|Image - Cátia Matos|
It's been a while since I've done a grumpy post. I suspect that since Covid - I am pretty happy to still be here breathing air.
If you would like to see previous grumps here are a few - Grump, Grumpy, Grumpier, Very Grumpy indeed
But there are still a few things that make me grumpy. Oh, yes,
Obvs. Not only is it annoying, anger inducing through no fault of our own (stupid hormones!) But it's the lack of support. I have been on a list since last November to see someone at the menopause clinic. I won't go into the gruesome details, just trust me - I need it. Grrr.
When I spoke to my doctor to chase it up. I got a message via my phone to call the hospital - I thought brilliant they are going to tell me I have an appointment. No. It was the number for the appointments people. My GP had not provided me with my referral number. I gave them my hospital and NHS number but they still struggled to find my special and very specific number which shows that I have been given permission to have said appointment, because my menopause is such a f**king issue.
Eventually, a very nice lady found the mysterious referral hiding somewhere in the darkest corner of her computer and told me that yes, it was there but there was about a sixteen month wait on appointments. Jokingly, (not joking and through gritted teeth) I said, my menopause will be over by then, but I understand, Covid, delays, blah. I know it's not this specific persons fault, so there is no point ranting at her (and she had been very kind and patient).
And yes, I have written to my MP. Yes I have had a non-personalised letter in return 'recognising my concerns' with the NHS. I love the NHS but when it comes to women's health - it just isn't prioritised.
My youngest daughter is in the midst of her GCSE's (only four to go! Whoop!).
She is the type of child that puts a lot of pressure on herself to do well - which is a blessing from a parents perspective because I don't spend half my life having the following conversation - 'Have you done your homework? No, well, when do you think you can do your homework? Maybe when you're working as a toilet cleaner/at Macdonalds (not part-time but full-time as your main job)/*on the dole, will be when you think again about your choices.' (Then spend an hour explaining what the dole is.)
Anyway, as per, I digress. Basically, like the NHS, schools are f**ked. The government has put stupid unreasonable guidelines in place which are all about admin, stats, scorecards and not about education.
The teachers are under pressure to reach their Ofsted scores to maintain a standard. I can only imagine their performance reviews. Nothing about how well they nurture and educate and more about how many kids in their class got a seven or above (a seven is an A). No wonder so many teachers are leaving the profession!
My point is they have to teach the kids how to pass exams, not how to understand what they are learning. Which is ridiculous AND they put massive pressure on them - The deputy head at my daughters school was telling the kids how few days they had left to prepare for their exams (I have personal beef with this fellow so I will say no more about him as most of the teachers are lovely).
Each teacher is expected to push their class in their subject to do better, work harder etc etc. As a result my daughter, and I am sure lots of other children are exhausted, emotional and practically out of any kind of juice. It's heartbreaking to watch. These are kids who started their adolescence in the Covid years. It's a lot for them to deal with.
I know I'm British, how very dare I. But yes.
It is such a waste of life, whether it's on the phone, (once you have played the 'How do I get a contact number from this website?' game, going through the FAQ's, looking in the small print, trying out the chat functionality, only to realise you are talking to a bot who doesn't understand basic questions) where you press through what feels like a hundred options and then get cut off, until you get wise to their naughty trickery and work out how to bypass all the automated answers to finally speak to a real human person.
By then, you are so relieved to actually be talking to someone you have lost your anger at the hour of your life that just went missing and sometimes even forget why your calling (especially if you are menopausal!).
I also spend quite a lot of time at the post office near me. Here there is Lovely Lady who is efficient, helpful and very nice and there is also Slow Man (not what I really call him). He speaks in grunts and head jerks - think Ork (or troll for the less geeky).
People, who are unfamiliar with postage, car tax, money orders, try to decipher what he is saying, whilst his face becomes all frown-y making them feel like the stupid ones. Subsequently, you can guarantee when he is working there is a massive queue. He just needs to be nice and explain things to people and everyone would be much happier.
So more humans on phones please, because websites can't account for every single eventuality which leads me onto security.
I get it, we need it, people are wily, we will get hacked, but sometimes you just want to put your forehead on your desk and go. NO. No, I don't want to authorise every single payment I make when I go shopping when the mobile data is hardly working. No, I don't want to put an OTP number in. No, I don't want to click on boxes showing buses to prove I'm not a robot - Wasn't the internet suppose to save us time?
The other day I had to validate my password for Ryan Air - I put the number they sent me in over and over again, it still wouldn't let me in. When I finally found their phone number after trying the bot - (which needed my password which it wouldn't accept because I couldn't log in) I was in a queue of 284 people. Not joking. I carried on sending for the number to validate as I waited - feeling my carpal tunnel screaming at me.
When I had reached number 92 in the queue - I got in. (YAY!) I suspect they had a glitch. BUT, instead of putting a message on their phone system and website to tell the poor humans stuck in the Matrix of Ryan Air's validation/phone system that they were working on it - they let us carry on like idiots wasting our lives.
It feels like no one cares about customers any more. And from someone who worked in the customer service industry they should - keeping us happy = £££ - But the bosses just want a fast buck.
Well, I think that's enough for one day - Only four grumps but they're corkers.
*OK - sorry to all the Macdonalds workers, I appreciate you and love your breakfasts - but I lay money you didn't put down that you wanted to work there at your school careers fair.
To all the people who clean toilets - please see above, but instead of breakfasts - love a clean public toilet - Thank you.
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