I once met a psychiatrist who specialised in geriatrics who opined that character faults were heightened as the person grows older.
For ‘growing old’ I would substitute ‘in lockdown’.
I confess to being more than irritated by casual service and in the last 48 hours encountered this in three different places.
The first was my hairdresser. I like my hairdresser. I’m always amazed how open people are with their hairdresser and we always have interesting conversations on life style.
This time I was referring to Francis Bacon’s seduction of his burglar George Dyer and how people might disguise, fantasise and lie about how they met.
The conversation was taking an interesting course when he excused himself as he had another client.
My hairdresser knows after five years how to cut and shape my hair to my satisfaction so we spend little time discussing this.
The client he had to see was not so inclined. She must have spent a good five minutes on her hair requirements and how she wanted it done whilst I waited. I was visibly irritated that my hairdresser was seeing two clients at the same time.
After my appointment, I wanted to drop into a sun glasses shop.
Although due to open at 10.00am at 10-05am it was still closed.
Eventually the shop manager appeared, took a phone call and gestured to me to continue to wait outside.
It was probably some 5 minutes later I entered and when I did so I was resistant to sales.
It reminded me of the time when a Rust colleague decided to buy a Porsche and strode into the showroom to do so and the car salesman to his chagrin had to do nothing to achieve a sale.
My mind too was made up. I wanted a dark pair of shades and soon chose one oblivious of the salesman who if anything had militated a sale.
There is no risk of a patient striking up a similar type of relationship with his dentist as his hairdresser.
My dentist, whom I saw yesterday,is nonetheless a smiling, chatty fellow.
I’m always amazed that with any professional the first attribute is “he/she nice?”
I was recently recommended an electrician on the ground that he is really nice, to which I replied “So was my last one, but his work was awful”.
Anyway throughout my dental session his assistant kept up a constant and irritating flow of conversation asking him questions as he worked away at my gob diligently.
She appeared to be in some difficulty classifying medical information for the records. I was visibly irritated as a dentist has to be meticulous, deft and – above all – not distracted. My dentist dealt with the flow of queries patiently.
I am sure he makes a good living but a strange one – spending your day examining and working on teeth locked up in one room with a chatterbox.
My final source of irritation was a computer. I made a booking for 3 days with a booking agency in a hotel which I had to amend to 2 days.
The computer persistently replied it could not do this as the dates were unavailable even though 2 had already been booked.
In exasperation I called the hotel itself. The reservation clerk could not have been more helpful but – as it was – an outside booking company could only alter the reservation with my consent given to said agency.
It was an absurd situation which might only be resolved by cancelling and starting again with the hotel. Presumably the booking company would then lose its commission. Anyway the reservation clerk sorted it. I chose this hotel as it’s old fashioned with the emphasis on personal service but was frustrated by the booking company.
In travelling to and from London to see my dentist – and effectively working from dawn to dusk – I did reflect that there could be no computer that at my age could put in such a shift.