I’m trying hard to be organised and professional. Unfortunately, this has not been going well. I’m in the office. It’s open plan. My boss sits next to me. ‘Hi,it’s me. I’d like to get a repeat prescription.’ On the other end of the phone, the GP’s receptionist seems distracted. She asks me who I am. I am surprised, but amenable. There is a furious typing clicking from her end of the line. I politely do not type. (My boss glances in my direction, but I mouth ‘doctor’ at him and point at the phone. He smiles, bemusedly). The receptionist is back with me. ‘So what prescription is that?’ I am quiet. It occurs to me that the rest of the office can hear. I think about typing furiously to create a masking noise. ‘Hello? Are you still there?’ I panic. ‘All of them.’ ‘I’m sorry?’ ‘Yes. Just make me up a prescription for everything.’
My colleague raises his eye quizzically at me across the desk. I realise I sound like a junkie. ‘Well, actually, could you read me out what I have?’ My boss has stopped working to stare at me. I now sound like a diseased junkie. I smile disarmingly at the office, and give a helpless shrug, hopefully implying that I am merely calling the GP to confirm my wellness to participate in the 2012 Olympics. The beleaguered GP receptionist starts to recite my entire medical history. I am wondering how I am going to afford to pay for this prescription, which looks as though it will encompass every childhood illness I ever had. I am also wondering what the pharmacist is going to think when I ask for an industrial strength nit treatment. I realise that this would never have happened to me if I wasn’t so organised and professional. I resolve to never again phone for a repeat prescription. Instead, like any sensible person, I will wait until my medication runs out, then wake up with streamingly itchy eyes and remember that I should have been taking my hayfever pills. (I do not know why I did not want my office to realise I had hayfever. I assume it was something to do with my newfound organisation and professionalism).