Tag Archives: poor service

Pathetic Shambles

Julia went down to pick up some dressings for my leg. There were none, and the pharmacy denied all knowledge of them.

Rewind for a moment – a couple of posts ago I referred to having an argument and informing the GP’s reception that I considered their actions unacceptable.

It took me about half an hour on Friday and I left it that the pharmacy would order the dressings (if the doctor could be bothered to process the prescription) and have them ready for either Tuesday or Wednesday. I told them that I needed them for Tuesday, so it was urgent.

On Tuesday I queued, was told they had no dressings for me. Went to the nurse, who found some bandages in the back of a cupboard (GPs no longer carry stocks of dressings because they don’t want to pay for them out of their budget) and then went back to the pharmacy to queue again and listen to other people complaining about the service. I was given various excuses but told that they would be ready for me this afternoon.

And so Julia went down to pick them up (as mentioned in the first sentence). It took her two hours to sort it out. Yes, two hours.

There was no prescription, so I don’t know what we had discussed in the pharmacy the day before. Julia had to collect one from the GP. She took it to the pharmacy, queued, and discovered that it was addressed to another supply company (that’s the second time the doctor has done that, and unless you have the paper in your hand you can’t tell). Back to the doctor. Back to the pharmacy queue. They don’t stock them (which we had already discovered – they don’t stock any dressings due to space constraints) and they will have them tomorrow afternoon. I have an appointment for new dressings tomorrow morning but the surgery searched round and say they have enough in the cupboard to change the dressing.

Some of the dressings I have had over the last week have been pathetic. No wonder it isn’t healing. I could do better myself, but they won’t give me the name of the things I need. I am, however, going to search Amazon tonight as this is getting past a joke.

So, in case you got lost in the detail –

Pharmacy, pathetic shambles.

GP surgery, equally pathetic shambles.

The sad thing is that they are both staffed by people who are generally friendly and helpful, but trapped in some sort of system that encourages failure.

To give you some idea of what I do at work – I pack about 150 parcels a month and once every two or three months I get one wrong. Even if you say I only do 100 parcels and get one wrong every month the defect rate is 1%.

In the last eighteen months I have had about 40 interactions with the surgery and pharmacy. The surgery had let me down at least eight times and the pharmacy about the same. It’s a little difficult to remember as I don’t actually keep notes. Defect rate 40%.






Cup a Soup Chronicles III – Bachelor’s Oxtail

Cup a Soup Chronicles III (25.02.21)

Batchelor’s Oxtail – TESCO 79p for four sachets

That’s right, it’s 4p more than ASDA. If that was the only bad thing I had to say about TESCO it wouldn’t be too bad, but it isn’t. They rang this evening, at around 4.30 to tell me they had cancelled my delivery due to driver absences, but they would arrange for me to pick it up at the Click and Collect bay if I still wanted it. I have just come back from doing that, which is why  I am publishing another soup review so soon.

I sympathise with TESCO and their driver problems, but, to be blunt, that is their problem, not mine. They are a massive company and they should do better. If all else fails, send it by taxi. And don’t leave it some poor lad from Customer Services to ring me, make the duty manager at the store ring me. I think he’d have a different view of things if he needed to listen to the customers and their views about his store, which has now cancelled deliveries twice at short notice.

They have, to be fair, sent me a £10 voucher for my inconvenience, but part of that is a refund for the delivery that they didn’t make. They must think I’m stupid not to notice that half the voucher is just a refund.

Anyway, the soup…

It’s another variation on the theme of grey, this time with a hint of reddish brown.

Oxtail Soup and a free mug we were given by a local scrap merchant

It looks slightly chocolatey, but it has a pleasant spicy flavour, albeit with  a slight aftertaste of glue. However, I haven’t had oxtail soup from a can recently, so it’s possible I might detect that in a canned soup if I tried hard. There is a lot of cartilage in an ox tail, as I recall from when I have seen them offered for sale, and it’s quite likely there is a taste of glue from that.

There were some small songy bits left in the bottom of the cup when I finished – possibly bits of ox? Freeze-dried and reconstituted ox…hmm, lovely.

It was spicy, warming and not totally revolting, but if was having company to dinner I don’t think I’d select this as the soup course.

It looks quite healthy until the end


How many shades of grey?

I posted this in “Uncategorised”. I was going to post in “Food” but it didn’t seem appropriate.


Fun with ASDA

I ordered a red rose and a Valentine card from ASDA. They were in stock when I ordered last night. Now they are out of stock. I am in trouble. Could they not at least have substituted the card for another?

I ordered parsnips – they are sending diced carrot/swede. You can’t roast them quite the same and swede is a very different thing to parsnips.

I ordered Lemon Cheesecake, they are sending ES Pudding. I don’t even know what that is.

I ordered Stilton, they are sending St Agur. One is made within 30 miles of here, the other is made in France. One is the King of Cheeses, the other is French. I think you get my drift.

I ordered bake at home baguettes, they are sending sandwich thins. In other terms that is like ordering a shark and getting a goldfish. same family but completely different. I still haven’t forgiven them for sending gluten free baguettes last time. That’s like ordering bread and getting cotton wool. Exactly like ordering bread and getting cotton wool.

