RHYS: I hope I'm allowed a Saturday gripe occasionally. Maybe I'm feeling a tad crabby because I've been trying to get work done with one hand that still won't rotate to face the keyboard properly. But also because I've had a couple of encounters with doctor's offices and labs in the past week.
When it was twenty minutes past my appointment I asked the receptionist if I had been forgotten. "No, he'll get to you," she replied off handedly. When I saw the doctor he asked if I'd been fasting for a blood test. "Nobody mentioned a blood test," I said. He checked the records and I was right. "Never mind, come back tomorrow," he said merrily.
So I left in not the best of moods. It is my time that's being squandered and you know what? I'm the consumer. Nobody is doing me a favor by trying to fit me in to an appointment. I am paying for the doctor's time.
We now live in a society that is so equal and pc that we don't want to offend anybody. So if the plumber is late and leaves marks on our white carpet we say nothing, scared that he'll walk out and leave us with a clogged toilet until we find another plumber who will charge a hundred dollars an hour and grace us with his time when he feels like it.
Same with airlines. We are spoken to like naughty children when we are paying the wages of those counter staff and cabin crews. I once pointed out to a flight attendant that she would be out of a job if I didn't fly and the rest of the passengers didn't fly and the only reason she was on the plane was to make me feel happy and secure.
Now that jobs are hard to come by, maybe we can speak out a little more. If I don't show up for a doctor's appointment, they bill me for the no-show. If they keep me waiting half an hour, there should be a way for me to deduct money for my lost time. If the plane is late because one of the crew members hasn't shown up, ditto. If the plumber is late, he should be told "don't bother."
It is time for CONSUMERS UNITE. Okay? Only I don't want to be the first one to tell a six foot five, four hundred pound man with stubble and a butt crack,wielding a wrench, that his services are no longer required.