I had the bemusing experience of trying to book an appointment at the new, supposedly “urgent care” clinic on the ground floor of Royal Inland Hospital.
In fact, it proved to be more like falling down Alice In Wonderland’s rabbit hole.
The clinic does provide a contact phone number: 250-314-2256.
If you phone later in the day, you will likely get a person who will tell you in order to book an appointment you must phone no earlier than 10 a.m. the following morning.
If a live person doesn’t answer, you will get a recorded message telling you to try again.
And try again is what you are advised to do until you reach an actual human being.
Well, starting at precisely 10 a.m. on a recent morning, I phoned. I got the recorded message. One minute later, I tried again. Same thing.
Over the next 30 minutes I tried once a minute, for a total of 30 times. No luck.
By 10:30 a.m. I was getting discouraged. So, over the next 30 minutes, I only tried six times.
On the sixth attempt, I finally got a receptionist. By now it was precisely 11 a.m. I asked to make an appointment and was rather brusquely informed, “All appointments have been booked for the day.”
“OK…” I ventured. “Can I make one for tomorrow?”
Even more brusquely, I was told, “Nope. If you want an appointment, you have to call at 10 a.m. tomorrow.”
So I made one more attempt; “How about if I came in person at 10 a.m. to make the appointment?”
“Nope. Has to be by phone.”
By now, I could feel the rabbit hole closing in on all sides. In spite of it, I pointed out their call-at-10 a.m. thing wasn’t working.
Then, I naively added, “Is there someone in authority I can speak to?”
Of course, the answer was, “Nope” again. “All right,” I conceded, “Can I write to somebody?”
“Sure,” the helpful receptionist replied. “Try your MLA or Interior Health.”
I think I heard her punctuate this final gem of advice with a stifled yawn as she added, “Hey, that’s how changes get made, don’t they. . .?”
Well, maybe in some alternate universe, but I haven’t seen it work much in this one. So I’m trying the letter-to-the-editor approach instead.
By the way, if you are in need of medical help, you may want to go to some other source.
That’s what the urgent care clinic recommended I should do.