So what has made me realise this important fact after a number of years of being told that I am slowly but surely becoming what I always said I wouldn’t be, a grumpy old man?

Today, after about 12 days of suffering from a sore throat and my tongue feeling as if it has pins and needles at the tip and sides, I decided to visit my doctor’s surgery, have a consultation and then pick up my free prescription and be back home by 10 o/c ready to do some work. I told my wife I was doing this so she gave me a shopping list and I decided to do some banking which I could fit in while waiting for the prescription to be filled.

Here where I live, you can’t make appointments for the doctor on the day you are unwell, you either have to guess that in two weeks you need to see a doctor or turn up at around 8:15 and queue until they open and hope they have an empty slot for you. So standing there in the drizzle for 20 minutes put me in a great frame of mind and then I was told the earliest I could see any doctor was 10:10 so I took that appointment and decided a coffee in Maccie D’s while reading my book would pass some time.

So 40 minutes later after dropping my shoes in the cobblers for new heels, I arrived back at the doctors for my appointment with around thirty minutes to wait so got out my book and read a bit more. At the appointed time I packed up my book and readied myself for the call to the inner sanctum for a quick look down my throat, a printed prescription and away. It was only when a woman asked the time that I found they were running thirty minutes late already on appointments.

I got out my book and read for another fifty minutes before I was called in and four minutes later, I was away with my prescription and to complete my shopping. Why can’t everyone be as easy to diagnose as me?

So a 90 minutes visit to the doctor took nearly three and a half hours from leaving my house to getting back there again and my whole day is falling apart as things that should be done are being put off till tomorrow!

And why does it take so long to see your doctor here in the UK? The waiting room was full most of the time and there were others who wandered in and got seen before me as their doctor seemed to recycle their patients so much quicker than mine!

Oh and another thing! There was one teenage girl there with her mother and they were exploring the wonders of their mobile phones and neither of them saw their name appear in big bright lights on the calling board and they sat there in complete oblivion until the receptionist came over and told them it was their turn. The old boy next to me commented that this would never have happened in his day as if you missed your slot, you were not seen! He was also the next patient in to see their doctor so I can see where he was coming from!

So is it me getting old and expecting more or is the whole system in the UK falling to bits? Hopefully it is not just me as I’m sure that when I was younger there was never this sort of problem in getting in to see your doctor!

Anyway, I’m sure there will be more instances in the future where the Grumpy Old Man inside me rears its ugly head and I’ll be sure to share them with you!


    10 replies to "A New Realisation – I’m A Grumpy Old Man"

    • Alonzo Stride

      Hey Grumpy Old Man!! Sorry Dave, just had to say that.(smile)
      I can see that the Medical Association is pretty much the same all over. I can agree with you totally, because it’s the very same here in Canada.
      Dave, you have done a great job posting this. We should all post our everyday happenings once in awhile. I really enjoyed this post Dave! Keep up the good posting my friend.

      All The Best To You


      • DaveThomas


        Thanks for the comment! And the insult 🙂

        It was just that I felt that I should add some issues that relate to me outside of the internet and I have been accused on many occasions in the past of being a Grumpy Old Man so why not post about it!

        I’m sure I will be writing more posts like this as my blog grows so keep an eye out for the next exciting instalment!


    • Cararta

      Hi Dave,

      Dr.s offices are the same everywhere I think. Make an
      appointment, show up and wait at least in the U.S.

      Since I live a fair piece (20 miles) from town, I just
      figure on spending the day. Do some shopping, go sit and wait,
      have my turn and leave.
      Seldom have a cold or anything, just have to show up
      twice in one week for check-up every three months…but
      takes two visits…one to donate blood (for their lab) and
      three days later the results. 🙂

      Blood day, thank goodness isn’t an appointment, just show up
      anytime after 8:a.m. fasting and join the line!

      Gets old fast. Got so I just talk to others in the waiting
      room…turn it into social contact instead of reading.

      • DaveThomas

        Thanks for the comment and glad to see that I am not the only one!

