Not Helpful Service

Girl –  “Hello, Surgery?” (Went up at the end of the statement so it sounded like a question)

Me –  “Er, hi.  Is this the Medical Centre?”

Girl –  “Mmm hmm”.

Me –  “Oh hello, I’m calling because I need to register a new patient with you”.

Girl –  “Ok”.

(Awkward silence)

Me –  “Erm, it’s for my wife.  She’s American and she’s now resident in the UK, so the next step is to get her registered with a doctor in case she ever gets ill”.

(Long silence)

Girl –  “Right.  Ok.  She just needs to come in, fill in some forms and bring photo identification and proof of address; like a utility bill.  Ok?”

Me –  “Great, thanks.  But she’s from America and has only been here a month so she won’t have a utility bill in her name”. 

Girl –  “She lives in America?”

Me –  “No, she lives here now”.

Girl –  “Is she here, like, forever?”

Me –  “Well, certainly for the next three years”

Girl –  “So she isn’t leaving soon?”

Me –  “I certainly hope not!  Ha ha!”

(No reaction.  Nothing.  A tumbleweed rolls by)

Me –  “No, she has her visa now which means she’s a UK resident.  She just needs to be registered with a doctor and seeing as I’m registered with you, it makes sense she is too”.

Girl –  “Ok.  Well she just needs to come in to fill out some forms and we’ll sort it from there”.

Me –  “Great.  Now, she won’t have a utility bill in her name, but she did recently receive a letter confirming her National Insurance number which has her name and address on it.  Will that do?”

Girl –  “Her ‘what’ number?”

Me –  “Her National Insurance number”.

Girl –  “What’s that?”

(You’ve got to be joking!)

Me –  “It’s the number that is allocated to you so that contributions from your salary are made to the National Health Service for things like, you know, hospital treatment and DOCTORS.  That’s why I’m registering her now”.

Girl –  “Oh, right.  Ok.  So yeah, get her to come in”.

Me –  “Ok, but will that letter be enough or should I get her to bring in a utility bill with my name on it to prove the address?  Obviously we have the same surname”.

Girl –  “Er….let me just check”.

(Oh hold.  For ages)

Girl –  “Hello?”

Me –  “Hi”.

Girl –  “Does she hold a UK passport?”

Me –  “No, she’s American.  It’s an American passport”.

Girl –  “So it’s not a British one?”

Me –  “No”.

Girl –  “Oh right”.

Me –  “I mean, she’s here on a visa so she’s now resident in the UK, so it’s fine.  How do you usually register a patient?”

Girl –  “Er, I’m not sure; hold the line”.

(On hold again)

Girl –  “Hello?”

Me –  “Hi”.

Girl –  “Can I call you back?  I just need to check on this and call you back”.

Me –  “Sure”.

I’m convinced I’ve literally just had this conversation with a bored patient in the doctor’s waiting room who answered the phone because the receptionist was off somewhere having a colossal shit.

receptionist

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