I decided, on balance, that I probably did need a bit of further information, specifically when my appointment was rescheduled for. I tend to be a bit anal about these sorts of things, which is an interesting juxtaposition to my appointments which tend to be quite vaginial. (Yessss! back on the sex gags.)
Now commenters, dear, dear commenters who said things like: "They should have at least given you the next available date, meaning tomorrow!" and "Usually when doctor's need to reschedule, their little assistant person will be asking if you can come in the following Monday or something". I love you, I love your boundless optimism.
Allow me to explain how it works here: The National Health Service, as an institution, hasn't quite bought into the whole service industry culture of private institutions (I refer you to my earlier post). The NHS doesn't have customers, it has patients. And oh boy, do we have to be patient. I have every expectation I will just go straight back to the end of the queue and start again. But I don't want to give away the punch line, lets see what happened:
I phoned the number.
I heard a long dialling tone. Indicating the number didn't work.
I called the nurses (Eunice) I left an answer phone message.
I rang the operator, I explained the original number didn't work.
I was put through to another number, an automated message line.
- Dial one to speak to a secretary NOT about appointments
- Dial two for new appointments
- Dial three for follow up appointments
- Dial four to listen to a mechanical rendition of Greensleeves
- Dial five if you want Moldova to win the Eurovision Song contest
- Dial six if you have lost the will to live.
I called the operator. I explained what had happened.
The operators fiddled about with some knobs (or that is what I imagined him doing, pulling leads in and out of a big switchboard - I've seen the movies).
The operator told me they had transferred numbers through to the wrong phones which had caused an error. He told me he was getting somewhere.
I was put through to a number, the same automated message line. (Repeat as above).
I rang the nurses again. I spoke to someone (not Eunice). I explained that I couldn't get through the the correct line she told me the phone lines had been playing up. I resisted the urge to say "No shit". She tried to transfer me. She couldn't.
She took my number and said someone would call me back.
See, who says big institutions lack a sense of humour?
Eventually at four thirty today just for fun I tried the number again.
I spoke to someone. He wasn't what I expected, he sounded like his Friday night had already started.
I told him I'd had an appointment cancelled.
"Oh yeah, for IVF, innit?"
I concurred it was indeed. Apparently they'd had to cancel three days worth of appointments and:
"We're making it our priority to sort everything out. Don't worry about it we'll get in touch with you next week. But you know, call back on Monday if you want."
I might just do that.