Tuesday, 11 November 2008

A whole lot of complaints

Yesterday morning I fell out with the Jubilee Line. First of all there were the advertised 'minor dealys' which meant that three trains came and went before I was able to squeeze on one. I  eventually managed to get on a train and was quietly minding my own business listening to my iPod. This in itself would have appear to have been a mistake. It meant that I missed the announcement (if indeed there was one) at Westminster that the train would not be stopping at Green Park. So the train and I sailed on to Bond Street. Faulty communications equipment was the give excuse for the closure of Green Park. Not a disaster in the normal course of events, just a short walk South from there to my office. However, yesterday it was raining (quite enthusiastically). Superb. Wet and annoyed, what a way to start the day.

Things didn't get any better by the evening rush hour either. I arrived at Green Park to be assured of a good service on the Jubilee Line. Five minutes to wait until the first advertised train and thirteen minutes to the second advertised. The first train arrived and I decided to squeeze on as the next train eight minutes away wasn't likely to be any better. Nobody offered The Stick and I a seat - it didn't really matter, the train was so full it would have taken a special skill to fall over!

I finally arrived at North Greenwich to find that the whole of the tube and bus station had turned into a lethal skating rink due to the wet weather - let's face it, it doesn't take much for the bus station with its leaky roof! The 486 was already at the stop and still had an enormous queue - fortunately the 422 had pulled up behind it, so I decided to get on that. I then spent the next however long crawling through what was almost a traffic gridlock which seemed to have engulfed most of the peninsula. The only good thing was that the rain pretty much held of until I reached my front porch!

Today hasn't been much better. First of all I started suffering from my semi-occasional pain in the side. Every time I worry that I've appendicitis and every few months I go and see the doctor who tells me that it isn't. So, I decided to forgo the usual palava of trying to get through to the surgery on the dot of half past eight and cut the queue and go early. I'll get an appointment before nine for sure I thought. I was wrong. Ten o'clock was the earliest available (this was 10 minutes before the phones opened and five mintues after the doors opened). What do I have to do to get an early appointment I asked, as I'm already late for work. Oh, I was told, you can book a week in advance. I pointed out that a week ago I didn't know I'd need to see the Doctor this morning. Stupid system.

Eventually ten o'clock came (and went) and I saw the Doctor half an hour late. He poked (ouch) and prodded (ouch) and determined that it almost definitely probably surely wasn't appendictis. It obviously was 'something' and he determined I should go up to the hospital for a scan. I was told to present myself to Women's Services (what an awful name). I duly did (after the 486 on diversion attempted to take me off along Woolwich Common). The disinterested receptionist looked at my form and told me that althought the Doctor had written 'urgent' this in fact wasn't urgent but 'routine'. Seriously. Does someone want to buy the NHS a dictionary? Routine "regular course of procedure". Not for me. Urgent investigation required to establish the cause of ongoing pain and discomfort. Appointment set one month from now.

I then had to shchlep off to find where the 486 was leaving from as the road outside the hospital was closed. When are they going to be finished digging up the entire Borough?