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Wednesday, 8 October 2003

Diagnosis: over-charged Splenetic Sourness, characterised by Malodorous Humours

Mood:  chillin'
Now Playing: the sound of my nose running, against a backdrop of Sigur Ros

Reasons not to go to work today:
I overslept.
I feel crappy.
I can't get more than five hours sleep a night, and no I haven't tried the Vodka Method yet.
I can't even remember what today's schedule at work is.
I can attempt to get a doctor's appointment again, and ask for hard mentaller's drugs. (No? You don't think I'm a mentallist? Sigh.)

It's something like one doctor per 2000 patients on the NHS in London, and where I live in East London, if you're not a pikey slag with 18 screaming kids covered in cigarette stub sores, you'll never get seen by anyone qualified. But I still need a sick certificate for last week, so I have to make attempt number 7 to get into the place.
In fact, the service is so shit that a while ago, I gave up and had no doctor for a year or two (the old doctor closed his practise and threw all the records away. Without telling me. Yes, I know that's not what they're supposed to do, but you try telling that to the overstuffed dragonish matrons who work the reception areas ... "don't you take that tone with me, missy" is a direct quote.) Didn't notice any difference at all in not having a doctor - it's no more difficult to get an appointment with a doctor who doesn't exist, after all - but then switched |genericjob| and 'doctor's details' is another of those official type things, like next of kin, that they rather worryingly require from you.
[I don't see what it has to do with standing around and being obstructive all day (which is basically what I'm paid for). If you take too much time off and get formal warnings, they only ever believe their doc, not yours, and their doc is waaaay easier to fool. Ooops, giving too much away?]

So anyway, I signed up to a new doctor. First time I went in, I was sick with flu, and underwent the usual barrage of unhelpful barked instructions. They didn't notice the breaking into a cold sweat, and when I began the pre-fainting sway, I got "what's wrong with you?!"'t you supposed to tell me?
Usually, though, it's simply a matter of not allowing you an appointment for the next four years minimum. I used to love receptionists' seething inexpressible hatred when you fix them with a steely eye and calmly say 'emergency'. However, that's a little unfair, so I don't do it anymore, I try to play by their game and their rules.

I stubbed my toe. It keeps bleeding. When can I see a doctor.
You want a nurse.
I want a doctor. When can I see him.
Sigh. Four weeks from now. (This line shortened by sixteen minutes to save bandwidth.)

Nowadays, if it's serious, I just give up on a five hour block of time and go straight to a hospital emergency room with my stubbed toe. The ones with a million red signs outside warning that if you waste their expensive time and resources with something your GP could have dealt with, they'll take legal action. But five hours sat in bits of blood, vom and pee next to a nice old mad tramp who thinks you're Satan is a lot shorter than five weeks of trying to remember that you stubbed your toe.
But you can't get a sick cert from a hospital A&E.

I did try the doctor's surgery last week, when I was more visibly ill than today:
visit one: the surgery is closed.
visit two: the surgery does not take bookings at this time.
visit three: you missed the earlier time, for when the surgery does not need a booking. We only take booked appointments now. No, we have no appointments for you to book.
visit four: it's our two hour long lunch hour. We've pulled down a riot-shutter.
visit five: we've switched our phonelines over to the fax machine. If you're really honestly sick, you'll find a way around this.
visit six: we've decided not to open our evening or weekend surgeries any more. Go away.

Given that I haven't even gained access to the building with any effectiveness yet, the chances look bleak. I've still got to grapple with the dangers posed by Sixteen Year Old Illiterate Receptionist, then make my way up to the battle against the forces of Dragon On Phone, and finally wage war against the Angry Dragon Patently In Love With Doctor Who Wants Him All For Her Sad Frosty Self.
But wait! I spent two days as a doctor's receptionist in Harley Street this summer. What hypocrisy! I chased one paying customer away for being late. Where do I fit into this easy, disgruntled sarcastic diatribe?
Dragon Who Doesn't Give A Fuck.
I'm going back to bed.

Sleepwatch: 5 hours.

This page graced by sarsparilla at 9:09 AM BST
Updated: Wednesday, 8 October 2003 9:25 AM BST
Post Comment | View Comments (14) | Permalink | Share This Post

Wednesday, 8 October 2003 - 10:05 AM BST

Name: jatb

I know this probably isn't good proper legal advice, but maybe it would be easier just to forge the certificate?

Wednesday, 8 October 2003 - 10:16 AM BST

Name: Vanessa

The easiest thing to do is to bareface it out and tell them to sack me if they don't like it. They don't have a huge amount of people willing to do the |genericjob| and they know that despite my absences, I'm damn good at it. It's only my girlguide compulsion to tick all the boxes and play fair that makes me think they would do anything about it.

Wednesday, 8 October 2003 - 9:43 PM BST

Name: Makky
Home Page:

I work for doctors, and I get irritated to the bone sometimes. I feel your pain. A stubbed toe sucks though. I hope tomorrow is better.

Wednesday, 8 October 2003 - 11:25 PM BST

Name: Looby

Hee hee hee:)

It is tempting though isn't it. The last one I had came on some paper you could forge on any halfway decent printer.

Thursday, 9 October 2003 - 12:16 AM BST

Name: Alex Buell

Oh dear! I've read your blog for the first time in ages.. sorry to hear about the split-up :-( Plenty more fish in the ocean, so they say.

Thursday, 9 October 2003 - 12:29 AM BST

Name: lemonpillows
Home Page:

Hey - thanks for the comment.. you were right.. I was the first ever 'victim' of Flashblog. I was flashblogged... wierd....

Looked at the site tonight.. he he he he he, so thanks for fillin me in... (oo-er)


Thursday, 9 October 2003 - 12:33 AM BST

Name: Vanessa

Cheers, Makky. And cheers for returning the visit when I was so wanky on your blog!
I didn't actually stub my toe, but requiring hard drugs to stop myself from thinking about how I just got dumped by someone who's screwing my for all the money I haven't got didn't sound so catchy.

I actually felt filled with anti-doctor guilts after writing this entry and ended up defending the London NHS doctor's surgery appointments system to friends at dinner. Even I knew it sounded stupid!

Thursday, 9 October 2003 - 12:36 AM BST

Name: Vanessa

The first! You better let the bored liberal papers know quick, before it takes off.
Have you signed up for the second yet? I have!

For anyone who doesn't know about flashblogging, go see what happened on the other day.

Thursday, 9 October 2003 - 12:38 AM BST

Name: Vanessa

Oh dear, did the financial inducements I offered on your blog scare you away?

Thursday, 9 October 2003 - 12:39 AM BST

Name: Vanessa

Really? You couldn't scan and send, couldya?

Thursday, 9 October 2003 - 4:57 AM BST

Name: Martin Sewell
Home Page:

...and join the original flash blogging group. :-)

Thursday, 9 October 2003 - 7:42 AM BST

Name: Vanessa

I might join the blog iceberg instead. :-)

Thursday, 9 October 2003 - 12:51 PM BST

Name: Martin Sewell
Home Page:

That sounds like a quote from deep bloggers anonymous.

The trouble is, there's a lot less to my blog below the surface.

Thursday, 9 October 2003 - 7:31 PM BST

Name: Vanessa

I thought my blog had taken on somewhat of a Sewell blog-flavour with the flashblogging post. No? Ah well, I shall have to watch and learn from the masters.

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