        The problem in the UK is that everybody is so reserved that no-one will usually respond apart from a Yes or No or give you the time! Makes a social event difficult to achieve


    • Jan Kearney

      Our Doc is the same Dave – call at 8am (and hope you get through, because 8.10 is too late and all appts booked) or stand and queue at 8am. The only time you can book appts is after seeing a Doc or Practice Nurse in the first place.

      I miss the head receptionist that worked there for years – I remember her from when I was growing up right through to her retirement a few years ago. She was a dragon, but boy did she run a tight ship. If you weren’t on time you didn’t get seen. In more recent times she’d snap your head off at the mearest glimpse of a mobile in her surgery and heaven forbid if you let your kids run riot…

      She was replaced with an auto check-in system. While there is still two on reception, it’s for appointment making and queries. And chatting about Eastenders and Corrie I think…

      Anyway, if this makes you a grumpy old man, I must be a grumpy middle aged lady haha. Hope you are feeling better soon.

      • DaveThomas


        We have the same situation at my surgery and I still see the old receptionist in there occasionally as she is a patient and you can see her glowering at people on their phones and at kids running riot!

        One little story about kids! The surgery supplied a wooden play centre for kids and one full day a mother was letting her young daughter play on it, but this child was basically monopolising the play. The mother “asked” her daughter to let the other child have their turn, but the child refused and started to bang the wooden blocks in a temper tantrum.

        The mother “asked”three or four times for her “little darling” to stop and play nicely which caused even more noise and as the surgery was quite full, many people were getting annoyed. So I piped up with “Tell the kid to behave or you’ll give her a slap!” which shut up both the kid and the mother.

        The child stopped playing and went and sat by her mother very sheepishly, the mother gave me daggers and the rest of the surgery applauded. The mother went to say something, but changed her mind. Though as her appointment was called, she mentioned to the receptionist in a loud voice about the “rude man” and his comments. The old school receptionist replied while looking over her glasses with “I was just about to come out and tell you both off myself as the signs say children must be supervised and yours obviously wasn’t! The patient who made the comment was in the right! Next time keep your child under control or you will have me to answer to!” Again the surgery applauded and the mother rushed off red faced and I’ve never seen her there since!

        Looks like I was a grumpy old man even twenty years ago!


    • Torsten Müller

      Reading your post and the comments I can see that there seems to be no difference with doctors anywhere in the world.

      Luckily I am not often visiting a doctor’s office, but I remember when I went with my daughter to the pediatric, that we often had to wait a long time although we had an appointment.

      At least she could make a kind of social event out of it and play with other kids in the play area. 😉

      • Dave Thomas


        I used to accompany my son to the local hospital for appointments with a specialist and this unit used to have a dog come in and visit as part of their patient programme.

        The signs everywhere asked you not to play with the dog, but it was so friendly it used to come up to you and wait to be petted.

        That used to help pass the time while waiting for your appointment time.

        I was always frustrated though with appointments as we would turn up prior to our time and find that there were two or three people booked in per doctor at any time as they booked surgery times in twenty minute lumps. So if you were unlucky enough, you found the other two going in before you!

        Thanks for the comment


    • John Reed

      Hi Dave,
      You won’t know how much I enjoyed reading your post and how it has already got me scribbling notes for my new Blog Site – the one I meant to start in January but lost my way….. AGAIN!
      I’ve been using the name GrizzlyGrandpa in a War Game on line and have had so much fun with it for the past 11 months I’ve been meaning to translate that fun into running a new Blog.

      Thank you – (or maybe my UK version) will be under way shortly – and all because of your entertaining grumping and grousing (I hate my Drs’ system, it’s designed only to meet targets not for patients to get an Appointment when they need one).

      Oh – YES, I AM an old Grandpa, so I don’t have to pretend at all!!
      Grizz (John O’York) Reed

      • DaveThomas


        There are a lot of us out there in the same Grumpy old boat so keep the faith!

        Thanks for the comment


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