I have been attempting to get a doctor's appointment for Carol this morning. Our surgery has a new system which means you don't need to queue up outside before 8 a.m. before the surgery opens. You have to telephone and they use a triage system whereby you have to tell the receptionist what your symptoms are and they decide what sort of priority it requires and then the doctor will telephone you during the day and after a discussion will decide whether you need to have a face-to-face appointment. All very well and good, as it will weed out the time wasters, those with minor ailments, sore throats, cut fingers and so on (which are so minor the patients with these sort of ailments should go to a chemists and speak to the pharmacist and stop wasting the doctor's time so that more serious ailments can be dealt with or at least be seen by a nurse at the surgery. There us a walk-in centre at Milton Keynes Hospital which is only a short distance from Ashfield Medical Centre or else if your needs are more serious you should go to Accident and Emergency.)
I started ringing the surgery just after 8 a.m. and all I got was a sort of engaged tone, similar to what you get if you were to keep the phone 'off the hook.' It took half a dozen more attempts and by 9.30, by which time I had almost given up all hope of getting through, I managed to get through to a recorded message which lead to a menu with several options and from that I got to a further selection of options and a horrible repeating message and music (not as bad as some orgnisations, but bad enough when it keeps on playing over and over.) I eventually got to speak to a human and after some explination as to why Carol needed an appointment or at least a doctor to speak to via telephone, the woman told me that she would need to phone when he got home from work. So, all a waste of time and effort to be told that and I hope Carol can get through when she done ring. Who dreams up this sort of sytem in the first place? Do they have any idea how stressful it is when you can't get through? It's not easy if you're working and you need an appointment and particularly if you're too busy, as Carol is, to ring the surgery. Also, it seems the Academy doesn't like it if you go for an appointment during the day which means you have to arrange to go for an appointment outside work hours, which isn't easy.
I've been reading back some of the material I wrote months ago. I haven't looked at it for a while and I'm really surprised by how good it is. Or at least, that's what I think of it. I'm attempting to find a way to develop this particular storyline further and have written a couple more pages. It needs editing, infact, quite heavily. But at least it's no worse than it could have been which is great.
I'm not getting involved in Black Friday, or whatever it's called. I went to Tesco at Kingston yesterday morning and they had signs up all over the store telling you that the store would be open from midnight tonight for customers. It's just an attempt to get as many customers as possible buying madly before 25th December. When you see how totally mad some people can get when these sales are on it's something that I'm keen to avoid at all costs. It does annoy me that companys put their prices up so people buy stuff just for one day's worth of presents and then a few days later those same companys have to start their January sales and the self-same items are reduced considerbly. You might just as well wait and buy your presents then and get th discounts.