"Horrendous Telephone Experience"

I have not yet been to St Charles Hospital. I called the operator because I was unable to make my appointment the following day and wanted the department to be made aware. I got through to a lady whose attitude was appalling. She refused to take a message. When I asked if she would be able to send the department an email to let them know my situation she replied "why can't you send them an email?" I didn't have the email address and she didn't offer one. I asked to speak to her superior as I had no confidence I was being dealt with by a capable member of staff however she told me she was the only person in the hospital. I asked for her managers email but she refused to give it to me. She promptly hung up. I then called her back as I was still no further with why I had called in the first place and asked again for her bosses email and some contact for the department I was trying to reach. She then proceeded to tell me how she has to be on the phone from 8am every day, and I quote: "speaking to people like you". She said that I didn't like her attitude because she couldn't leave a message for the department I was trying to reach. They then continued to tell me all the reasons that her appalling attitude was acceptable: too many phones ringing; early starts etc etc. I have to say I was so shocked by the inappropriate and totally irrelevant turn the call had taken, I barely listened to the litany of complaints/excuses. She then told me she was too busy to argue (despite the fact I couldn't get a word in edge ways). I asked again for her boss, who I now know, she refused. I asked her "Are you refusing to give me what I am asking for?" and she replied "Yes". I asked if the calls were recorded and she hung up again. I cannot believe that someone working for a public service could be so incredibly rude. People do not phone hospitals for the fun of it - they are usually calling because there is something wrong. So to have the first voice I hear in connection with St Charles to be abrupt, unhelpful, incoherent and downright rude does not bode well for what I will encounter on arrival. I sincerely hope this member of your staff with "computer says no" attitude to work gets the training she so desperately needs. Perhaps then she might enjoy her job as it was made perfectly clear in her rant that she is not very happy.

Story from NHS Choices

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