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I knew from that first instance when young man entered my room, his stuttering and endless beeps from his pocket, that my new career path was going to be a success. I first of all suggested that he could use his phone during session (cannot make any addict go cold turkey) and I had him sit in comfortable position. I started by asking if he had any hobbies but before he could answer me his phone beeped and a desperate pleading look entered his eyes, I knew then that he would be unable to concentrate or to care about my questions unless he had read and answered his latest missive. So I suggested that he continue and to pass time I checked my own mobile for any messages or calls and I replied to them as necessary.
Anyway, time passed and before I knew it my first customer’s time was up and he departed. He seemed happier as he left, less unsure and although still tapping away on his phone I felt that I had done some good in world. The next few visitors followed a similar routine and money was flowing into my cash box. A few times I had to resort to sending text messages to my otherwise non-interested visitors just to get their attention. This was usually to tell them that their time was up otherwise I would never have got rid of them
On following Monday a very strange thing happened; only a week after my new career had taken off ground. My new patient, a 15yr old girl, was lying comfortably on my couch and having had our preliminary introductory piece and ‘get comfortable small talk’, both of us had got down to answering our beeping mobiles.
I had a message from a long time text pal that read after text translation to, “I’m ‘gonna’ see a psychiatrist”. I immediately sent one back to her asking “what for”. Eventually, after receiving a few messages from some other unknown text-friends I received an unexpected reply, “for MPD”, she said but continued with “its okay councilor is very nice and just lets me text when I am in her room”.
I looked up in desperation feeling that my whole world was falling apart, but girl on my couch was too engrossed with her thumb movements to take any notice of visibly distressed councilor. I was not sure but I had to find out so I sent her another message asking her what her councilors name was and ………
That Saturday I checked myself into a specialized clinic that suggested that within three months I could be up and running again and no longer reliant on my phone for conversation. I am not sure if I can trust them.
Ieuan Dolby is the Author and Webmaster of Seamania . As a Chief Engineer in the Merchant Navy he has sailed the world for fifteen years. Now living in Taiwan he writes about cultures across the globe and life as he sees it.