I had a blood test at 11.50 today, booked on Friday. At least, i think it was 11.50, it may have been 12.10 but we erred on the side of caution and left at 11.35 for our doctors which is 10 minutes up the Parkway from here, on a good day. The Parkways in Pboro are a set of dual carriageways that form a sort of drunken diamond around the city, making it, technically, easy to get quickly to any extremity of a very oddly shaped city. The down side of the Parkways is that whenever there are short term roadworks in one bit of it, the City Council seem to be compelled to dig up the exact same stretch of road on the other side too, sometimes also the town centre too, so that there is no escape from the traffic at all and no rat-run. You just have to sit in it.
Had a swerve to avoid an accident on the edge of a sliproad that is on a corner and so narrowly avoided going into the back of a traffic jam, 800 yrds from some roadworks that are new this morning (and unannounced) that are charmingly placed 2 miles along from the set they’ve nearly finished that have been creating 6 miles of tailback for the last 8 months. Even better, the traffic jam started just after the last junction prior to the one we wanted so we were trapped in it, no escape.
I got Fran to ring the docs to tell them we were stuck and as she couldn’t negotiate on my behalf, said i’d come in anyway and either have the test late if there was time, or rearrange. I couldn’t turn round, so i figured i might as well do that. We sat in it for a hour; it literally took 60 minutes to do 6 miles, 50 of those were covering 800 yards and when we got to the slip road, it was obvious they had shut the entire parkway with an extremely overworked diversion trying to happen around a roundabout. *Snort*
I got to the docs, walked in and it was the sourest of the receptionists on duty; the others are nice but she REALLY lives up to the stereotype. I came in and said “sorry, blah, blah, roadworks, blah, blah… am i too late to be fitted in?” She didn’t even look at me, just said “Yes Meredith, you are too late” (I had to resist the urge to immediately say “MRS RAYMOND ACTUALLY!!” she got my back up so much.) |I tried, as i normally do, just to be friendly and communicative, i certainly wasn’t expecting to get seen and i didn’t cause any fuss, i just thought that while i was booking again that perhaps i could have a passingly friendly human chat. But no, no eye contact, no “urgh that sounds awful ,what was causing it?” There was no one else in the queue at all, no one i was holding up and she wasn’t even finding me a new appointment, she was pretty much just blanking me. Eventually i got a new appointment, by which time i was fuming, slammed out of the surgery and phoned from the carpark to make a complaint about her startling lack of common courtesy. The office manager just said “Well, i’m sorry, she is like that, but we can’t do anything about it, it is just the way she is.”
I dunno, i know we have to be careful these days and not sack people for reasons they might sue for, but if you can’t communicate, can’t put people at their ease, can’t be polite, friendly, helpful or even just professional – is a surgery reception really the place for you? I’d have been disgusted to have been treated like that by a bored 16 year old at a supermarket checkout but at least i’d think they had a point. I’d be ashamed of myself if i was so rude. The manager seemed to be suggesting she had real issues with it, and heaven knows i’m not unfamiliar with people who struggle to communicate and i’m far from brilliant at small talk myself but if you can’t even be civil, even if (i don’t know, i’m surmising) you were say moderately autistic, should you really be doing that job?
I was so angry and upset by her attitude that i was shaking and nearly in tears by the time i got to the car park, she treated me like a i was a naughty schoolchild who should know better than to be late for class; it really offended me. Which is annoying, as i was relatively sanguine about missing the blood test and the hour in the car.
Then we drove home and went the other way round town where we discovered, true to form, that they’ve closed the other side of the parkways too. And in an hour, i’ve got to go out again. Grrrr.