How long is too long to wait for a confirmed scheduled appointment?
Ten minutes, fifteen, 45 minutes? And why do we put up with it at some places but not others?
Do we wait because we feel our time is not as valuable as others or has it, sadly, become some type of warped culture, bred into us over time, playing on some sense of inadequacy and worthlessness?
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If you'd booked a table for dinner at 7pm and weren't shown to your table until 7.45pm, surely you'd be tempted to walk out after voicing your displeasure at such horrendous and incompetent service.
An appointment with a lawyer or accountant, running twenty minutes over time, would raise some form of objection, as would a 30-minute wait at your hairdresser's.
Yet when it comes to a Dr's or Ministry of Social Development appointment we seem to lose our backbones and just submit to whatever wait they decide to subject us to, 30 minutes, 45, and in some cases even longer, for whatever unjustifiable reason.
I hate to quote Dr Phil, but we teach people how to treat us. Put up with it and it'll just continue on, unchanged.
Strange that both examples are government funded in part or in full.
In the case of the GP visit, does the decision to keep us waiting, stem from greed, cramming in subsidised consultations or is it just sheer arrogance and a status thing?
We can't doctor-shop like they do in the USA, so ours have a captive audience. Wait or go without.
Those are our options and we know it ... so we wait. we put up with it, but that doesn't make it right or acceptable and it's time that we tell them so.
As for MSD, well, where does one begin? One could be forgiven for thinking that it's a case of outright contempt.
In the past, I've been kept waiting for thirty minutes for the first appointment of the day. It's simply unacceptable by anyone's standards.
I could, but won't name names, which is a shame, because there are a few staffers that I would I love to praise for their humanity, empathy and advice.
Others, however, just seem to have this civil servant mentality that as you're a beneficiary, you have nothing but time on your hands and therefore can wait as long as they deem necessary.
You arrive, confirm your appointment with one of the four, largely redundant and costly, security guards, only to have that confirmation go no further.
The assumption that your caseworker has seen their appointment list for the day, and will come and get you at the mutually agreed upon time is clearly a stupid one. You are still made to wait in line and report to the front desk. Such is the wait, that you're frequently arriving there well after your due time.
Five regimental lines of maybe 10 desks, at least 70 per cent of which remain void of clients. I wonder how'd they'd feel if they were kept waiting for up to an hour and a half for their morning tea or lunch break, let alone a set appointment.
If the newly hailed, golden girl, Jacinda, wants to really make a difference, this is where she needs to start. Abolishing this sick sense of complacency. A wrong mental mindset that being on a benefit means you can't possibly have other obligations.
What of those who are caregivers for others, in part-time work or education, volunteering in the community or god forbid, have a job interview and therefore need to be seen in a timely fashion?
And if they must insist on keeping you waiting for God knows how long, can they at least have the decency to make the wait a more pleasant one.
A budding entrepreneur could make a fortune with a coffee cart or outdoor sausage sizzle. Perhaps some live busking, a matinee performance by Cirque De Soleil or a visiting toy library to placate the bored and frustrated screaming toddlers and kids.
Window washers could take up the cleaning of mobile phone screens.
Or, balls and all, we could just stand up and say enough is enough ... and demand, not only to be seen (on time) but, to be heard.
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