I need a doctor’s appointment; the surgery has mainly book on the day appointments – so there I am two minutes to 8am, I’ve set up camp at the kitchen table, home phone in left hand, mobile in the right, surgery number on speed dial for both….. I start dialling at one minute to eight just in case either all my clocks are wrong or some kind receptionist at the surgery decides to start work early (never happens), coffee in front of me (wishing I’d thought of a straw). It’s dog eat dog and I’m gonna be the top dog…. doesn’t matter how ill I am I’m going to get that appointment…. don’t care how many parents of sick kids there are trying to get through I’m gonna win…..don’t know how I can hate sick people but I do – because they’re nameless and faceless it’s OK to hate them right?
Of course the redial on each phone is different so it’s a mental exercise to keep both phones going to get that appointment, each time I push that button and wait, hoping to hear ringing but getting the engaged tone – Occasionally I take a pause in pressing the redial, just in case that little break sneaks me into a gap between all those other sick people also sitting at their kitchen table hitting redial.
My heart sinks with every passing minute knowing I’ve missed my chance, I give myself a number, if I haven’t got through in the next 15 redials I’m giving up…. but it’s like an addiction, like a game of chance, just one more, maybe this’ll be the time… and so I still sit and dial, – busy – and hangup and dial again…. Finally I get that ring, but I’m so used to hanging up and pressing redial that I do just that hang up NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! –now I’m even more determined but berating myself at the same time – redial, beep beep, hangup, redial – beep beep, hangup… on and on minute after minute…………. then wohoo I get the ringing – you’ve reached the Medical Practice, please hold – yesssssssssssssssssssssss jackpot, but wait I still don’t have an appointment…I know, I know – most times when I’m asked to hold and hold and hold, will see me ranting down the phone about the cost of the call, and don’t you think I’ve got better things to do with my time than wait for you to finish your cheese sandwich! – but this is different so, holding my breath, waiting hoping there are no power failures and the receptionist is competent enough not to accidentally hang up on me …. and finally she’s there, very rude but there, and she’s got one appointment left – frankly I don’t care when it is it could be in 2 minutes and I’d fly down there, it could be 11pm and I’d be happy – can’t believe it JACKPOT – now I can sip my cold coffee and contemplate facing her sour face and rudeness when I get there later today but in the meantime I’m floating on a cloud feeling like the chosen one – which of course I am.
Normally I challenge rudeness, but when it comes to the receptionist who has the power over my health, I turn a blind ear to it and carry on celebrating. I know it’s a nightmare time for her but hey being nice costs nothing – I won’t say that to her though of course – don’t want to risk my chance of getting an appointment next time do I………