|No, I've never encountered a cashier who gave a hoot about customers breaking the rules. Take your hand-held basket to the till, and wait for your feral offspring to join you, each with another basket full of shopping. Go to the cash-only till and not only pay by card but also have the temerity to ask for cash-back - and get it! Queue behind me, then run in front of me to beat me to the till, and tell me I should have moved faster. Argh! |
Take comfort in the fact that the cashier will probably be asked to explain why all these items need to be put back on the shelves... and hope she doesn't lie and say the customer left his wallet at home.
The one time I walked out, leaving behind what would have been shopping, wasn't in Bedford, but (surprise surprise) it was in Sainsburys. I hadn't picked up many items, but they included some unusual fruit. A very young girl on the till didn't recognise some of the fruits, and asked the very young girl on the next till to identify them. Her colleague didn't reply - she was busy! - and I told her the names of the strange objects.
Yes, there was a bit of a queue, and yes, they were tutting and tapping impatiently and wondering how much longer I was going to be. She repeated the question to her colleague, and I repeated the answers. She looked up at me and said "I'm talking to her, not you."
I didn't say anything - I didn't think there was much point. I didn't ask her to call someone senior - I'd just be standing around waiting like a lemon while nobody came. I knew there was nothing there that I needed to live, and I just walked out.
She would have had to call a supervisor to clear the conveyor belt before she could "serve" the next customer, and the supervisor would have wanted to know why. If she'd got stuck for words, I'm sure the people in the queue would have helped refresh her memory.
Today I spent three hours at the hospital. The afternoon was like something out of the twilight zone.
When I got my new valve 13 years ago, I noticed powerful throbbing at the base of my neck, but it settled down after a week. This time, I spotted throbbing at the side of my neck. The new GP said he would refer me for a scan on it.
On Thursday morning, someone rang from the hospital and asked me to come at 2.30 on Monday for a scan. Go to the (ward name) Unit Reception and ask for M. Do I know where that is? No. Go to the second floor of a new part of the building.
This morning, I thought I'd better check, so I rang Cardiology, and got a recorded message that the phones are answered between two and six. That's not much use - I have to be out the house by two. So I rang again and asked for Cardiology appointments and got the identical recorded message.
I got to the hospital at 2.20 and to Cardiology at 2.25. They've been there since eight and they do have a phone line. I'd been put through to the call centre. Both times. Why? Pass!
They weren't expecting me in Cardiology, and there was nothing about me on the hospital computer system. I'd been told to ask for M. "M isn't in today." The receptionist suggested somewhere else I could go and hope it was the right place. Mercifully, a staff nurse heard her and told me to stay put. She picked the phone up and rang as many departments as she could think of, even the Acute Assessment Unit, but half of them weren't expecting me, and the other half weren't answering; just left her talking to an answering machine. She couldn't understand why I had been told to go to a ward to get my carotid artery scanned. The woman who rang me called it a Unit - does that mean it's something different? No!
At three o'clock, the staff nurse suggested I go to the ward and see what they knew. So off I went to the ward, found the reception area, two people waiting - no receptionist. I wandered round till I found a nurse and asked her if there was a receptionist. "Yes but she's on her break. She'll be back soon." That's helpful! :p
Five minutes later, another nurse came in and talked to the two other people. I asked her if there was a receptionist, and she said she is around but what did I want? I've been told to ask for M. The nurse said "Ah yes - she's written it down on a piece of paper here" and went and called M. It was ten past three and M, quite reasonably, thought I wasn't coming, and was about to go home. She'd been ringing me and hadn't got an answer. No, not on my home phone because I'm not at home, and my mobile is switched off because I'm inside the hospital. And I was here - I've been here for an hour - but nobody could find me on the system. She showed me that I was on the system and said it's accessible to the whole hospital but it can't be otherwise the people in Cardiology would have found me straight away.