I ordered ASDA Indian tonic Water. They are sending ASDA Soda Water. They could send somebody else’s tonic water but that would cost them money. So they send me something I don’t want. I would rather pay extra for something I want, rather than be foisted off with something I don’t.

I ordered Jam Doughnuts. They are sending Custard Doughnuts. Custard? Are they mad. Apart from the fact they look like a bursting boil, does anyone over the age of six actually eat them?

The only acceptable substitution is the pasties and I’m not convinced about that.

I would love  a return to those carefree pre-Covid days when all you needed to do to get a week’s shopping was to walk round a shop with a trolley, brushing up against fellow shoppers and greeting neighbours as you walked down the aisles.

I decided to use the photo with the sunset that looks like the end of the world. If you can’t get Stilton Cheese it might as well be the apocalypse.



The GBBO final proceeded according to form. Laura spilt more stuff while Peter and Dave slugged it out for top honours. I won’t say more as it is not the most interesting thing for me to discuss if you haven’t seen it. And also because I’m worried I must be getting old as it’s becoming more interesting as the years go by.

I may be telling people who already know, but if you fancy doing something educational the Open University has a range of free courses available. I’m doing the “What is Poetry?” course in an attempt to educate myself. I have been reading articles for the last few months but decided that it might be good to do a proper course. It’s OK, but not really telling me anything I didn’t know. I’ll probably try a couple of poetry courses but after that it’s time to try the one about critical reading – which is something I do need to know more about. After that there are so many courses offered by so many Universities that the choice it almost endless.

Apart from that there’s nothing much to report. Poor service from the Royal Mail, poor service regarding prescriptions, and a missing parcel which was sent via courier. All stuff I could do without, all stuff that will take time to sort. I really do have better uses for my time.

I sent an article off to a poetry magazine last night (I’m starting to branch out) and found that the on-line form system that it uses  will only accept Word files – it won’t accept files from Apache Open Office. I am on a month’s free trial with Word, so was able to convert it, but it’s a problem for the future. Having decided that I’m going to refuse to pay £80 as year for Microsoft Office I don’t really want to go back to it days after deciding on the alternative.

Life is never simple…

And the title? I forgot to add a title, so the next thing I saw was that two people had liked 51842. At that point I guessed I’d ben in such a hurry to write that I’d forgotten the title again.


As One Door Opens Another Door Closes

I know it’s not the usual saying,but it sums up my situation. One of the problems I have to solve, which I have mentioned only in passing, is that Julia has booked electricians to come in next week and rewire the house. Most people would get it properly cleared first but we are doing it differently…

The only thing I can think of doing is to rent storage space, so I went down to the place where we have our storage locker, intending to change my card details for the existing payment (as my card was replaced recently) and to arrange for short term rental of more space. As they checked my name on the computer everyone started looking shifty and muttering.

It seems I haven’t paid my bill since the beginning of the year.

Fortunately, due to lockdown, they hadn’t got round to selling the contents.

My debit card was renewed by the bank in January and at that time the payments stopped. They sent letters but they were all returned. They were sending them to the PO Box number I used to use when I was in the antiques trade. I’m sure we changed that years ago when they said they needed street addresses for fraud prevention purposes. Even so, it’s not a difficult job to trace the street address, as the Post Office won’t conceal it if asked.

They have never asked me for an email address.

All their phone calls went unanswered. I checked in case they were using an old mobile number, but they were using the home number.

So, despite me informing them by phone that my card number had changed (as I have been doing for the last ten years), they have no record. Despite the fact that the Post Office still occasionally delivers letters via the Box Number, none of their many letters got through. Despite me being constantly at home in lockdown all of their calls seem to have coincided with one of the few times we left the house. We both left the house four or five times during those months – when we went to pick shopping orders up from the supermarket. The rest of the time I was at home apart from blood tests, and JUlia was always at home while I was away.

Instead of clearing the house I’m now engaged in collecting things to prove my ID – the contract was ended when I stopped paying so I have to sign a new contract, which involves providing ID despite the fact they know perfectly well who I am.

If I say “pathetic” I will leave you to add the other words, the volume and the exclamation mark.

So, as the bank provided me with brilliant service yesterday, the storage place took it all back with their pathetic service and a receptionist who was trained by the NHS in the 1980s when harridans were in fashion and customer service was something that the British didn’t really see as necessary.

Meanwhile, I am having to wonder what I did in my past that was so bad I deserve all this misfortune.

Are you getting photographs with my posts? I haven’t had any for a couple of days. They are there as thumbnails, but they don’t seem to be showing when I view the post.

Disappointment, Disillusionment and Despair

I started the day trying to improve my grasp of technology. It seems my phone can be used to download something called an “app” and i can use this to access the local surgery and order prescriptions. In practice, I can’t recall how to work my phone for anything that isn’t making a call or sending  a text. Julia tried on her phone and it is refusing to allow her to register. This, it seems from the feedback, is quite common and the NHS just gives you another link to follow.

Giving people links is quite common these days and solves nothing, though it does move the problem to someone else.

