Justifiable Crankiness?

I remember a song from when I was a kid about walking on the sunny side of the street. Walking our rough collie dog is a constant reminder. When sun batters through clouds in our part of Scotland—which is extremely rare in a marine climate where it rains nearly every day, I want to walk on the sunny side of the street. The best grass and the best sniffing places for Savannah, however, are apparently on the west side of the street where the sun is blocked by eight-foot high hedges and stone fences. So dog happily walks in the shade, sniffing…and I shuffle along behind her casting yearning glances at the other side of the street—the sunny side.

“On the Sunny Side of the Street” was written by Dorothy Fields in the 1930s. Here are a few of the lyrics:

Grab your coat and grab your hat, baby
Leave your worries on the doorstep
Just direct your feet
On the sunny side of the street

Can’t you hear the pitter-pat
That happy tune is your step
Life can be so sweet
On the sunny side of the street

The nearly magical aspect of the sunny side of the street is that you can walk there even in the rain—if you let the peace of God rule your thoughts. You can be someone’s sunshine even on the darkest days.

I failed this morning. I’ve heard of “justifiable homicide,” but I engaged in… justifiable crankiness? Alan received an appointment letter for a home visit from a doctor from the local hospital. The letter directed, “if you are unable to keep this appointment call (number) as soon as possible.” Alan is still in the hospital, so I called that number several times—but it didn’t work. The letter head identified the hospital, but gave no phone number. So, feeling sympathy for older people who don’t have access to the internet, I looked up the number on the computer and called. I should have saved the sympathy for me. The number went to a switchboard, which went to another switchboard, which went to yet a third switchboard that finally quipped, “You cannot leave a message at this number. Please call…” I was on the way out the door to catch the ferry and get across the water to visit Alan, so I didn’t have a pen. I ran back to the desk for a pen and jotted down the number. I called. Yay! A live person. The live person said, “I’ve never heard of that doctor. I have no record of that appointment. If you will just hold…”

“I can’t hold. I’m on the way out the door to catch the ferry.”

“If you will leave your number, I will have someone call you.”

“I won’t be here. I’m on the way to catch the ferry.”

“Someone will call you later…”

“I don’t want anyone to call me latter. I just want to cancel the appointment and catch the ferry.”

“Let me give you another number…”

I hung up. Epic fail. I left the sunny side of the street.

I got to the ferry just in time. The sun came out. It was a beautiful day for riding on the sunny side of the water, but I had left a person behind somewhere at some switchboard sitting under a storm cloud, because I forgot Colossians 3:15, “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts.”

It was Scotland’s NHS. Did that make it justifiable crankiness?

Amazon.com: Stephanie Parker McKean: books, biography, latest update

6 thoughts on “Justifiable Crankiness?

  1. So frustrating, Steph. I do everything I can not to make phone calls because of this kind of issue. I hope you got to see Alan on time, though. Really, if they are goin to make it so difficult, they must get frustrated even more than you. It does sound as if the service needs attention, though. Keep your sense of humour, my friend. It’s the only thing that helps! Apart from your faith, that is.

  2. I too have been in that situation… often. Usually, I’ll try pressing 0 to get a live person and skip all the recordings. If that doesn’t work, I press numbers until I get the recording that says, “Let me get you to a live representative.” And if that fails, I give up and figure it serves them right if I can’t cancel my appointment. If they charge me, I’ll fight them over the situation in person… in their office, in front of the other patients.

    Praying that Alan will get better soon, and for you and Savannah through all of this trial. Love you, girl.

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