We walked to her room, in another new part of the building, about five minutes away. The ward name she had given me was a red herring. She uses their reception because she hasn't got a reception of her own. Aaargh.
She spent half an hour scanning the side in doubt, and a couple of minutes on the other side, for comparison. She said a doctor will have to look at it but she thinks it looks perfectly normal and healthy.
Then I had something to eat and went off for a blood test.
I thought I might walk into the town centre and wander round for a bit before getting a bus home, but it was raining and my feet hurt, so I called a minicab, and just went home. That was a pretty defeatist end to a frustrating day.
Reply #1301. Aug 23 10, 12:47 PM
|Sherry, it was fine till the last five minutes. And my problem was with the till supervisor's incomprehensible behaviour. The girl on the till was personable, friendly, helpful, and retained her sense of humour. |
In fact, most of the staff I encounter do manage to remain bright and cheery until the last minute. Many of them are actually scowling till I start talking to them, but a bit of human contact cheers them up. I remember one woman moving round the shop, looking like the weight of the world was on her shoulders, until I asked her if she was OK. Her face lit up and she said I was the first customer all day to say something to her that wasn't a complaint.
Yes, I have trouble with supermarkets. Would you like me to take the blame for all of it?
And no, I have no desire to rely on on-line shopping. I've heard about the results from people who have. it's a perfect way for the stores to palm off items with little or no shelf-life left and, of course, you're tied to waiting for deliveries. Very happy to give that a miss.
Waitrose is a lovely chain, and I fully expect to pay more for better produce and competent staff, but the nearest ones are at least half an hour's drive away, and I haven't been well enough to contemplate anything more than two miles. Perhaps when I am cleared to drive again (I think all that needs is for my sternum to be stable after my sternotomy) I can think about the odd trip to Ampthill or Rushden or St Neots.
Gary, if you do do a midnight shop, please tell us what it was like. I don't think it's for the faint of heart or high of blood pressure.
Reply #1302. Aug 23 10, 1:05 PM
If only our lives were as perfect as some here seem to indicate theirs are. Lovely for you.|
Midnight at Walmart - stocking is in process but almost done. Few cashiers, no one in deli, bakery or pharmacy. Unless someone is playing a boombox, all is serene. The place is pretty much empty.
Husband liked to shop on roller skates when he was younger.
Reply #1303. Aug 23 10, 1:54 PM
Lesley am shocked at what happened at the hospital today, mind you it is not unusual from what i hear.|
I have another hospital visit this week so lets hope it goes well.
If i do get to do a midnight shop rest assured i will let you know, have been racking my brains as to why and what i had been too, was in scotland visiting my friend and we saw a show quite a drive away and thinking back we actually did a top shop for her mum at 1 am in tescos was peaceful easy to get about ok no deli or bread department open but we got our shop.
Reply #1304. Aug 23 10, 2:57 PM
|Deunan, I'm not sure other people have perfect lives but some of them do like to portray themselves as perfect people, and us as lesser mortals. Fear not, they are easily ignored. |
Roller skates? Oh what a wonderful image!
Gary, it was a bit tedious and very frustrating, but I didn't let my blood pressure rise, and I did go back to the Cardiology and X-ray departments to report back and thank the people there for helping me.
The deli and fresh meat-fish-cheese counters in the local Sainsbury close at eight o'clock. I think the bakery counter closes at around the same time, so you can't get them to slice bread for you, but at least the rest of the bread products are accessible. The bread I like comes from the outside world, so they're not allowed to slice it anyway. They wouldn't be able to get the company's wrapper back on. I don't care but they do.
"Peaceful, easy to get about." Does that mean no drunks, no radios blasting to entertain the staff, and no blocked aisles? Bliss!
