The server has just gone down at the surgery. All medical effort in our little corner of Borsetshire is now paralyzed. Especially since we moved over to the new "all singing all dacing" call system, which sends for the next patient using one of those scrolling message thingys in reception, rather than the old fashioned buzzers and lights and numbered tags you had to hang on a peg before you came in. They tell me it's progress.....
Still even if we could call folks in we can't access records, letters or presciptions with the machine offline, and I'm not sure pharmacists could read my writing anymore if we had to resort to handwritten scripts like we had in the good old days. Still in the true spirit of the blitz some of the hardier souls in the waiting room are starting the community singing while we wait for boffins to boff the thing back to life.
And it has given me the time to do the GP Lifestyle survey that came round with one of our "trade" papers this week. It seems there are people interested in where I shop for clothes, how much I spend on food and what sort of music I listen to. How any of this stuff is supposed to make me a better doctor they do not vouchsafe, and their range of options is a tad limited, for example in the music section Classical is first available option and I can't find Punk, Emo or Death Metal listed anywhere.
Reviewing the choices a rather gloomy picture is emerging. It seems I don't eat out often enough, don't travel nearly enough to have a "preferred" airline, don't buy the right sort of clothes, spend enough (any) time on the golf course.... the list of my underachievements goes on and on. So at the end of the survey the only possible conclusion is that I don't have a "lifestyle" at all.
The waiting room is getting restless, they've been through the likes of "We'll met again" and "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square" and now they're on to "We're 'ere because we're 'ere because...." which is a bit odd because most of them this morning are under thirties. It's the same in our local nursing homes. Whenever I'm called on to visit Bert or Frieda there's an old vinyl record, or in the more with it establishment CD, cranking out "It's a long way to Tipperary" or "Lilly Marlene". You get the feeling they have been doing the exact same thing for the past thirty plus years (OK maybe not with CDs but you get the picture). I'm rather hoping that should it come to it in my dotage the tune will have changed. At least a bit. I quite like the idea of shuffling about to the strains of "Dark Side of the Moon", or nodding off after lunch serenaded by the Pistols "Pretty Vacant".
I'll give them "no lifestyle"!