Everyone loves a bit of personal administration. Don’t they?

There is nothing like changing arrangements for paying your rates charges or changing your direct debits. You can do it on-line and if that fails, well it fails. You will be accumulating charges, with no apparent means of stopping them, from here until way beyond next Monday.

Searching the website for telephone details will not help because it’s a secret. The only numbers that are published are the ones that tell you that it will be quicker for “YOU” if you do this on-line. Because no one has ever sent you an account number to enter, you are immediately rejected and sent back to the customer services number that tells you to go to the website.

At this point you may find that you become highly agitated and having hammered in the phone number one last time, someone answers the phone. In your astonishment you might exclaim your relief and tell your tale of woe at which point the call handler explains that rudeness wont’ be tolerated and puts the phone down. I don’t know what that’s like. It’s never happened to me.

One of my more pro-active communicants, sends me text messages to remind me that I should call the number in the message to get a flu jab appointment. I do as I’m told but the number doesn’t work because it’s the wrong number. So I make the trek up the road to be told that no appointments have been released and wont’ be until Monday. I’m told that the number is correct. Guess how I spent my Monday?

The verified phone number was incorrect so I called the surgery where a message told me that it would be quicker for me if I went online. Online rejected my log in details and sent me a link to create a new password that never arrived. I put on my trainers and plodded up the road to make the appointment in person.

All became clear. The number was correct it was just that half of it was missing. There were no new appointments available until Monday when I should call the correct number (not forgetting to insert the missing half) and press option two. Lots of people had been pressing option one in response to the instruction that it was option one for flu jabs.
“If you listen carefully it’s option two. It just sounds like option one” the receptionist said. I rested my head on her desk. While conceding nothing, she took my point and went on to explain that all flu jabs were an unreliable bus ride away. I raised and lowered my head onto her desk. My cane was folded up on her desk and having not accounted for it, it span off in a protest of its own.

The receptionist suggested I call at 8am on Monday and if I couldn’t get through I’d have to keep trying. “No” I said. “This is not reasonable”. She took my point and would get a colleague to jab me now. My gratitude was short lived because I had to wait until the end of afternoon childhood vaccinations. This was a clinic at which everyone who got a jab screamed.

The nurse who jabbed me said it was good that I had listened and got a flu jab. “Listened?” I barked. “What do you mean?”
“Done as you were told.”
“It’s more shambles than dictatorship,” I strained.
“Well I love the NHS,” she said.

I’m due a health MOT. The first available appointment is 6 weeks away and its phone only these days. I spent the evening on the council website for a bit of light relief.