Reply #1305. Aug 23 10, 3:20 PM
It seems that a little gripe was well earned today. No one should have to walk all over the hospital over and over. Someone should have been able to direct you to the right place immediately. I find that I have a strong pulsing just at the bottom of my sternum. It is different than before my operation. I haven't noticed a strong pulse in my neck. I guess everyone is different. As for, rightly, griping about people who don't do their job or keep there customers in line, complain, it may help the rest of us. |
Reply #1306. Aug 23 10, 3:28 PM
|I did whinge a bit because I was tired and my feet hurt, and I did tell Cardiology and X-ray that M showed me her computer system and told me everyone in the hospital could see it. Not everyone in the hospital agreed with her. |
I know what you mean about complaints helping, but I've already complained about the (male, middle eastern) doctor who manipulated me into having a sedative I had made it very clear I didn't need or want: and about the three idiot girls in the ambulance who had taken it upon themselves, from the lofty heights of an average of 25 years old, to decide that I was a Little Old Lady in No Apparent Distress, and to chide me about my use of the ambulance service, when neither of these was in their remit.
I have had so many people who didn't know where I was supposed to go, or knew but didn't think of telling patients, it didn't occur to me to complain about them. I think that the people who work in a huge lumbering undertaking, like a hospital, will often not have a clue about what anybody else does, and I wonder if there is a way of improving that. Something to think about when I'm not so tired! Meanwhile - all suggestions gratefully received!
Reply #1307. Aug 23 10, 3:43 PM
Lesley, I love your decorations in your posts (1305). They make the thread look quite festive.|
:) :) :-)
Reply #1308. Aug 23 10, 4:14 PM
I don't get the hospital at all- I've worked in various places and knew where everything and everyone was in most cases after a couple of weeks. One distribution centre closed down and I spent a few days tracking down the lost invoices, it turned out most had been hidden and the same item had been sent twice as hadn't been cancelled (by me most of the time) when returned to accounts. In the end I found them all and showed how easy it was to lose a percentage of paperwork or data in any system and probably represented every other worldwide. Except maybe in Germany, Switzerland and Israel. But it sounds like your hospital staff simply didn't care and as they get paid whether or not patients turn up for inspections can put a good few off by 'losing' them, as many would give up and speed the queue and give them some time off into the bargain. Maybe it was more organised that it seemed?|
Reply #1309. Aug 23 10, 4:28 PM
|Thanks, Deunan - I stole ~*~*~*~*~*~ from Squisher, who is famed for her creativity. |
David, I'm not sure how it works. Perhaps you found and sorted the lost invoices because you have a bigger and better-trained brain than a lot of the staff at the hospital or, more likely, because you give a hoot and they - er - may not.
When I went for the most recent six-monthly visit to haematology, whoever wrote me the appointment letter didn't even bother to remind me to come early for blood tests ("Everybody has to come early for blood tests. You're supposed to know that."), let alone tell me that they're no longer done in the same place as the other blood tests: they moved four months ago. The only person who seemed to know about the move was the woman on the desk in outpatients pathology. She told me to go to the new place in the shiny new bit of the building, but everybody else I met sent me back to her.
Of course they could have done the blood tests in outpatients if they'd known what they were required to test for.
"Didn't Haematology send you a card with the appointment letter?"
Ha! what do you think?
I don't know if I'd credit them with orchestrating the loss of patients - I don't think they're that clever or devious. I think it's more to do with a lack of guidance and communication. Send memos, or put up notices, to tell staff that some blood tests are now to be done somewhere else, and half of them won't bother to read something that doesn't affect them, and the rest will read and instantly forget.
Bring back matrons!
Reply #1310. Aug 23 10, 4:46 PM
The hospitals here, have 'volunteer' services, just inside each entrance. They are manned by senior citizens who (usually) know where everything is, and the best way to obtain information. They will escort you to where you need to be, and make sure you are ok. Wonderful, huh? :)|
I know it isn't always that simple, but it is a big help, and it gives the 'seniors' something useful to do.
As for shopping...You really DON'T want to be at Walmart at midnight!
