Opinion

COLUMN: Not the name, but the service that counts

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I always know it’s serious when I get a voice mail that begins “Hello, John … ”. But since I haven’t been in disagreement with the police or Revenue Canada lately, the recent “Dear John” was appreciated.

Just so you aren’t confused about who really writes this stuff, my first name is John, though I’ve always answered to my second name.

Why my parents chose to name me that way, I never did ask.

And I’ve always eschewed the pretension of going by J. Mark … I leave that to luminaries such as J. Paul Getty, whose bank account allowed him to get away with anything he wanted, or sundry lawyers who like as many initials on their door as is possible.

Mark is what I’ve always been called . . . even my kids refer to me that way, though appreciatively the grandchildren have taken to the “Poppa” appellation.

However, the name game isn’t necessarily the inspiration for this, but the phone message I received. It was from the Abbotsford Hospital and Cancer Centre, informing me I was scheduled for a scan on Monday.

What made the call impressive was that it was made only three working days after my doctor requested the procedure, with the actual test occurring yesterday, just five days later.

So, if you are having concerns with your medical issues, and the time it takes to have them scheduled, I’m thinking your complaints should be directed at your doctor, and not at the efficient folks at the hospital.

When I arrived at the time stated, I was told it would take about half an hour to process me. It did, to the minute. Then I was taken into an imaging room, all the while entertained by the conversational health care worker.

An injection, a preliminary scan and an order to be back at 1:30 for the main procedure took only a few minutes, with an instruction to just come straight into the inner waiting room . . . no need to again bother with the registration desk.

Service – excellent service – with a smile.

Was I given preferential treatment? No, they still called me John despite my admonitions to the contrary and I doubt any of the young professionals in there take the time, or have the interest to read the musing of an, and I reluctantly admit this, elderly patient.

Unless I tell them, of course, that I’m writing about them.

Hey, you try to get readers any way you can!

And while I write this, some nuclear medicine is coursing through my veins and arteries, destined to penetrate bone marrow, just to be sure that cancer or some other concern isn’t causing my frequent lower back pain.

That I have been bent over like a dog doing a (well you get the drift), laying and grouting a few hundred floor tiles recently, and at the same time spending a number of weekends bucking and splitting, loading and stacking about 12 tons of wood hasn’t helped the condition.

However, better to be safe with, or at least aware of, the cause of my excuses not to tackle other more mundane chores like folding laundry.

On the other hand, should the scan reveal something serious it might be further impetus to quit smoking, and maybe find other less strenuous activities to occupy my “leisure time.”

It might also be a great excuse to spend more time fishing, which truth be known, is merely a euphemism for sitting around in the sun drinking beer and BSing with your buddy.

markrushton@abbynews.com

 

 

 

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