ON HOLD: Automated phone systems are just one everyday irritant.

GOOD morning, class. No talking at the back, please. I’d like to begin with another few moans.

For me, everyday irritants include: sticky price labels that don’t come off, selfies, photographing food in restaurants,  people who use an upward inflection at the end of sentences and automated phone systems that claim “your call is important to us” while putting you on hold for an hour.

Calls like: “We apologise for the delay in answering your call – we are experiencing a higher call volume than expected” seem to greet you every time you have to phone one UK media group I won’t name and shame. When will they adjust their ‘expectations’ and provide more ‘customer advisers’? They then tell you their website more than likely has the answers you need. I mean, where do they think you’ve spent the last 20 minutes looking for the answer to your query before you had to ring them?

Other irritants include food packets that require a magnifying glass to read the instructions. Getting a new toothbrush out of its packet. Jar lids that you need the strength of Tarzan to prise open. And as for opening ‘child-proof’ containers, I’m going to have to wait until the two-year-old next door is four before I have a reliable ‘opener’. Let alone the packaging on scissors that require scissors to open.

In fact, packaging generally. First world problems, I know, but even so…

Finally, where are all the UK GPs? A relative recently called into her GP surgery which has numerous doctors and health assistants to find it completely deserted apart from one patient waiting and a receptionist sitting behind a glass screen so massive she couldn’t hear anything, so any chance of patient confidentiality was scuppered.

But try booking an appointment! This involves a 30-minute wait on the phone to be informed there are no doctors available because the surgery is (still) enforcing the same Covid-restricted service it was a year ago.

Where have all the doctors gone? Gone to golf courses every one.

Nora Johnson’s psychological crime thrillers ‘The Sentinel’, ‘No Safe Place’, ‘Betrayal’, ‘The Girl in the Woods’, ‘The Girl in the Red Dress’, ‘No Way Back’, ‘Landscape of Lies’, ‘Retribution’, ‘Soul Stealer’, ‘The De Clerambault Code’ (www.nora-johnson.net) available online as eBook (€0.99; £0.99), Apple Books, paperback and audiobook. All profits to Costa del Sol Cudeca cancer charity.  

Nora Johnson’s opinions are her own and are not necessarily representative of those of the publishers, advertisers or sponsors.

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Written by

Nora Johnson

Nora is the author of popular psychological suspense and crime thrillers and a freelance journalist.


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