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delirium happy

Just keep on trying till you run out of cake

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Incompetence abounds
delirium pissed off
Here is what I had planned to do today:

Go out, go to the post office and post a parcel, then go to my GP's surgery to pick up the blood test results I was told would be available from today, and then go to WHSmith to try to find something worthwhile to buy on the obligatory gift cards I got given for Christmas.

I will now have a brief, informal poll. When attempting to do this, did everything go entirely to plan with everyone I spoke to saying "why certainly ma'am, that's not a problem", or did I arrive home with gritted teeth, the word "farce" in my head, and an almost irrepressible desire to kick things?

Congratulations to those of you who plumped for option 2; you're spot on.

Well, OK, I'm exaggerating just ever so slightly, but it was still frustrating. The Post Office, surprisingly, seemed to be competent today. I say "seemed" because one never really knows until the parcel actually arrives at the other end. (alsatia, I sent you the Angel DVDs I'd been saying I would do for ages, to your campus address; if it never arrives then we know the Post Office sucks too.)

Then onto the doctor's. This started off entirely inauspiciously with the receptionist who was convinced that I didn't know my own name, and checked if I really meant that about 4 or 5 times. Yes, I'm well aware that I look like a bloke, and I'm well aware that traditionally "Rachel" is not a bloke's name, but really. Honestly. I do know my own name, thank you very much. Having got over that particular hurdle, she started reading out my blood tests to me. Naturally, I point out that I actually need to get a copy of them, and was told that wouldn't be a problem. Equally naturally, she can't possibly do that because it isn't written down that I was meant to get a copy of them. Argh. After a bit of to-ing and fro-ing, she put a request into the system for some doctor (though not the one I actually see, of course, since he's away) to say "yes, she can get a copy of her own results" and the they'd ring me some time either today or tomorrow and I could come back in and get them then. Now as it happens I don't actually have anything better to do than sit around waiting for a phone call, but that's hardly the point now, is it? If I don't have them in my hand by tomorrow evening I will be kicking up an almighty fuss.

Then onto WHSmith. I never generally shop there, because their selection of everything is completely pants. In fact, as well as this year's obligatory gift cards, I still had some money left from last year's Christmas as well. I figured I'd just go in and buy anything that seemed even halfway worthwhile, on the grounds that anything I bought would have to be really unbelievably bad to be less useful than a small piece of plastic. In the end, I managed to find 4 DVDs that I had any interest in: 2001: A Space Odyssey, V for Vendetta, X-men 3 and Pirates of the Caribbean 2. Still only enough to eat half of the balance of all the cards I had, but a start, none the less. Of course, when I wet to actually buy them, it wasn't that simple. The guy at the checkout goes rummaging around in the back, replacing the show DVD boxes I brought him with the ones from behind the counter that actually had DVDs in them. After a while he comes out and says that he can't find "this one" and that it must be out of stock and out on display by mistake. This is fine, of course; these things happen. It might have been nice, though, if he'd actually thought to show me which one it was that he couldn't find before I asked him (2001, as it happens). There's also the fact that exactly the same thing happened last time I went into that shop a month or so ago. This means that on recent attempts to purchase things from there, they now have only a 60% success rate of things on display being in stock. Quite.

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Smiths sell booooooooks. Of course they only ever have bad books in stock when I am there, but they can order good books, or usefull books or whatever...

The problem is that I'm lazy. And that I make impulse purchases. The two problems are that I'm lazy, make impulse purchases, and am impatient. The three problems are that I'm lazy, make impulse purchases, am impatient and am an antisocial git. The four problems are that I'm lazy, make impulse purchases and am impatient, am an antisocial git and overquote monty python. The – you get the idea.

Ah yes, these problems would not help with buying things in Smith's. Which is not a very good book (or DVD) shop atall really.

Okay, that's just pants. Even my shit-as-fuck doctors let the receptionists print out test results for patients. Ye gods.

