I carry an annoying thing called a pager, so everyone and the hospital swtichboard can access me any time they like, they also have my mobile and home phone numbers. If you want to speak to me you simply phone the hospital and say “Page KBW” and I will answer the phone minutes later. In contrast to this, if I want to speak to a GP I must first phone the practice, which goes like this:
“Thank you for phoning Marychapel Medical Centre, you are third in the queue, please hold and we will answer your call as soon as we are able” this goes on for some time. Then I am predictably, second in the queue, then first in the queue, until….”You are through to Marychapel Medical Centre, if you require a repeat prescription press 1, if you require the practice nurse press 2, if you require a home visit press 3, if you wish to speak to the receptionist about an appointment today press 4, for all other enquiries please hang up and phone this number 07798856864235984″ At this point I discover I have misplaced my pen, so am not able to do that. I repeat the whole scenario, this time I am sixth in the queue.
Finally, I get through to the correct number and the correct receptionist, now I must prove I am important enough to be allowed to speak to “Doctor” as they call the GP (never “the doctor”, just “Doctor”), I am almost never allowed to trouble Doctor and getting arsey from the outset is the only way forward; “This is Miss Marvellous Pants the Surgeon calling from the Big Fancy Hospital. I am phoning about a very important matter, I must speak with the doctor today about a mutual patient of ours”. This approach seems to work moderately well.
Invariably though, I have to leave a message for the GP and they ring me back at their convenience, usually the next day and say “I didn’t get your message until after 5pm yesterday so I knew there was no point phoning you back so late” which prompts me to say (because I cannot resist the bait) “As a matter of fact I am always in the hospital until at least 6.30pm”. And then they snort, amused and delighted that surgeons are still such easily wound up twats.