I ordered KFC last night, to augment our dwindling food stores, and was presented with a meal tat had been in a car for 50 minutes. I could have warmed it up and been forgiving, as they are very busy at the moment.

However, they missed out the coleslaw, corn and dipping sauces. That meant that instead of a meal, which Julia had requested as a treat to break the tedium of life in lockdown, we ended up with warm chicken and baked beans.

It took me twenty minutes to obtain a refund for the missing bits, even though I actually wanted the rest of the meal. Just Eat refused to contact the KFC branch, and said “I don’t understand where you’re coming from.” when I explained I didn’t want a paltry refund, I wanted the rest of the meal.

They advised me to leave a review for the restaurant so they would try to improve.

I wanted to ring the restaurant, but couldn’t find a phone number, so I emailed KFC. They told me to contact Just Eat for a refund, despite me telling them that I had done that. They ended “I hope this won’t put you off ordering from us again.”

I replied that it most definitely would put me off ordering again.


No eggs

We also tried to order a food delivery. ASDA and TESCO both had problems with their sites when we ordered and when it was sorted we found they don’t have any delivery slots. We never did get to the bottom of the ASDA order, but TESCO can’t deliver until mid-April.

So I went shopping.

The government tells us there is plenty of food. There is, as long as you don’t want eggs, milk, dried pasta, paracetamol, sliced bread, oatmeal, tinned tomatoes or other staples.


No sliced bread

The shelves are empty, the staff are lacklustre and the situation is clearly out of control.

I made some substitutions, bought cheese, and a supervisor was consulted about whether I could buy more than 2 carrots and 2 parsnips (there’s a two item rule now – too late) but they saw this was stupid so allowed me to buy six carrots and four parsnips. It’s hardly hoarding.

All the dried beans, pulses, grains and legumes are gone. Only five bags of buckwheat remained on that shelving section and I’d rather eat floor sweepings. We used to use buckwheat husk to line automatic nestboxes and the smell always reminds me of poultry sheds. It’s not an appetising association.


Buckwheat – no lentils, beans or peas

The cheap pestos and cooking sauces are all gone, and, as with so many things, only the expensive and the low fat versions remain.

And that, for posterity, are my observations on the day.


Expensive pesto

Where is all the bread? Where are all the eggs? The bakeries are still working and you can’t just shut a chicken off so there must be plenty about.

Finally – a New Internet Hub!

I’m now communicating with you via my new internet hub. It’s version 7.0. The one we just removed is version 2.0. This might be one reason we’ve been getting poor service.

It doesn’t seem to be any faster, despite some BT claims about speed, but I wasn’t actually expecting that. I’ll probably need a new computer for that. It should, however, be more reliable and, as we have sorted the bills out, it will actually be cheaper.

Everything was surprisingly easy to connect. Two connectors for the back of the hub, one button to press and a code to put into the computer. Only the three months of hassle that preceded these actions provided any difficulty.

It’s amazing how useless some companies can be whilst staying in business. And at this point I will make my normal comment – BT may be unbelievably bad but Virgin are far worse. Far, far worse.

I’m very tempted to write to BT and complain.


Being British, and Spending a Penny

It rained all night, drying up in time to drive to work. I then returned home to collect a parcel for delivery in Newark and arrived at Newark Market just as the thunder claps started. After that rain stopped it became quite hot, I took my coat off, and the sky clouded over again. I left before the dark grey sky could fulfil its threat. On the way home the weather was remarkably pleasant, actually being sunny and hot.

Weather talk is typically British, I admit. I will therefore move onto something typically middle-aged.

I needed the toilet when I arrived in Newark. The one nearest the car park has been closed for some years now, as part of the “improvements” to the town centre. However, I knew there were toilets in the Town Hall (which is also home to the museum and a half-derelict shopping centre). Problem solved, you would think. But no, those are closed too – only one “Accessible” toilet remains, and that wasn’t accessible because you need a RADAR key.

Now, I’m not disabled, but I’m not very mobile either. That means that although I’m not ready to admit to needing a RADAR key, it’s not very easy to climb the stairs in the pub next door. Anyway, I have a conscience about using pub toilets if I’m not using the pub.

Enquiries revealed that there are toilets round the back  of the shopping centre, not far from where I started. If I’d looked to my right instead of walking straight on as I left the car park I may have seen the grey-coloured sign suspended high on a wall. Even when you are close you can’t see it very well.

You then have to insert 20p, in 5,10 or 20p coins. I only had a 50p so had to ask a passer-by for change because they have a sign telling you they don’t give change. Twenty pence – that’s 48 times what it used to cost when I was a lad and “spending a penny” was a term you used to hear.

Two attendents were chatting in a cubbyhole, though one had gone by the time I emerged – some evidence that the rate-payer’s cash isn’t being totally wasted. Neither looked like this was the job of their dreams.

Newark markets itself as a tourist destination – based on today’s experience they have some way to go, which is sad as they’ve been doing it longer than I can remember (by which I mean around 30 years) and show no evidence of even getting the basics right.

In typical British fashion I made my feelings known be emitting a low-pitched but definite “humph!” as I left.

I am seriously thinking of writing a stiff letter to the council.