A. THE BRAIN SURGEON
Name: Anne Age: 34 ANNE’S DAY
“I get up at 6.30am, go the gym at 7am, get to work by 8am and start operating at 8.30am. I operate all Monday and Wednesday, as well as some Friday afternoons. Most standard head operations take three hours, but some operations take all day. I‘ve worked ten hours straight through on occasion without eating or going to the loo.
Deciding when to operate, and what to do, can be stressful. I don‘t feel particularly stressed when operating, but sometimes I worry about what I’m going to do the next day. Brain surgery tends to be a last resort for a patient, but when it works it’s tremendous, and more than makes up for the unsuccessful times. From 10am to 1pm I hold an out-patients’ clinic, when I explain the operations. I enjoy this and find it quite easy to talk to the patients. If they get upset, I comfort them, but time pressure can make this difficuIt.
I leave work between 6pm and 8pm. Some nights and weekends I‘m on call, and I always carry my bleeper. On holidays, I wo rry for the first three days about the people I’ve left behind, and at night I dream I’m operating. I’m hopeless at switching off.”
THE SENIOR DESIGNER
Name: Marita Age: 31 MARITA‘S DAY
“I get up at 7.45am, leave the house by 8.20am, take the train to work and arrive at 9.15am. At 10.30am on Monday we meet to discuss what we’re doing, any problems or whether anyone needs help. We work in teams — in my team there are three senior designers, a company partner who oversees everything, and a junior designer. The work usually involves ten to fifteen per cent