When is an appointment not an appointment?

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One of my pet hates is being late for appointments, ask my wife, she has to put up with me shuffling from foot to foot when we are late for something (it’s never my fault!). Consequently when I book an appointment for something I expect it to happen when it is supposed to, if I can get to meetings on time so should you – or words to that effect.

Obviously there are occasions when this can’t happen, doctors surgeries are a classic example and I am ok with that. A consultation is a dynamic thing and they can drag on – so I can live with that.

20120830-173754.jpgNo, my issue is with things that are fairly ‘known quantities’ in terms of timings. We are all busy, so knowing you can arrive somewhere and do what ever and then leave in short order is a good thing! Unless you are the National Blood Service that is!

I have been a blood donor for a long time, I feel it is a good thing to do, it doesn’t take up much time, you never know when you might need some blood, and you get tea and biscuits at the end! Historically it could cause some waiting around, but a few years ago they introduced an appointment system, on the face of it a great idea.

However, an appointment system has to be followed to work and sadly this does not appear to be the case here. We had a 6.15 slot and arrived early (good start) but we’re told that some people with earlier appointments hadn’t arrived yet so we might have to wait. Now call me old fashioned but an appointment is an appointment – turn up late and you go to the back of the queue!

In the event we were seen around 30 minutes after our 6:15 slot – not hideous but not great. I accept that the people giving blood are doing it ‘for nothing’ so you have to be nice to them. But they really should learn to get to the appointment on time!


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