Friday, January 02, 2009

Quick question

Is anyone else out there as confused as I am at the moment?
The reason I'm mixed up is because of all the recent 'holy days', bonk bank holidays, and weekends in places where there generally are normal, everyday days of the week, but instead, a Wednesday was Christmas Eve so some shops closed early. then the Thursday got replaced by 'Christmas Day' which meant that the usual Friday shopping hours were all different, and yesterday which was supposed to be a regular Wednesday was also early closing, but only for some shops and businesses, ie: important ones like chemists, Doctor's surgeries, banks and the DWP.
Fortunately I've not been compromized, but many of my friends have been left without access to money due to either the post not being delivered or 'emergency benefit places' closing early so that the staff can get to their staff parties early so they can get pished and not worry that some folk can't get an emergency giro for small luxuries such as food and heat &c.
I know that some folks reading this are probably thinking "Well, why can't these people organize their lives so that they know when 'important places' will be closed; after all, people that have children and work know when the important holidays are, so why can't they figure it out?"
I'll tell you why.
When you have no family and very few friends living nearby, you don't get to talk about stuff like 'Bank Holiday Weekends'. If you are all alone, ill, and trying to survive on extremely meagre benefits, talk of where the best place to go for a fun long weekend with the kids (provided you can all get that Friday off work/school seriously doesn't mean a great deal.
During my years in the workforce I got to hear from those with ankle-biters when the school holidays were, and being childless regarded it as 'The Season I Got Lots Of Overtime' because they would all sod off and leave the 'free' to deal with the mass exodus.
But now I can only guess that schools are closed as I find the streets quieter but the railway line busier with local police watching out for kids playing on the lines.
The main reason I'm upset and having a little rant grumble, is that just before Crimble I went to pick up part of a prescription from my local chemist being my very important anti-depressant tablets. I'd been told by the chemist that I had some tablets to pick up and as I hadn't had two months worth of happy tabs as per the norm, I found the (new) doctor I'd seen had only prescribed me one months supply.
Now, these days I'm reliant on the ex to get me to and from the GP's as I don't have a car anymore, but as I used to work at the surgery years ago, most of the staff know me well and understand my situation.
So, when I found out about the mix up I tried calling the surgery, but after six hours of hearing the engaged tone, I got the ex to give me a lift as he'd had some work cancelled.
I arrived and explained to a receptionist who I didn't know very well (she was fairly new) what had happened, and if at all possible, please could I have a prescription asap as I was getting withdrawal symptoms (I'd discovered about the cock-up late on Friday, it was now Monday) which were not much fun at all.
Her response was to inform me that I should have checked the prescription earlier, and all she could do was to let me have another after 48 hours.
That would have meant that because a new GP hadn't checked my notes, I was already more 'ill' and getting 'iller' by the minute.
I asked her about the opening times when it might be possible to pick up my repeat 'script, and was told that I could pick them up on the 24th. I explained that I was unable to pick them up myself and had to ask my ex if he would be able to do so, so I asked and he said that no, but he could pick it up the next day.
With a really supercilious smile she said that would in no way be possible, as I should have remembered it was Christmas, and the rules were that it was 48 hours for a repeat prescription.
Again I explained to her that I was sorry, but there had been a mistake with the last prescription and I really, really did need the tablets and please could I just get it sorted for the next day so that I didn't have to wait until after Christmas to get the medicine I needed.
Again she told me that it would not be possible, and to make things worse added 'Well it is Christmas, or have you forgotten?'

I took a deep breath before explaining that yes, I had tried to forget that it was Christmas, as I'd rather not be reminded that not only was it extremely close to the anniversary of both my father and grandmother's death, but as it was going to be another year without any family around whatsoever, I really had not wanted to think about the season of 'family get-togethers', work parties, going out with friends and so.
Luckily another receptionist that I'd worked with, was a friend, and knew my situation came to help and managed to sort my prescription for the next day came to my aid, but without her being there I don't know what would have happened.
I felt very small, very hurt and so let down because of one woman's ignorance, but after I'd got back home and had a cry I realized that I should not have let her get to me,
I should have told her that I too used to work there, and the first and most important 'thing' about the job was to make sure the patients were alright.
I may have made a couple of mistakes when I was there (not knowing that a man's wife was dying from cancer and the prescription was indeed, very urgent) but I knew when I had done so and apologized before making things right and ensuring that the patients were as happy as possible.
If that receptionist is reading this, I would just like to tell her that not everybody is as fortunate as to be living in a happy, merry, cotton-wool-wrapped world where everything is perfectly organized.
Just remember, there but for the grace of 'gods', you too could be alone, cold, ill, and not knowing if it's a holiday or not.

/ rant