Service (less)

What do doctors, dentists, tradesmen, and utility technicians all have in common? That’s right, none of them either owns or can effectively operate, a watch.

If you go to the doctor, even if you are the third appointment for the day, the doctor will be running late. Why? Was there an emergency? Was there a person before you in need of the kiss of life? Was the doctor up to the elbows in someone’s chest, after a terrible accident involving a circular saw and a banana peel?  Ummm, no.

I had a doctors’ visit recently, and against all the odds, managed to book his first appointment of the day. Oh yeah, baby, I was going to march in there, see him, and march out triumphantly. I might have even lingered a bit, just to make sure the second appointment was a bit late. Terrible, I know, but when you get the first consultation of the day, it’s important to make the most of it, because the chances of it happening again, are statistically zero.

So in I marched for my 9:30am appointment – hard workers these doctors, mid morning starts must take a terrible toll on the family. But anyway, I didn’t bother to look for a seat, because I was number 1 in the queue.

I should have. The doctor wandered in like a lost cow, 20 minutes after the arranged time. If he had arrived covered in the blood of a saved life, I’d be fine. If he had come in, and handed me a medical journal detailing his long and successful nights spent perfecting his new cure for hair loss, I’d be fine. Instead, he was sipping on a latte, as if he was 20 minutes early and had plenty of time to check the newspaper for any decent yachts for sale.

If the cable TV goes down and a repairman is needed, stand by to be put on hold for 1 full day, and when you get through to the person in Mumbai, be prepared for this:

“Yes sir, how may help?”

“My cable TV doesn’t work.”

“Oh how awful, we will send someone out to fix it.”

“That would be great, thanks.”

“How does next March sound? Say the 29th? We will be there sometime between the hours of 6am and 10pm.”

Let me assure you, the man will not be there at 6am. Nor will he be there at 6pm. He will wander through the door at 10:30pm, without, obviously, the right equipment, nor tools, to fix the problem.

Is it bad time management? Or do these people just try and jam as many people in as they can, knowing the consumer, regardless of it being medical products, or plumbing needs, will dutifully wait?

I could just revolt, and refuse to be treated like a second-class citizen. In fact, the next time I ring the cable company, and they give me a 3 day window, the next time I need the doctor, the next time I have a problem with a light switch, I’ll tell them: I want immediate service, and if not, they can go and get stuffed.

And there I will be, sitting in the dark, watching “I Love Lucy” reruns on free to air, with a dangling limb covered in banana peel. They have my measure.

About Tim

I'm an expat dad, living in Hong Kong. Being a parent, especially a dad, is simply fraught with danger. Mums seem to have this built-in radar for trouble and danger - I do not. http://beingdadinasia.com - all about my life, being dad. http://achipofftheoldblog - all about the funny and strange things I see. View all posts by Tim

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