualified

16 December 2020

3:41 PM

16 December 2020

3:41 PM

Dr Jill wants to be Dr Phil, that is the question: whether you are a wanker for calling yourself a Doctor when you’re not really a Doctor? Or is this like calling Hire a Hubby to do your plumbing when they don’t know one end of the plunger from the other or masquerading as a meteorologist when you don’t have a degree in paleontology. 

Yes status matters, and before we get started I should note I am a Bachelor of Arts – so some respect please. No? Well, you can fuck off too.   

got my degree from Melbourne University which sort of puts me three shelves up and to the right next to the educational discount vodka. The stuff they import from New Zealand since China stopped taking our coal. This analogy works if you think of La Trobe Uni as some really popular wine cooler that girls drank in the 1980s as a contraceptive to repel boys who went to Deakin to do poetry and office administration. Or if you’re male just insert CaulfielInstitute and a $3000 grant to film your own genitalia because its art. 

I also have a Double Major and Honors but this is just me trying to show off (did I remember to capitalize?) and just means I didn’t really want to get a job and tried to stay at university as long as I could  


While everyone else was off selling real estate with their RMIT diplomas in how to say ‘mate’ and interact with cocaine dealers I was a sort of car-less leisure consultant, a professional moocher and all-round good guy, lying around my parent’s pool and reading Karl Marx. You could say I was an Influencer before Dr Bec Judd PhD was even a thingBut this was the 1980s and marketing wasn’t really a career option back then for displaying my academic brilliance. Now, of course, I have Flat White to pontificate from as absolute expert on whatever I decide to talk about. Or as the editor always asks me from the side of his pool, ‘So Scammell, what the fuck is it this time?’  

I don’t think my editor really understands me, but this isn’t unusual. I once had a senior academic who edits a cultural journal accept-reject my short story on the basis it was a ‘supposed satire on mechanical sex’ even though it was a first-person diary of actual events and how I am terribly, terribly sorryI never did see that $200 fee, which is a very B.Arts thing to say.  

But back to Dr Jill – as my old English Lit tutor used to say to me in tutorials, ‘Michael you have drifted off topic slightly , how postmodern – are you drunk?’  

Dr Jill isn’t a pretend doctor. She is a Doctor in Education and therefore has every right to call herself a doctor just as Dr of Education  Bill Cosby is allowed to be called a sexual predator, but I have gotten off topic again. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ, if you don’t have a Certificate in Media and Press Release photocopying) had an OpEd (opinion editor – if you aren’t a qualified neurosurgeon) that called her kiddo and suggested calling yourself a doctor is slightly pretentious, if you never actually over-prescribed prescription pills to pensioners wanting to use their Seniors Card to sign up for this new VAD thing even though they don’t really know what it is but it sounds like something Margaret Thatcher might have introduced in the 1980s to subjugate black people. 

The Twitter feminists Dip Ed (gender studies) got up in arms on Twitter over using the term ‘kiddo’ as this is somehow sexist even though in fact it’s ageist and WSJ were merely using it to mock a term President-in Waiting Joe likes to aim at journalists asking about Hunter. So why aren’t the pensioners out there up in arms and f-bombing on Twitter? Oh that’s right they’re all dead because they used their Seniors Card to get free VADIf only they had studied sociology and learnt what Thatcherism is really about. 

Dr Jill shouldn’t get so upset. Titles tell you very little about the person. Many years ago I worked with a plank of wood who had a masters degree and all the other executives would list their qualifications on their signature platesgoing several paras down like a vegetarian restaurant menu

Personally, I think it would be more useful to list the psychiatric diagnosis: sociopath, for example, as I used to think of one boss who had a predilection for time management spreadsheets and weeping herself to sleep at night.   

Michael Scammell, BArts Hons etc, etc, writes at https://mdswords.wordpress.com and Tweets at @MichaelScammell.

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.


Show comments
Close