Saturday, February 06, 2010

Harley Street Hell

Yesterday morning I had to visit Harley Street for an Occupational Health referral. It had been hastily arranged by Human Resources the evening before, who had asked me to go on short notice as "a favour" as they had received a last minute cancellation.

I agreed but, being fully aware of how things usually turn out, I made it quite clear to them that I'd be happy to go "only if they know to expect me". Thinking that by specifically mentioning this, I might avoid problems I turned up at Harley Street the next morning relatively relaxed.

Harley Street (for those who don't know, this is a London street which is renowned for it's medical associations) is basically a street full of expensive doors that say "You can trust us, only a very reassuringly expensive place would be able to afford a door like this!". I turned up to the designated address (which had a less than expensive door) 30 minutes early, and having found it wandered around for a while to avoid upsetting the receptionists. A quarter of an hour before my appointment I returned and was rather concerned to find the company I was looking for was not listed on the entrance buzzer. Hmm... regardless I snuck into the building behind another visitor and found my way to the office with the same number as the people I was looking for. I rang their bell, but there was no answer.

I returned downstairs to discover a well hidden reception for the building and asked the Indian gentlemen there whether he knew who this company was and if they were available. Not only did he not know them, nor did he seem to understand the English language, he also seemed convinced the address I had was next door's address (despite the fact the canopy outside clearly showed I was at the right address) and escorted me out of the building.

I phoned up HR and advised them of my predicament. They asked me if I was at the correct address. I told them yes. They gave me directions to the correct address. I told them I know them because I was already there. "It's on Harley Street." they said helpfully at which point I started to cry a little inside... After 5 minutes of them attempting to direct me to the position I was already at, they agreed with my suggestion that they find a phone number for the doctors and try to reach them that way.

10 minutes later, and well past my appointment time they came back to tell me that no one had informed the doctors I was coming. "HILARIOUS" was one of the words I did not think to use to describe the situation.

The doctors finally arrived and, after I'd given the idiotic receptionist a look that might very well have killed him as we walked past, were actually very efficient and pleasant, but needless to say I had a few words with HR upon my arrival at the office.

Stupid, stupid people. Grrrr...

If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist

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