Between The Line, Diane Lines, April 24, 2015

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I recently had to arrange to see an emergency doctor at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

It was a Sunday morning, and I was given an appointment for 10.30. I duly turned up at the reception desk, where a very nice man asked my name, then plonked a survey form down and asked me to fill it in.

It was, he said, to get feedback on my experience that morning. As I hadn’t yet experienced the whole experience, it was a little difficult, but he said I could take it home to complete then post it back.

In the event, it was very pleasant, in so far as a trip to the hospital on Easter Sunday can be.

At one time the council offices in Lynn used to have a set of emoticons by the door, in order for customers to press either the smiley face, the angry face, or the slightly bemused expression. I don’t believe they are there anymore.

Honestly though, what good does it do? If I was happy before I saw the wretched things, I certainly wasn’t by the time I came to press them.

I have recently changed my energy supplier, due to the fact that my previous supplier seemed to have got my bill mixed up with the combined bills for Sandringham and the halls of Houghton, Holkham and Oxburgh.

Trying to get through to this particular organisation on the telephone was, I think, more difficult than ringing the Prime Minister. I used to give a hollow laugh when hearing the standard message that, ‘in order to improve our service, all calls our recorded’. Hah!

Improve our service! When the current waiting time is over one hour…

Perhaps customers should dish out feedback requests to the people by whom we are being served.

It could ask how they feel they have been ‘customed’. Was the customer miserable, smiley, talkative, and did she take ages to pfaff around getting her purse out, fish about for coins, drop the purse, and generally hold matters up (as I do).

Anyway, all this feedback business got me thinking. I don’t know whether my reader thinks this column is of any great value, possibly on a par with Oscar Wilde or Noel Coward. Or it may just be seen as the witterings of a middle-aged menopausal woman. So, any feedback would be gratefully received – if you think this column is high culture deserving of a place in the Bodleian Library, tick the smiley face. If you think it is unmitigated drivel, tick the grumpy face. If you just eat your chips from it, then you won’t be able to see it anyway!