Tony Allen: And finally... It’s not one of my hang-ups!

Aug 10 | 2022

So I’m phoning my doctor, I’ve been asked to make an appointment for a routine blood pressure test. I’m advised, after a long preamble, that I am currently number ten in the queue; nice voice, at least she pronounces her words properly - although the music is enough to drive you bonkers!

Tony Allen: And finally...It’s now seven minutes later and the nice voice advises me that I am now ninth in the queue – blimey that’s at least 60 minutes to go and the repetitive piano music is already pile-driving its way into my brain. Goodness knows what this is doing to my routine blood pressure.

“You are now eighth in the queue.”

 “Am I? Thank you very much,” I reply. This comment laced with a degree of sarcasm.

Gadzooks, I’m losing my mind. I’m talking to a machine. I’m even starting to whistle the tedious piano music. I’m entering Neverland. Sorry J M Barrie!

“You are now seventh in the queue.”

Do you not think that, over the years, service has declined somewhat? If anything this process is actually accelerating. You can tell the companies who train their colleagues – as I think they are now called – to be attentive and courteous but this doesn’t seem to be the norm.

I was in a restaurant the other day where the service was really appalling so I asked to see the manager, who was, I understand, having his lunch (?) so I saw the assistant manager and made the point that I thought the service had been awful; only to receive the reply that apparently everyone said that!

My other half prevented a possible explosion by rushing me away in a cloud of dust.

 “You are now sixth in the queue.”

I haven’t finished yet. Don’t you think that there is an opportunity these days for running a company where customers/clients have a degree of importance and even have telephones that are actually answered by real people?

I’ve a suspicion that most members of the moving industry are already onto this mind-boggling approach to business.

 “You are now fifth in the queue.”

This actually gave me a bit of a shock. My mind has drifted into another world where I am thinking about a new design for the garden. I used to detest gardening; it wasn’t something I used to dig. But with the passing years it has become much more of a hobby, an escape from reality. I’ve probably got the most imperfect runner beans in town but at least they are my runner beans.

I need to mow the lawn as well. Sorry Mr Bee but I still can’t bring myself to have a garden full of wild flowers. Slightly annoyed flowers, yes ...

 “You are now fourth in the queue.”

It now seems like an eternity since I first picked up the phone. During this time I could have written ‘War and Peace’ or even reinvented the wheel at a push. It seems like I’ve been waiting for the whole morning.

 “You are now third in the queue.”

Blimey. That was quick!

As I approach the foreseeable end to this epic, my mind is becoming more active, and with a degree of rising expectancy. I’m almost there and incredibly I’ve begun to whistle that piano tune again. It’s rather like I’m coming out of a long dreamy sleep.

 “You are now second in the queue.”

I’m next! “Be still my beating heart …”

My phone’s running out of charge – honest! I don’t believe it. Not at this moment. I bet the person in front of me is going to be on the phone for ages. It’s just my luck!

 “Good morning, doctor’s surgery, how can I help you?”

Um - now why did I actually phone? …