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Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Less is more

Just this week the doctor sent me to see his vampires. They call themselves Phlebotomists nowadays which is more cuddly but only marginally.

When I got to "Phlebotomy" (that's cuddly too, right?) about 20 other patients were already parked in various nooks and crannies. No sign of a queue or anything British. Lots of signs about the dangers of ultra violent ("What skin type are you?), the dangers of Osteoporosis (£35 for a test), the benefits of counselling (A fee is charged for this service), No smoking, wear a condom, keep fit…..

As I stood there looking bewildered, another patient took pity and directed me down a narrow corridor on the left and told me to take a numbered card from the board on the right. I got the card, sat down feeling pretty stupid and wondered if the compulsory 14 hour pre-test fast had damaged my brain.

Then another patient came in, looked bewildered at all the signage and had to be helped into the system. Every new patient went through the same procedure. Except for the lady who was there for Chemotherapy. There was a prominent red sign telling her not to take a number. So she didn't.

Now, somewhere in that room, there was a clear, unambiguous set of instructions but none of us could see them.

I wondered about having a word with the staff. Then I remembered what happened last time I gave similar feedback. It was in a small office where I worked. Wrote a memo!

Dear Boss

I just counted the notices on the walls. There are 241

Yours

Boss took action! She put a load of cubes onto the desks and transferred some of the notices to them. You can get 6 notices on a cube. Clever.

Doh!

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