If It’s Tuesday, It Must Be Time To Run Some Errands

Last Saturday (Aug 8), I presented myself to the hospital sharp at 8 am in the morning, doggy bag in hand. As ordered, I had been starving for the past 12 hours. For the next six hours, a steady procession of staff from the hospital proceeded to do things to me — smear my chest and abdomen with sticky (and yucky!) stuff, attach coloured wires to my body, jab me, poke me with scary looking instruments, pull different parts of my anatomy, press some painful areas, shine a light into the darkest recesses, extract blood, and so on.

But, what I couldn’t understand was why did all of this have to take six hours? Truth be told, a lot of time was spent waiting in some antiseptic foyer or grey ante-room (thank goodness for the back issue of New Yorker which kept me enthralled through much of this). A lot of this wasted time was used up in waiting for some doctor or specialist to see me, a complete farce and a clever con job pulled off successfully by the hospital staff. These docs were not interested in sparing time for patients who were part of the executive health check-up system. The catch: the money paid by out-patients is shared with the docs, which is not the case with executive health check-up. One doc even summoned me to the Operation Theatre, stepped out in the middle of a surgery on some hapless soul, flipped through my records and advised me to eat well and sleep well and rushed back in to stitch up whatever parts he’d left open on the operation table! Great!

When we complained, we were told curtly: “It’s Saturday! You should’ve come on a weekday!”

This is where I have a beef. Everybody – especially those in the service industry — expects you to spare their weekends by investing your work-days. The school insists on holding its periodic parent-teacher meetings on a weekday, when it could be probably done on a Saturday. Once when I mustered up enough nerve to murmur a feeble protest, I was promptly silenced by a stentorian voice: “It’s your child; you can’t even spare a day for her?” I felt like a heel, with the other parents immediately fixing me with an accusing look.

The refrigerator repair chap, the disembodied voice at the numerous call centres, the local MTNL office, and many others do not want to service you on a weekend. They are appalled when you gently inform them that you won’t be available on Monday, Tuesday or even the next four days because you are working. The PSU guys in the service industry even feign offence when you suggest that they should keep their customer complaint operations open throughout the weekends because that’s when people really have time to pay their bills, register their complaints or even follow them up. Everybody wants you take one day off during the week so that they don’t have to work for you on a weekend.

Just a random thought: Can this be called an HR challenge?


2 thoughts on “If It’s Tuesday, It Must Be Time To Run Some Errands

  1. Could not agree more. Even in Chennai, we have someone like TVS Motors (Sundaram Motors) who close their service dept for “Lunch” every day for an hour. Their car showroom not open on Sundays! We need the Patels to show these blokes how to run businesses. Of course, dealing with doctors, governments is a separate art, destined to test your tolerance limits.
    But, am glad you went for ur medicals, mate.


  2. The purpose of life is a Sunday. So if other people think – like we do- that they should be by themselves and with their families on that day, whats so wrong about that?

    The Economist magazine, no less, was opposed to keeping London's shopping malls open through Christmas, pity the sales girls. It is OK for a proprietor run business but store employees are not paid well enough that society should demand their presence 24 X 7.

    Organisation should recognise that people will need to get some personal work done once in a while and understand the time off


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