Monday, 6 October 2008

A quiet rebellion

I would be foolish to blog about my current work situation in any detail, as if I was traced, I would face disciplinary action. I take a number of appropriate steps to make sure this is unlikely to happen, however, I see no point in taking undue risks, given that there are already colleagues in strife for talking to the press.

However, I am angry. And disappointed. And hurt. And I need to feel like I have some control over my position.

So I've decided to embrace this years National Poetry Day fully, what with the theme being 'work'. So on Thursday, appropriate verses will appear on noticeboards, vending machines and on the back of bathroom doors.

I'm not going to be daft enough to choose anything offensive, but if anyone has any suggestions, let me know. My little token subversion will make me smile, and if it makes one other person smile, I think I'll have achieved something.

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Idiot Filter

Todays post has been inspired by Nee Naw

The G.P. surgery I use has improved massively since the introduction of Dr Idiot Filter.

It works like this:

Patient calls and wants same day appointment. Reception takes the patients number and Dr I.F. calls back, taking a history of the current complaint while reviewing the notes on screen. Dr I.F. then decides whether the patient needs an appointment that morning.

Despite this slowing things down a touch (Dr I.F. is a slow and considered one-finger typist), it's done wonders for the surgery. I've got a chronic condition, so I do sometimes need a short notice appointment. In the two or three times I've been in this year, the waiting room has been magically free of rattling addicts coming for replacement methadone prescriptions because they've 'lost' their last one.

In addition, although the phone line is still busy, it's not uncommon to be able to get through to book an appointment these days.

Nee Naw, it's a shame you and your colleagues aren't allowed an Idiot Filter.

Saturday, 27 September 2008

No, I won't be coming in on my day off with zero notice and on basic rate.

No, I won't be booking myself a taxi to come in, at my own expense, to 'help out' again.

No, I won't take responsibility for your failure to appropriately train and manage your staff.

I know this will surprise you because I've always helped you out in the past, but you can't do anything about it. So I'm off back to bed.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Query of the Week

I do genuinely try to sort out the customer queries that come up from our call centre, but sometimes customer idiocy knows no bounds. Particularly given that 90% of our customer are business professionals with qualifications that I can't even spell.

Thus did I goggle at the following over my morning brew today :

'Customer had £96,000.00 sent to him in March 2005. Can you write to him and confirm the account it was sent to, because he can't remember where he's put it.'

Waiting III

The next line is outside the prison gates. I'm rubbish at estimating height, but these things are higher than the second day of Woodstock.

The names are called again, and we are led through a smaller door inset in the main gate. And into a small building to join the next queue. This queue is for searches and photographing of male visitors. Once photographed, male visitors are issued a bar coded card which they must keep with them at all times during the visit. This is to prevent attempts at cunning identity swap escape schemes.

The three of us go in to be searched together. I'm surprised by how cursory it is. The officers carrying out the searches are pleasant and friendly.

Officer "Don't loose that card"
My Mate "I won't"
Officer " We accidentally scared a lad half to death last week. He couldn't find his card when it came to the end of the visit. So I told him we'd have to find him a cell overnight while we verified his identity. I was only joking, but he believed me. Took us ages to calm him down..."

And so we pass though the last door to the visit room. But it's not a room, it's a a place the size of two tennis courts, full of faces hoping their visitors have made it in.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Waiting II

I'm standing outside the visitors reception centre. We've been waiting for an hour, arriving long before the door will be opened, but that's the protocol.

The high green gate to my left shudders as a smaller gate set into it is opened. The officer walks to the front of the line and opens the door.

We're fifth in line - this is good. It means we'll be taken across to the prison in the first group, meaning we will get the full two hours of the visit. There's a rough depreciation - first group - no time lost, second group - 15 minutes lost, third group, 30 minutes lost and so on.

We follow the officer through the door and join the second queue. There isn't enough space, so everyone is crushed against a stranger. We get to the little window, hand in the Visiting Order and proceed to show our I.D. We are nodded on to wait in the holding area and use the lockers and toilets.

To pass the time while we wait to join the third queue, I begin to count the notices on the wall. I loose track at 44. A lot of them are addressed to prisoners - given that no-one serving will ever step in here, it seems that the dire warnings are just there to fill space.

It's coming up to 1pm, so we put bags, coats, hats, phones and so on into the locker. We are allowed to enter the prison only in indoor clothers and shoes, carrying only £5 in silver and the key to the locker.

The names of eight prisoners are shouted and there's a shuffle as people in different parts of the room stand, collect their kids. Then we all wait to join the next line.

Monday, 18 August 2008

Innerspace - part I

First off, call me daft, but this made me really quite sad: Pharmacists Defence Association

How have things got so bad that pharmacists have a union with a name like that? I know that unions are there to attempt to defend workers in all fields, but seriously, how under attack must they feel to need the word 'defence' as part of a name.

I'm aware that in recent years pharmacists have been pushed into taking on more and more duties, having consultation rooms on premises and so on - see The Welsh Pharmacist for a few cracking examples - but the name of the union says it all.

I had a capsule endoscopy last week. I think this is fantastic, non invasive relativley low risk test. But it's damn expensive, so my PCT view it as something of a last resort of all other methods have failed.

The first hiccup came with the instructions for the pre-test preperation regime. It would appear that a member of non-clinical staff has taken it upon themselves to amend this information.When I say 'amend' what I mean is 'balls-up'. Basic prep for any kind of internal camera is roughly breakfast the morning before test, light snack mid morning, clear fluids from midday and nil by mouth from midnight. It's a good job I know that, as the new leaflet advised me to have breakfast on the morning of the test and then go clear fluids during the test and nil by mouth after the test.

So I'm guessing there will have been a few people sent home recently, because good as the capsule technology is, it can't stand up to a full english.

So I turn up at the unit, get wired up and ingest the camera. So far so good. On checking with the nurse, she thinks that as I am off all meds, transit time should be fairly rapid, 6 to 8 hours.

So I settle down and wait.