Thursday, March 31, 2005
Each morning at work, between 8 and 8.45, we have the medical laboratory nurse come in to take blood from our patients. The drill is, no appointment necessary, patients turn up on a first in/first served basis, and you can never gauge how many are going to turn up on any one day. Mondays are no different in this respect from Fridays or any other day.

Often, if I'm opening the surgery in the morning, there are several cars in the carpark when I get there....so I walk straight past them to the back entrance and let myself in that way. Years ago, we used to let them all in when we turned up. But it became difficult to get our morning routines going properly when patients that arrived early would start expecting attention while we were busy turning on all the computers and getting the money float for the day organised etc....so eventually, we agreed it would be easier on us to leave them waiting. Afterall, the doors don't officially open until 8am...and anyone who turned up at 7.40am would just find they had to wait.

On arrival at work this morning, I found an elderly chap waiting on the doorstep. It was raining and cold and I smiled at him said good morning and added "I'm sorry, but I can't let you in right now"...seconds later I'm saying "Oh look, I can't leave you out here in this, it's far too cold today....come inside with me now, we'll lock the rest of them out" (There was no 'rest' of them this morning...noone else was silly enough to be out that early, but I meant anyone else that turned up prior to 8).

I locked the door, he seated himself and I set about switching on machines...pressed the login button for the EFTPOS machine etc....2 minutes later I'm hearing a constant high pitched squeal...ok, where the hell's that coming from?.....I head back to the EFTPOS machine...maybe one of the buttons is stuck and causing it to make that sound....nope, everything's in order there.

One minute later it started;

"WHOOOOOP DING DONG WHOOOOP DING DONG WHOOOOOP DING DONG WHOOOOOOP DING DONG WHOOOOOOP!!!"

This was nothing compared to the earlier squeal...this was overwhelmingly loud and ear piercing and I just about crapped my pants!

Seems my kind heart at letting the gentleman in from the cold early, had broken my morning ritual of opening up the surgery just enough for me to forget to disarm the alarm. Poor bugger...I was lucky I hadn't given him a heart attack.

Ah well....not the worst thing in the world to start the morning off with a racing heart eh?
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