What's even worse is that when I saw my GP I specifically said that I needed a hard copy of the results, and he specifically said that he'd make a note of that. So either he fucked that up or the receptionist was just grossly incompetent. And that's on top of the general pantsness of not giving me my own sodding blood test results without the appropriate paperwork being filed. Furrfu.

I'd argue the receptionists fucked up rather than the doctor. In all honesty, it's YOUR personal info, you have a right to a copy of it.

I wonder if it's something to do with percieved appearance. They'd obviously decided you were weird (twats, the lot of them), so probably decided to be distinctly unhelpful. On the other hand, I have the ability to appear cute and innocent, so they generally have no problem bending to my will.

On reflection, this is very annoying as a) they're evidently percieving me as a cute, ickle, helpless girl *stab*, and b) it really shouldn't fucking matter - they should be treating patients equally.

If I had to choose between "receptionist fucked up" and "doctor fucked up" then I'd probably go with the former, yes, given that my doctor has generally managed to be fairly competent on the times I've seen him. However, I'm open minded, and am perfectly open to the possibility of pretty much anyone fucking up royally.

You're quite possibly right in your assessment of things as well, in which case I'd be doubly annoyed. And you know what? I wouldn't have minded at all if they'd asked me if I had any ID or anything on me or something like that. I'm not so bloody stupid that I expect everyone to just magically be knowledgeable and aware of trans issues, and if they're concerned that I am who I say I am, then it's not an unreasonable precaution. But clearly, no, that would be far far too sensible.

Seriously, though, if I don't get it tomorrow, then I'm going to be kicking up an almighty stink. I'm not sure how bad it will be if I don't get it before my appointment in London next Tuesday. Best case scenario is a week or so delay in getting my treatment, and a 10 quid charge for having a prescription sent out to me by post. Worst case scenario is having to make another appointment, come back in a month, pay 100 quid for the next appointment and whatever extortionate amount of money a train ticket down to London costs these days. If it does come down to that last I will be absolutely seething. Hopefully it won't though.

And the ironic thing is that I actually rang up for the appointment with my GP well before Christmas, but because I know that Christmas and New Year is a busy period for doctors, I said that it wasn't urgent and it could wait until after new year. Which should have left plenty of time to get things sorted before I go to London. And now they're fucking me around, and I'm starting to worry that I might not get it in time.

The rho is not a happy bunny about this.

I'm not usually one to blame computer systems when there are perfectly good incompetent humans in the equation, but I make a special exception for government IT projects. My GP is generally lovely, the receptionists are mostly harmless, but the sheer number of computer-related cockups I've had while at their (admittedly fairy far along the technology curve) surgery would be mindboggling to anyone who didn't understand how government IT projects work.

Highlights include:
  • Disappearing repeat prescriptions. Two and a half times.

  • The enter-your-gender-and-DOB-then-confirm-who-you-are touchscreen that tells the system you've arrived, thus freeing the receptionists to actually answer the phone and things, doesn't believe that I exist. I've tried various permutations, and checked the DOB they have on record, but no.

  • Being generally obsessed with my asthma, and not letting me get on with whatever I made the appointment for until its thirst for data has been satisfied. This is probably a feature.
  • It thinks I've had my gall bladder removed twice. On the same day.

  • Vanishing and then reappearing blood test results.

  • The web-based appointment booking system with the insane password requirements working flawlessly. This is deeply unnerving.

Nedless to say, I approach this whith a healthy level of cynicism befitting of a computer scientist. Unfortunately I keep getting told off by my GP for anthropomorphising the computer, even after explaining that they don't like it.

So yeah...

Post Office apparently doesn't suck. At least, yours doesn't. Got the DVDs today! Mom mailed me something on the 8th, from a couple hundred miles away, and it's still not here.

Eeee, thank you!

Oooh. That's pretty impressive, really.

I was curious and looked up (via here and here) how far this package has travelled, and it's 3822 miles between us.

Anyway. I'm glad it got there OK, and I hope you enjoy it.

I recall sending a package to...Gem, I think...that arrived in something insane like 2 days. Either Gem or Emma, and I'm not insane enough to try to find reference to it in my journal archives.

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