Reply #1311. Aug 23 10, 7:48 PM
Lesley, sounds like an awful experience.|
I must have been so lucky - the day I went to the oncology clinic for my initial visit, I was given a map of the hospital with each place I had to go clearly marked, then as I left one department for the next, the reception staff made sure I knew how to get to the next stop.
Every staff member i encountered clearly explained what they were going to do and how it related to my overall treatment.
Hats off to King Edward Memorial Hospital for Women in Perth, Western Australia.
Reply #1312. Aug 23 10, 9:10 PM
Lesley the one thing i have learnt over the years regards xrays and blood tests is get there early.|
I get to x ray at 8.15 always a woman on the desk give her my paper and take a seat when department starts work at 8.30 always one of the first 3 paitients called.
Blood tests i seem to do the same if it is hospital but not if it is doctors.
Reply #1313. Aug 24 10, 12:53 AM
|VM, we have them too. Working-age people on reception, which closes by five, and over-age volunteers inside every entrance. One of them gave me directions as soon as I got inside the hospital, and asked me how I'd got on - and even remembered where she'd sent me - when I saw her leaving, two hours later. One drove me to Papworth for my pre-admission appointment, and one drove me home again. Another one in Papworth escorted me to the x-ray department. He said very few people find it without getting lost, especially as it's not even called x-ray. |
I suspect that a lot of hospitals wouldn't run half as smoothly without the volunteers, and a lot of patients would be stranded.
Thank you for the Walmart warning!
Gary, thank you for the advice, it's a lovely idea, but it will only work if you're a morning person. I can't do crack-of-dawn stuff any more. The place where the blood tests are done closes at 4.30, I got there at 4.15, and was in three minutes later. I was happy with that!
Tezza, it was tiring, but not so much awful as unbelievable. And no, I didn't get angry, because a lot of people were trying to help, and I thought it would be counter-productive and would only put my blood pressure up. So I smiled sweetly, said Thank You Nicely in all the right places, and was very pleased to get home.
Yes we have maps too. People get just as lost with maps as without them. Staff may explain what they're doing, but they're more likely not to, because _they_ know what _they're_ doing, but most will explain if you ask, if you know what to ask. You were lucky, certainly compared with Bedford patients, but wouldn't it be a joy if the care and attention you got was the norm, not a matter of luck?
Reply #1314. Aug 24 10, 7:00 AM
Lesley can see where you are coming from regards mornings, my mornings start anywhere between 2.30am and 5 am depends on how i sleep or dont.|
Was not bad getting seen that quick so late arrivial could be also a idea.
Reply #1315. Aug 24 10, 7:11 AM
|Worked for me! |
Something perfectly wonderful happened last night, for the first time in months - I slept for seven hours non-stop. Bliss.
The last crack-of-dawn thing I remember doing, about three years ago, was pouring Jonathan and his baggage into the car at six o'clock on a warm, bright Sunday morning, and driving him to central London (about 60 miles) to join an orchestra tour, and driving straight home again. It took about an hour and a half to get there, so we got there at half-past seven for eight o'clock, and a good hour before we saw another vehicle on the road; and then two hours or thereabouts to get home.
I hope I never need to do that again! Two miles to Tesco is quite far enough, thank you. :)
Reply #1316. Aug 24 10, 7:45 AM
Lesley so pleased you got 7 hours sleep :), i was in bed 10.30 awake again at 1 and then 2.30 then 3 then 5 and that was it. Still not tired atm so maybe my body is adapting well to broken sleep.|
Reply #1317. Aug 24 10, 8:30 AM
|We adapt to almost anything, even though it's often not the most sensible thing to do. Does your lovely GP have any ideas why you can't sleep? |
Reply #1318. Aug 24 10, 8:45 AM
I don't sleep a lot but I sleep well when I do. I think about lots of things until my brain swirls into a collision with itself then at last sleep.|
Reply #1319. Aug 24 10, 4:46 PM
|What a clever brain you've got. :) |
Reply #1320. Aug 24 10, 5:08 PM
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