Regular readers of our Blog are well aware of our struggles with banking and call centre ending up just too often without the right answer or any help at all. Today, I have been told a story compared to which our past experience seems to be just ridiculously unimportant.
A colleague of mine and his wife were expecting a baby. As I understood, the pregnancy went well and the baby was quite on time. On the day, when the act of birth began, my colleague and his wife didn’t want to go to the hospital too early as you may be sent away again in order to return later. After 8 hours in labour it felt as it would be the time to go to the hospital. Before leaving home, my colleague phoned the hospital to announce their arrival. But the other side of the line just answered “Sorry, we’re closed!”
What? Sorry, we’re closed??? How on earth can a hospital answer like that to a pregnant woman? Even if there is – and as it turned out to be was – an unexpected high number of births going on, the answer shouldn’t be “Sorry, we’re closed.” This sort of “Sorry, we’re closed.” falls in the category of Sorry (our friend Chris developed a few categories of Sorry in his very funny Blog) that means “Sorry, this is entirely your problem and I don’t care about.” This is just shocking! Unbelievable! I really cannot understand such a reaction.
But we are already long enough in the country to know that there will be no way to convince the hospital of changing its mind. And my colleague did know that as well. While he was trying to find another hospital, he was already googling for “how to give birth” and was prepared to do the job himself. Luckily, they eventually ended up in another hospital and the birth went well!
What really strikes me in this context is the unwillingness to help which one can observe quite of in similar situations. However, it is not a careless or selfish country in general. But there is a difference between professional and private environment.
In professional live, people tend to be more selfish and take less care for others. They try to do their duties and follow the rules but are not over-enthusiastic about their jobs. Important is to leave work on time.
In private life, others matter indeed. Brits are very enthusiastic about charities for example. Everybody is at least to a small extent supporting a good cause. And where it becomes obvious, is in the pub. There is an unwritten law that people who earn more pay more rounds in the pub than others.
I think I will never completely understand this ambivalent behavior. But I will keep calm and carry on paying rounds for the juniors.