Monday, 5 March 2012

Following the rules.

Working as I do in the NHS you'd think that stupid rules and the kind of stupid people required to follow them would crop up more often but it doesn't really, which is disappointing. I mean to say, who doesn't enjoy a good old rant at some stupid directive thought up by an equally stupid person for other stupid people to cling onto in the face of opposing good sense and just not being a total fucking numpty about things.

I only had one story to relate but I've just remembered another, lucky you.

I work in a large open plan office, parking is crap, there are never any spaces left or, I should say there are never any designated spaces left. This is an important point in fact, the term 'designated'. You see, that word is invaluable to the kind of people who enjoy making and/or enforcing intensely moronic rules. For example, there are showers in all four corner toilet block thingies in our office (its square, so we have four on each floor) only not all showers are actually showers. There is a cubicle and an electric shower, in fact all the accoutrement one requires to have a shower (bring your own towel and Vosene though.)  Some time ago, I decided I'd cycle into work (a trend that lasted as long as it took for me to realise what a shit idea it was.) I'd arrive, clock in (a bit cheeky) then go and have a quick shower. They were always busy, people here like cycling (the lunatics,) so I asked 'Facilities' why I couldn't use the shower in some of the other toilet block thingies, (some didn't have a shower hose and head.) The reply I got was thus: 'It's not a designated shower.' Well what the fuck is it then, it looks like a shower to me, what possible reason other than this arbitrary 'designation' could there be for not having it as a shower, especially given that it is a fucking shower cubicle with everything required except the hose and head.

No other answer was forth coming, not even a lame attempt at some health and safety issue, like we can't run all the showers at once because the combined force of all power showers running means the building would take off, or something. It just wasn't a designated shower.

Anyway, I digress. What was I talking about? Parking. Or rather designated parking, I arrive at 9:55am (flexi-time: its a fantastic thing) and see no parking spaces, indeed I can see ahead some jammy sod just got one, which is odd given there aren't usually any at all. I watch with envious eyes as he exits his gleamingly polished Rover 75 (a shit car, lets be honest.) Meanwhile I switch on the four wheel drive and park the car in some bushes. I can see him now standing at the corner of the building with a look on his face that was either a) awe at my inventiveness or b) horror at my total parking rebellion. Can you guess which one it was? Of course it was b, the latter, he was horrified. Even although I wasn't blocking anyone in, nor blocking the road his mouth as a distended O of aghast shock and surprise, and no; I'm not exagerating. (Well maybe a wee bit.)

I think to myself, who cares but, he produces a pen and note pad and proceeds to write down my license number while I'm walking towards him. We've made eye contact, he knows that I know what he's doing and I know that he knows, indeed we both know everything about our actions and motives. I'd parked in a rather adventurous manner and he didn't approve, even although its not his job to monitor the car park (he's a web design twat) but he's going to daub me in anyway. Seriously, what total fanny.

Later on in the afternoon sure enough an email arrives from 'Facilities', they who designate what is to be a 'designated' thing. "You have parked in an undesignated space, please move your car immediately to a designated space." I decide to ignore it.

Later on though I do go out with a friend (my fake girlfriend in fact.) We'd hatched a plan (well I had,) since I saw him park up and knew what kind of car he drove (the shitty old Rover 75, I mean who drives those shitbuckets anyway?) We thought, wouldn't it be funny if there was a space next to his carefully parked and polished turd- I mean car. And do you know? There was. On the drivers side and everything, needless to say, I parked my car about a millimetre from his drivers-side wing mirror (and no, I don't care if my car gets scuffed or dented but he clearly did.) I leaned out and asked my 'girlfriend' (who later denied any involvement) if I was close enough, she shook her head.

Now I don't like to think of myself as a petty person although it is possible that I am, I don't do this often but when I do, I take even more pleasure in not being there when the trap (such as it is) is sprung, its enough for me that I know. I left the office a good deal later and his car was gone, mine was untouched and I knew then he would've had to have climbed over his pristine upholstery to get into the drivers seat.

It gave me pleasure, although I appreciate both our actions could be classed as petty but, and this is the main thing: I won.

Anyway, that wasn't what generated today's vomiting of words. I'm involved in a large youth organisation (only one person reads this so you know that given you're also in that organisation.) I had to fill out a PVG form (its stands for Protecting Vulnerable Groups, which is interesting because the kids don't have to fill one out and they frequently turn the leader team into a vulnerable group.) I've been involved for years, almost twenty as it happens, I did fill a similar form out years ago but since then haven't bothered, none of the kids have been that attractive... I'm joking, no seriously. The point is, its an invaluable tool (so to speak) in ensuring we don't get any pedo's on the team. I sent it away but got an email saying I'd need to show a fellow leader three forms of identification. Understand, my beef is not with the system per se because if I was a new person, the fellow leader wouldn't know me from Adam, however, I've been there for twenty fucking years! He insisted he'd need to follow the rules, I'd need to show him the ID. 'But its me!' I said, 'You've known me for 15 years! I couldn't live in such deep cover for that length of time masquerading as a fucking Scout leader and hiding my secret life as a kebab shop proprietor at the weekend' (bare with me, I look a bit swarthy and foreign.) To no avail, he went on to say, his own son, now grown up and helping out occasionally also had to show him three type of ID.

Yes, you read that right: he ID'd his own son! There's only one word for it: Absurd.

