By Murray Murchison
Academics at the William Bligh University have announced that they have been given federal funding to implement an education campaign on the common and debilitating condition, Social Sequencing Anxiety Disorder, or SSAD.
SSAD sufferers are afflicted with the ability to know their rank in a social sequencing situation, such as a queue in a hot-bread kitchen or a negotiated bill splitting or settlement discussion. Coping with SSAD attacks can lead to extreme confrontational episodes, acute financial frustration, glassing and blindness.
Gary Meicklejohn, 37, of Kewarra (above), is a longtime SSAD sufferer, and is thrilled that the nature of the condition is finally being recognised.
“Just the other day I was at the TB Tavern watching MayGregor and I stepped up the the bar for a Quetza and an LL & B for Shirelle,” Mr Meicklejohn related. “I was second in a sequence of six waiting, behind an unshaven tradie type and in front of a tatted hairdresser type, a fattish local Coopers drinker, another unshaven tradie type and a drunkish cougar type. So my turn comes up, and the blondie behind the bar says ‘who’s waiting?’ For fuck’s sake Buffy, we’re all waiting, and we’re all fucking thirsty! It’s not hard. Number one: pour the drink. Number two, know who is next in the sequence. Number three: if you don’t know who is next in the sequence, say ‘who’s next’ and allow ambient social honesty to take over. Number four: do not ever ever say ‘who’s waiting‘ because we are all fucking waiting. And one of us might be a SSAD fuck.”
Dr Kellyanne Brody of the WBU College of Barkeep and Healthcare Services explains the strategies for raising the profile of the condition.
“Basically, we’re putting together a TV advertising campaign encouraging service providers to train their staff appropriately,” explained Dr Brody. “We’re hoping to communicate some sound strategies that will minimise the social anxiety that poor decisions in sequencing management can cause sufferers of SSAD. We’re lucky enough to have secured the services of Keith Urban for the campaign. He will be variously starring as a hunky barman who always knows who is next to be served, and as a super hot buddy who always knows where he is in the shout and is willing to drop everything, pick up his axe and wow the ladies. Keith is also doing the soundtrack and his own stunt work.”
In terms of direct treatment options for sufferers, Dr Brody explained that the research was immature and that recommendations were difficult to make.
“I’d say that the direct cognitive effects of SSAD are exacerbated in social settings, so the best option for most people is to stay at home. Drinking heavily also helps,” said Dr Brody. “But, consult your healthcare professional and, as always, gamble responsibly.”
Mr Meicklejohn will appear in Cairns District Court next week charged with disorderly conduct after he assaulted Leah Henderson-Smith, 22, a colourist from Trinity Park during round 8.