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MON 17th NOV : NATION OF SHOPKEEPERS = LIFETIME OF SERVICE MISERY

(NB I'm back in London this week)

So I had to get an emergency appointment for the tooth. the molar at the back. The Abesol I bought in the US worked once to numb it and then I found it useless after that application. A kind and grentle dentist in the UK extracted the nerve and a few pounds less than it would have cost in New York.

I realised how much I had changed when I talked to the woman behind the desk. You come to expect everybody in the customer front line to smile and be nice to you when you enter a store or a bank or a hotel and so on. They ask how you are - you ask how they are. They respond well when you ask them a question. We all smile. It's all very superficial but it's all rather nice.

So I walked into the denitst's reception on Falcon Road, Clapham Junctn and immediately ask how she was? Of course she eyes me as a looney and asks me what I want.

My dentist visit turned out to involve three sessions downstairs in the dental dungeon. After the first session I went back to the reception to wait for X-rays. I asked the receptionist (as she filed some papers) how much I should expect to pay when she got the chance. She didn't reply, continued to finish filing and then gave a questioning glance. I asked her again about the expected cost and she told me that's what they call 'An Estimate'.

Oh, i see....

I retired to the seats waiting for her to run one off and she shouted across 'you have to pay today, you know'. As I waited for the dentist to call me I got nervous at the idea of drilling. I got a cup of water from the fountain ('For customers only - aged 10 and above' the sign read). As I finished the cup I was called back down to the dentist room. I couldn't see a bin so I put the cup on the receptionists desk and asked if i could leave this here. She got up and moved herself before me and sullenly picked up the cup and dropped the cup in a tiny bin that I hadn't quite caught. I kindly apologised for not seeing it - she blanked me. As I walked down the stairs I realised that I was talking to her as if she was an American - and she thought I was a toffee nosed w*nker as a result.

There was only one thing to do when I came back up stairs. Continue to act the same way for the rest of my visit.... she was glad to see the back of me.

November 17, 2003 in Diary | Permalink

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