Now I know we're supposed to take this seriously, 'what about the cheeeeeeldren' etc. But this is flawed, if I was a new volunteer it would be eminently practical but I'm not, I've been volunteering for years, if anything its dangerous because at this stage my identity is not in question so there's no point in an ID check (my criminal record is another thing entirely,*) I mean If I felt someone up (which I bloody haven't by the way) 21 years ago and had been living in deep cover as someone else ever since keeping my hands to myself... Its just too far fetched and totally pointless. Its dangerous because if there was any sort of collusion amongst leaders (God forbid) this is a massive hole in the system, dirty leaders could give the OK for other dirty leaders.

Beyond that, the other leader ID'd his own son.

Its just stupid. What I'm going to do is take my forms of ID to the area secretary (who looks after such things) because she doesn't know me, it just seems more sensible and redolent of an activity that has a point.

I think that might have been three instead of the promised two points I wished to get across. A three for two deal, not bad value really, if you ignore the content...

* I should say I have no criminal record, I mean to say I'm the first person to admit I'm not a great role model for the young people who come along of an evening but to date, I've managed to not shag any of them. If I'm being honest, it's not been much of a challenge to contain myself on account of how ugly they all are... There, I'm joking again...

Reading that last paragraph back, I hesitate to click on the 'PUBLISH POST' button, under this window...

Ah dear, the register beckons...

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Yes doctor.

Apologies to my one constant reader, I haven't been able to do any writing for the past few weeks due to being busy managing my elderly parents medical careers. Not as in their careers in the medical profession, more their careers with those in the medical profession. It is the latter about which I'm posting this, they range from being a bit crap up to really good but all the way down to utterly crap. These people might know their stuff but when it comes to knowing their patients, well sometimes, they are as keen on that as they are on speaking to relatives of patients.

I've been through it before with my Dad, his liver failed almost three years. So started the process of cultivating his consultant (who favoured bow ties over ordinary ties) and was something of a dandy who enjoyed delivering a lecture more than information. He was (and is) ok I suppose. Now its my Mother's turn, she has 'something like' Parkinson's syndrome, no idea what 'something like' means, probably a medical terms for 'we don't know' which is actually startling honest given some of the other bullshit they come out with. Her consultant was actually quite good (after being mildly perturbed at being contacted directly, an advantage of also working, as I do, in the NHS.) The most notable thing about this consultant (Neurology) was if you closed your eyes and just listened to his voice, it was like being in a room with William Hague, they sounded exactly the same.

Recently my Mum had some surgery done, this meant a new medical animal was being introduced: A Surgeon. Surgeons are the elite, regarded in the industry not just as medical professionals but as artists in their trade. Our surgeon was basically a very handsome, dashing and erudite man who we think was either Greek or Maltese, my Mum took an immediate shine to him, rich wavy hair, a dynamic disposition and a aura that inspired confidence. Personally, he reminded me of an ageing Greek gigolo. Not that I have any experience in such things, I should say, he represented what I thought would be an ageing Greek gigolo... Or an owner of a string of kebab boutiques (in which he'd never worked.)

I recently met my Mother's new consultant, I also contacted her directly, an action for which she had nothing but disdain (to which my reaction was disdain, I don't give a fuck about her delicate sensibilities on communications.) I mean to say, you'd think I'd sent the email with an actual attachment of dog shit, such was her horror at having to actually speak to a patient's next of kin. She advised that in future I should probably use the normal method of communication in future, I'm happy to do this but, if an answer to any future query is anything other than forthcoming (sometimes they don't even bother replying) and done with acceptable haste, then fine. If not (as in, if it takes more than 48 hours and they're not on holiday,) they should expect more dog shit attachments, oh, and I also have your direct telephone number, something which patients and god forbid, relatives of patients should never be given on pain of death. Suffice to say, I fear my relationship with this new consultant is going to be rocky.

On the other side you have the social work side of things, if you want to get care for elderly parents, your GP will make a referral to Social Work. It sounds quite innocent, we needed carers so social work come in and have a look around, see if you need any handles on the wall next to the toilet or bath etc. I'm in something of an unenviable situation, my family is somewhat defunct. Not wishing to go into details, my Dad drank himself in to serious illness and hospital and does more harm than good (another post in and of itself,) my brother has mental health issues (undiagnosed,) symptoms of which are not limited to blaming all shortcomings in his life on others but mostly me (for which I am the recipient of frequent death threats, which if I'm being honest, is a bit melodramatic.) And my Mum, who has never hurt a fly in her life, never drank or cursed; an innocent in it all but still afflicted with what now turns our to be a form of Dementia, a not unexpected side effect of her (something like) Parkinson's Syndrome.

Social Work know all this and are acting typically. Not that I blame them but they seem more interested in satisfying regulations than this real life situation. I held them back from chucking my angry brother out of the house (although at age 40, you'd think he'd be away by now.) But I can't any more, Mum needs her house back, Social Work (with the glint of the fanatic in their collective eye) say she can't go home if her other son is resident. I never did disagree, its just that having him there was the best of two really shit situations. That has changed though, I'm not (or can no longer hold them back.) They're going in now and I'll expect fireworks (or a knife in the back.)

All that said and its all quite challenging, I've live in Leith (not the bit they gentrified,) Sitehill (which never was gentrified in the first place) and Pilrig (which was, is and will continue to be a shithole.) I know how to watch my back and medical professionals, not wishing to intimidate, should also bare that in mind.

If all else fails, I have pedigree chum and know things about foxes.

(If any of you, or should I say just you, ever find yourself dealing with medical professionals sans satisfaction, let me know, I might be able to help having as I do experience in such things.)