March 30, 2011 (Wednesday) - At The Doctor's

Yesterday my eye was very bloodshot and so I phoned my G.P. who all but told me to F…off. So I went to A&E to get it looked at. Up till that point it didn’t hurt. I applied the cream that the doctor in A&E prescribed, and then the eye got really bloodshot and painful. I woke this morning unable to open it: it was gunged shut. So I thought I’d take the day as a sick day.
I had this theory that my eye was (relatively) fine until the doctor in A&E gave me the cream for it yesterday: I wondered if maybe I was allergic to what I’d been given. So I decided I’d go see my doctor today - whether they liked it or not. My G.P. surgery doesn’t like patients coming along, and in the past they have flatly refused to give appointments. Today was rather typical of my experiences with them.

I arrived at the surgery at 7.30am to find no one there but the builders, so I took a seat and waited for the surgery staff to arrive. In the meantime the builders regaled me with horror tales of the things they’d seen in that surgery, and how I was lucky the place hadn’t fallen down on me. It would seem that builders are neither subject to the Hippocratic Oath nor proud of their workmanship.
The receptionist arrived at 7.50am, and I tried to see if I could get an appointment. She snarled that the surgery didn’t open until 8am, so I sat and waited. And so did she. Exactly as the second hand of the clock got to 8am she asked if she could help me. I said I’d like an appointment. She asked if 11.50am would do. I asked if there was anything earlier. She said there were only emergency appointments available. I said I thought I qualified as an emergency, and showed her my eye. She grudgingly offered me a 9.30am appointment, whilst muttering to herself about it. I suggested that I might go home and come back at 9.30am, but was told that if I left the building they would cancel my appointment.
So I then sat and watched a succession of other people who wandered in, asked for an emergency appointment, and got seen before me. I consoled myself by trying to read my book. This wasn’t easy: firstly I couldn’t really see it, and secondly the “council harridan” was rather off-putting. This delightful lady was constantly shrieking at its daughter; said offspring having apparently stolen all of the family allowance to buy someone else a Mothers Day present. From what I could work out the child had stolen all the cash from its mother’s purse to buy a friend’s mother a gift on the understanding that when the friend’s mother got her child allowance, that cash would stolen to refund the original theft. What charming people one meets these days (!)

I eventually got in to see the doctor at 10am, and she concurred with my diagnosis. I probably was allergic to the cream I got yesterday, and she prescribed me some new stuff.
On the way out I read a letter on the wall from the surgery’s patient’s forum. My first thought was that they were a self appointed bunch of do-gooders. But on further reading it seems they are a self appointed bunch of self-servers. I got the distinct impression that being on that committee gave you a far better chance of getting an appointment at the surgery.

All of which is very interesting, but has no relevance to work. Or does it?

I suspect that every member of staff at the G.P. surgery considers themselves to be caring professional people. I’ll concede that they can hardly be held responsible for the conduct of the lower orders in their waiting rooms. However I came out of the place utterly unimpressed with them. I must make sure that people are not similarly unimpressed with me and my workplace….

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