Wednesday, 2 April 2008


This is not about New or Digital Literacies.

It is just a rant .... by way of a change.

Inspired by Karl bemoaning the attitudes of people on telephones.... he complains that despite changes in law about gay rights, attitudes of some people and organisations seem to lag behind.

I fancy having a moan about the phone call I had the other day:

Caller: Hello Can I speak to Claire Rosie please?

Me: Hi , Is that the Learning and Skills Council?

Caller: Yes. How did you know?

Me: because people from the LSC always call my daughter by that name. It’s not her name. It’s XXXX.

Caller: Oh I see. It’s XXXX? Is it? But we have Claire Rosie down here.

Me: Well I am afraid that’s not her name. It’s XXXX. Anyway I am afraid she is in bed asleep at the moment and so is unable to speak with you. Can you call after 4?

Caller: In bed? At this time?

Me: Yes That’s right. I am afraid she is unwell.

Caller: Well actually that is what I am concerned about.

Me: Oh really?

Caller: Yes I have unusual notes here saying that every time we ring someone says she is in bed. So I want to check what is going on.

Me: Yes, that’s right. Every time you ring she is in bed. I think it is me people usually speak to. I am afraid she is in bed as she is unwell. When people ring I usually suggest they call after 4 as she is usually resting until then.

Caller: Until 4 o clock? In bed? Really? Now? (Absolute Disbelief; consternation etc.) How can she always be in bed this late?

Me: Yes. That’s right. None of us are happy about it. But that is the way it is. She is in bed. She is ill. She has been ill for eleven years and we are not enjoying it. I am sorry it is inconveneient but this is the nature of her illness. We are not trying to trick you.

Caller: So you are trying to tell me she has been asleep for eleven years?? (Sarcastic. Incredulous. Calling me a liar type of voice).

Me: No I am not saying that. I am saying that she is in bed till late and I keep telling people from the LSC to ring after 4. The reason why you even know about her and have her name (wrongly) is that she is signed on to do an online course – which as it happens she has been too ill to complete.

Caller: Well when can we speak to her about the course?

Me: After 4 o clock. But hang on a minute. I think you are being unbelievably rude here. How dare you sarcastically say ‘ Has she been asleep for eleven years?’ You know she hasn’t. You know she is signed on for a course. Why are you speaking to me like this? Have you any idea how painful this conversation is? (Really flipping mad aty this point. Nearly crying as usual).

Caller: There is no need to take it the wrong way.

Me: I have not taken anything the wrong way. You have said the wrong thing and I have taken it the appropriate way. I have spotted that you are being rude and I am responding.

Caller: I am sorry you think I have been rude. You would not believe the people I have to deal with. I just need to know what is going on and I am sorry you have taken that wrongly.

Me: Etc blah blah …

You get the gist? This is what some (a very very few) people are like if they don't think your illness/disability is of the right kind.

maybe she should have read this:

a smile in action


Simply Clare said...

Rant on Dr Joolz. What a preposterous phone call. The only suggestion I can make is to tell the caller that their behaviour is highly offensive.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
DrJoolz said...

Yes I agree .... and thanks for support.After the call I wished I had taken her name and made an official complaint.

Mary Plain said...

I think you did well not to get even madder with her. It must be so frustrating having to do this over and over again..

DrJoolz said...

In a way I wish I had gone a bit more crazy ... but then I guess I would have regretted that too. Another real corker recently was when we went to the ME specialist centre.... and discovered they have no doctors who work there. It is only occupational therapists. The only treatment they suggested was that I needed counselling. Nothing for the 'actual' patient. Just help for me as I seemed upset that my daughter was ill. Uhuh. That's right, I am upset. I think I would need 'help' if I were not upset.

Karl said...

I've been wondering what to say for a couple of days. But sorry, I'm still open-mouthed. Thanks for telling us about this. I think.

DrJoolz said...

Yes I was pretty stunned for several days and kept telling people about it. Scarily the two disabled people I told were not at all surprised...