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Thursday, August 12, 2010

When Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, I wonder if he envisaged that 134 years later, I'd be using it to speak to a gas fitter with no fingers? I suspect he did. The man was a visionary.

We were actually due to have a new gas cooker delivered and fitted today. I'd ordered it from Dixons on the understanding that they'd contact me the day before to confirm what time on Thursday they'd be arriving.

Sure enough, we got a phone call from Dixons at 7pm last night to say that the man would be round to fix our TV first thing in the morning. Lisa told him he'd got the wrong number, and put the phone down. Ten minutes later, he called back to say he'd meant cooker not TV, and install not fix. He then added that they'd be here between 7am and 11am. Which is practically night time if you ask me.

So I dragged myself out of bed at 7am this morning and loitered around in my dressing gown until eight, when the gas fitter phoned to say he'd be there within the hour. At that point he still had fingers. As far as I know.

At five-past-eight I went to have a shower. Which is when my mobile phone started ringing. It was one of my colleagues asking if I could drop everything and get to Crowborough within the hour to see 26 patients with 51 eyes. I bet Alexander predicted that one too. Despite the fact that I was naked at the time (I'd dropped everything including my towel), I agreed, and twenty minutes later I was speeding through the Sussex countryside, attempting to get to Crowborough Hospital in record time. It looked a lot like this, only quicker.

Having arrived two minutes before the first patient, I began frantically setting up as the waiting room began filling up. At which point my mobile phone rang again. Annoyed that I was being delayed even further, I answered it. It was the gas fitter. He told me he was speaking to me from hospital. I said "Likewise". He then told me that he wouldn't be coming today after all.

It turned out that he'd arrived at the depot, loaded our gas cooker onto the van, and then promptly severed his fingers in the tail-lift. He was phoning me from A & E. Although I don't know how he dialled the number. To make matters worse, they couldn't get the oven off the van because the tail-lift was stuck in the down position. Presumably jammed with fingernails and a wedding ring.

By the time I'd finished listening to the story, I had patients queuing up and the prospect of no gas oven for the rest of the week. It's a shame they couldn't deliver the thing. I was ready to stick my head in it by mid-morning.


Dave said...

I was going to say something about cooking fish fingers, but couldn't think of anything witty.

Phil's Mum said...

No, don't add to the poor man's pain, Dave.  We all send our sympathy and best wishes - just in case Dixons are reading this!