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Can you just…? – By PM Polly

by in Funny

Do you ever get asked to do a petty task that really infuriates you?

My ‘favourite’ was when a note was left in my tray by ‘Anonymous’. Anonymous had asked me to put together a tea rota for the admin team. A tea rota. Like life is so difficult that even being able to make a decision about who should make the tea needs a rota. This is what we are dealing with?!

My polite response to the team about the note from ‘Anonymous’ went something like this:

Thank you for your request, asking that I put a tea rota together for the admin team. Unfortunately, due to the pressure on my time, I can’t facilitate this; however, I feel sure that the six members of the team can work out a way to coordinate this task themselves.

What I would like to have said is…

Who the *$£@ is ‘Anonymous’?! And what on earth possessed you to think that it was a good idea to put a note in my tray asking me if I could put together a **$%^£@ tea rota for six adults? SIX ADULTS?! You may have noticed I am dealing with a pandemic; I’m supporting 30 staff who are tired, exhausted and fed up. I’m still trying to hit targets sent to us by those above, and answering complaints from patients who also have forgotten that we’re working through world-changing times. 

Along with this, I get asked to do other ridiculous things that you could do yourself like unblocking the sink or wiping up sick or being asked to buy a card because the cleaner is off with a wart on her toe (or something like that). Every day I answer emails that you send on to me which you could answer yourself, like the one the other day when Mr Price contacted you to ask whether solar turbines could be responsible for Covid… Why did you think I could answer that?!

I’m still paying wages, drawings, pensions and the HMRC, putting VAT returns together, reconciling the bank accounts, overseeing budgets, maximising income streams, conducting appraisals, reviews, recruiting staff, training. I’m still responsible for all of your health and safety and that of the patients, I still answer all the IT queries and I’m still responsible for information governance. It’s me who phones the electrician because the lights have broken (again) or the automatic door company because it’s rained two drops so they’ve decided to stop opening (again). I’m having to juggle everyone’s hours for those people who can’t work their normal hours because they’ve got a cough, their child can’t go to school or their cat is missing.

Oh yeah, like I said, there’s this other thing going on – a pandemic – so I’m also, on top of all that, now managing a mass vaccination centre! Not an ordinary set-up, working mass vaccination centre. A totally impractical one, where you’re told you’ll get 700 vaccines tomorrow but then get 70 and the IT systems don’t work properly or talk to each other and there’s yet more governance. Also, the media like to tell everyone they’re getting their vaccine four weeks before you’ve even got any supply, and someone got a kick out of making Cohort 6 so convoluted and complex that I’ve run down the supply of pink gin at my local supermarket.

 So ‘Anonymous’, by now you may have guessed it; I’m not putting together your &*^%$* tea rota but I can recommend an alternative – stop drinking so much tea and do some work!

That’s what I wanted to say.

So, tell me – what’s the most grating task you’ve been asked to do?

Keep smiling!

PM Polly

[Total: 9   Average: 5/5]
PM Polly

PM Polly

Experienced Practice Manager doing my best to stay sane.

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9 Responses to “Can you just…? – By PM Polly”
  1. Avatar
    SC Says:

    Unblock a toilet because “Its not in my job description!” (its in mine??). I was once told a new light bulb was needed for the patient toilet at our branch surgery (which happens to be in town quite close to shops). When I resignedly asked what sort of bulb it was, the response was “I don’t know – can you come and look?”!!


  2. Avatar
    Margaret Says:

    Hi Polly,

    Its not really a task, so here goes. I like to stroll around Costco ( I know sad isn’t it) whilst shopping one Saturday morning I remembered that we were running low on toilet paper, so I bulk buy. Walk into practice on Monday with toilet paper to be told. Oh XXX (cant use name) doesn’t like that kind of toilet paper, you better take it back. This is a Receptionist we are talking about. Of course, my reply is, if she doesn’t want to use this she can use newspaper!


  3. Avatar
    David Says:

    Love it, so want to send this myself!!


  4. Avatar
    Alli Says:

    Why am I laughing?!?! Yesterday, the hand towel dispenser was empty “but that’s not a nurses job”, a computer was bringing up a message that required IT “ok, crack on and call them then”, “are you busy?” “yes I am and I’m leaving for our vaccine site in 5 minutes” “well who is going to help me with my patient then” “erm one of the 6 others GPS, 2 HCAs, 2 nurses or the Pharmacist?”

    What I wanted to say to all of them was “no, it’s not in my JD either, can’t you just use some common sense and JFDI!

    And breathe……


  5. Avatar
    Ann Says:

    Oh Polly, you have summed it up to a “T” pardon the pun. That gave me a laugh.
    I think you should have just gone with the second response:))


  6. Avatar
    Oliver Says:

    Well I had a good one. Every Wednesday a certain Dr would arrive and leave a giant deposit in the toilet that would never go round the toilet S bend on the flush and of course no other member of the team could possibly use the toilet until me (PM) was summoned to break it up with the loo brush and send it on its way Yes I ask you what gave me the poo busting qualifications every week. and yes I mean every week. A great “how’s your day been dear”conversation starter with hubby each week.


  7. Avatar
    Sarah Says:

    Oooh I’m going to adapt this and send it out haha!


  8. Avatar
    Sarah Says:

    A new member of staff came to tell me that she thought the HCA’s shouldn’t be checking water temperatures in the clinical rooms as this was an “Estates” job – I replied well I’m “Estates” and I don’t have the time!! My GP, when I retold this to them said I didn’t know you were “Estates” and my response (in the privacy of my own head was (well who the %*&$ do you think arranges for replacement lights, unblocks the toilet, organises for the grounds to be maintained, books painters and decorators etc etc). Anyway thank you for this opportunity to get this out of my head – I feel so much better putting this in writing!


  9. Avatar
    Kate Appleyard Says:

    Mine was from a very experienced GP! A patient had basically gone on strike in his room and refused to get off the examination couch. The GP proceeded to leave the room locking the door leaving the patient on the couch. GP literally gave me his door key and asked me to remove the patient from his couch!!



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