Subscribe: Subscribe to me on YouTube

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

One of the main purposes of attending a work-related conference is to learn about the latest breakthroughs in your field and discover innovative new methods to improve your professional performance. Whilst in Liverpool last week, I was lucky enough to undergo training in a powerful new technique which is designed to ensure that patients are seen more promptly, with fewer delays, resulting in an overall improvement in service and a reduction in stress for the screener.

Within two days of returning to work this week, I've already had the opportunity to put the technique into practice, and I'm pleased to report that it's proved an instant success, outperforming even my most optimistic expectations. I'd go so far as to say it could be life-changing. Yes, it's true, I've learnt how to invoke the powers of the Parking Angel.

To be honest, this particular training course took place outside of the main conference programme, and over dinner on the Thursday evening. After a couple of drinks. But I don't think that makes it any less valid. It's a method of ensuring that healthcare professionals are always on hand, at the centre of the action, and able to make a quick getaway. Let's face it, you can know everything there is to know about the eye, diabetes, and the world of clinical photography, but if you can't park at the hospital, that knowledge will get you nowhere.

The technique, which was passed on to me over a paltry (or should that be poultry?) starter of chicken liver pâté, is for use on those occasions when you're driving to a clinic and suspect that you might have trouble parking when you get there. Under those circumstances, you simply say out loud "Parking Angel, I could really do with a parking space", place your faith in the heavenly traffic warden above, and lo and behold, when you reach your destination, a space will be waiting for you.

I'll admit I was sceptical. But I was confidently assured that the method never fails. After all, as Joni Mitchell reported, they paved paradise and put up a parking lot, so it makes sense that angels know a lot about car parks.

I was working at Horsham Hospital yesterday, so I left Brighton at 7:45am for the journey of twenty-four miles. It took me an hour and thirty-five minutes. They were doing unannounced gasworks near Horsham town centre, which resulted in me covering the last two miles in about forty-five minutes. Even Amelie goes faster than that.

Ordinarily, you need to arrive at the hospital by 8:45am to stand any chance of getting a space in the staff car park, so when I was still stationary a mile away at 9 o'clock, I knew I'd blown my chances. Which is when I remembered the Parking Angel. Admittedly, my first call was to the office, asking them to let the receptionists know I'd be late, but my next cry for help was to the heavens above.

You do feel slightly self-conscious sitting in your car, speaking aloud to an unseen Parking Angel, but I felt I had nothing to lose but my sanity, so I gave it a try.

I eventually arrived at Horsham Hospital at 9:20am. And there, right in front of me, was a single solitary space, close to the entrance, right where I always choose to park. I couldn't have been more stunned if you'd hit me with a taser. Ordinarily, those spaces are gone by eight-thirty, but this time it was as if one had been celestially saved for me by the power of the Parking Angel.

Of course, it's possible that the rest of the hospital staff were stuck in the same traffic jam, and everyone arrived an hour late, but I prefer to think it was a miracle.


Sylvia Gardner said...

Well, I believe in miracles!  I'd love to know who told you about the Parking Angel.

A Passer-By said...

Interesting - even if Joni Mitchell's song was about Hawaii!! - see

Phil said...

Question me, torture me, you'll never know.

But send me a text message and I'll tell you.