The other day I found myself in a queue at the local Boots pharmacy. I’m a regular. In front of me was someone I don’t know so I’ll call her Mrs Anxious. She was collecting a large bag of medical bits and bobs for her husband.
When the bag was handed over, Mrs Anxious was keen to impress on the staff how important it was that her next prescription should be available on time. Previously it hadn’t been and Mrs Anxious’ husband had run out of something.
As a fellow regular I had some sympathy with Mrs Anxious, but really there was no point in trying to put pressure on the pharmacy staff. She may as well have been talking to a machine because the staff would have their processes and within those processes there would be no way to give special consideration to the likes of Mrs Anxious. All the staff could do was to assure her in a roundabout way that the procedure would be followed. Which they did.
If she’d been rich and powerful then there would be some special arrangement for Mrs Anxious, but then she wouldn’t be queuing at Boots anyway. It doesn’t reflect on the staff, it’s just the way things are. To deliver an efficient service there must be processes which are adhered to.
That’s how it works, that’s how the service delivers what it is supposed to deliver with as few glitches as possible. It isn’t perfect, but in my view it’s pretty good. I moan about it but I like moaning so that’s just another benefit. We lose the personal service but when it comes to collecting prescriptions it’s not much of a loss.
I hope Mrs Anxious gets her prescription on time though. She probably will.