Power cuts

When I was very much younger power cuts were a regular occurance. This was generally due to coal minors working to rule because of pay cuts.

We’d get the candles out from the cupboard under the kitchen sink and play cards or read by candlelight or talk. I don’t really remember much about them being a particular problem, but then as a kid it probably made no difference to my world. I guess if you were trying to work, or cook dinner for the family, or in the middle of something really important it would be really annoying.

During adult life when there’s been power cuts its often a case of a tripped switch, so a quick rummage in the cupboard under the stairs to sort it out. Maybe a dodgy fuse in an appliance.

We had a proper power outage this evening. The whole street went out. It was actually quite exciting in a way. Oooo, wonder what’s caused that? How long is it going to last?

Rather disappointingly, it was only a matter of about a minute before everything kicked back on again. And these days you can check on line to see what happened.

This evening’s little darkened interlude was brought to us by engineers carrying out emergency repairs to the network. By the looks of things there’s been a power cut nearby for some considerable time that is still not sorted, so our little blip may have been connected.

Makes you think about things that we take for granted and only notice when they go wrong. Every day lights go on, kettles boil and water gets heated. I know we pay our bills for that privilege. We never say thank you for making sure that the lights go on, the kettle boils and the water is hot. We only complain when it doesn’t.

Some of the roles I’ve had at work in the past have been a lot like that. You never get thanked for doing a good job every day, you just get complaints when it doesn’t happen properly.

I remember saying at the interview I had when I applied for my Masters course that a patients journey has so many interactions that shape a patients view of the care they’re going to receive, that could go wrong at any stage, with the organisation before they even get to say hello to a clinician.

Firstly the patient needs to get there, so there needs to be good public transport or parking facilities. When they arrive they walk through grounds that need to be maintained. Then walk into a building that needs to be upright, light, heated and equipped. Then either see a receptionist or a self serve totem that means having a computer system that works. Then, maybe if they’re early for their appointment they go for a coffee, so that needs to be avaliable, then of course they’ll need a wee so toilets need to be cleaned and serviced. Then, when they get to the clinic area, their notes are miraculously available, whether paper or electronic. All of that before anyone has said hello.

But we never say thank you for all that. We just take it for granted and complain when any of that system doesn’t work to our liking.


One thought on “Power cuts

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s