I was fortunate enough to have a nice holiday in Barbados in January, courtesy of my father-in-law, who had just turned 60.
I had a great time, but near the end of the holiday, I had a swim in the sea and got some water in my ears. Now normally it clears out after a while, but for some reason, I am still getting the feeling of trapped water. Worse than that, I started getting muffled hearing during the weak, while I was teaching a class.
So I decided I would go and use the NHS walk in centre, to see if they could give my ears a quick check. I wish I hadn't bothered.
1) Like most hospitals now, I had to pay to park there. The joys of paying immense taxation, only to be charged again when you get there can't not be described in words.
2) Saturday morning seemed to be a bad time to go. Because work gets in the way for a number of us still and the GPs no longer bother to open on Saturday, there was a room full of people ahead of me. Times that joy of having to pay by two, as I had to wait there 2.5 hours and pay more for the parking.
3) While waiting with all the other happy punters, I looked at the materials on the walls. Huge amounts of offers of help and groups, for anyone other than someone like me. I think if you are a British, white male, who actually works, you are seen as full on scum by our government and their dependents. I find this strange, seeing people like me heavily bankroll this "wonderful" service.
4) It could have been worse, I could have been a smoker. Smokers have the joy at seeing signs all over the place telling them how evil they are. To add insult to the injury of having to wait 2 hours, is the fact that not only is smoking banned inside (fair enough), but that you aren't even allowed to smoke withing the grounds. Truly you have been deemed a subclass of species, who deserve no pity.
5) Finally my 2.5 hours were up and I get to see a nurse. A grumpy nurse, whose face would shatter if she tried to smile. "Hi" I said, to be greeted with not even a grunt. You can tell when someone really doesn't give a fuck what the customer thinks, when they know they are getting paid no matter what.
6)She pulled out the ear scope thing and looked in the ear that was giving me the most grief. Oh yes, there is some crud in there. I was almost relieved, as that sounded fixable to me. Then she checked the other ear and declared it perfect. Then she said that when she said crud, she meant a little bit of something, but not wax and that it shouldn't be causing me any problems. "Well it is" I said, "I don't make a habit of coming to such pleasant establishments unless I have to".
Well you had better make and appointment with a doctor then.
Magic. What a total waste of time, effort and money (on my behalf). I have to wonder if I could choose the service provider myself, whether the "service" might be just that little bit better. I think it couldn't be any worse.