During 1941 Adolf Hitler considered crossing the channel and invading the UK. Operation Sea Lion was prepared. He had not succeeded with the Luftwaffe attacks in the 'Battle of Britain,' he was very wary of the Royal Navy that patrolled the coast, and was well aware of the defences onshore. Pill boxes, barbed wire, anti-landing craft devices, and pools of oil deliberately set alight awaited his men. However, on noticing a long line of desks spaced out along each beachead he understood that the landing could not go ahead. On each desk was placed a formidable Doctor's Receptionist, and the head of Germany realised nothing he possessed could get past one of those!
Today, I attempted to get past one of those.
At the end of the queue, attended late morning when the crowd had dispersed.
One by one patients were slapped down into place.
Eventually I got to the window.
I say window because under Covid we stand outside in all weathers and talk though a window to the Stasi representitive inside. No consideration given regarding the weather.
I enquired about the 'Shingles Jab' on offer to those pver er, 32, and also regarding seeing the nurse. I was given a time, exact time, that afternoon for the jab and my questions ignored. Regarding the nurse I was told "Phone up at 8 am in the morning to book." The fact that 50 others will be doing the same was not emphasised!
So I may be back at the window tomorrow before I am awake.
Not long before ten minutes to three I was back at the window, waiting.
Someone was taking a while, a woman looked at me and her eyes over her mask indicated a sense of despair, he was taking a long time at the window. Eventually he went, the next woman wasted my time as we despaired on the queue.
I was saved by the Stasi asking if anyone had an appointment.
"ME!" I almost cried, and I jumped the queue.
"Indoors, use hand stuff, Waiting Room 'B.'" ordered the Gauleiter.
Off I trot. The locked door is unlocked and I enter sloshing my hands in the magic liquid.
I find 'waiting room 'B.'' and wait.
I wait again.
A nurse looks out from a door and asks why I am there, she walks down corridor, returns, says nothing and goes away.
A nurse comes up said corridor and passes by.
Sounds from corridor of talking and laughter.
Eventually a woman of certain age comes out, and leaves by the outside door, the nurse turns and looks through me.
My options are considered, however, just then the screen on the wall demands that no violence if offered to clinical staff. This, it claims, is not right.
Another, different, nurse appears from the corridor and ignores me.
A man enters, sits himself down without noticing me.
Such attitudes are not uncommon here these days. I blame the London overspill.
I continue waiting muttering about how busy NHS staff are and being happy to take my place and wait while more important people go before me.
Shortly afterwards the first nurse reappears, calls the new man and he enters her door.
I wait, muttering about being first.
An er, chubby nurse appears, ignores me, goes to fridge and removes what to me looks like the injection I am awaiting.
Hope is kindled.
She passes me by and says nothing.
I wait again.
I have been stood standing here, all this time. I did not wish to sit and be forced up quickly. Pah!
Then, glory be! Chubby calls my name indistinctly. I rush to her room.
She is pleasant. competent, asks all the right questions, by reading them of the screen I noticed, and talks amiably. She prepares the needle, injects cheerfully, and throws me out by another door, happily informing me that it is raining.
Take away the wait and we have a smart, efficient system. A good practice, well run, with good staff.
Oh yes, and the Stasi at the desk!
I may be back tomorrow to see the nurse...