Friday, 3 February 2023

When Numbers Mean More than People

Nowadays, in Romania, a lot of employees benefit from a medical subscription to a private clinic. I am also benefiting from that too, and the subscription is paid by my employer. For some time now, money seems to be at the center of things when it comes to private clinics. People are no longer treated as such, but as numbers. Well, this has been visible for some time now around us. And it’s true, maybe I fail to get this being a lady of letters, but I cannot help but wonder, where is the humanity?

When it comes to private clinics, because I tested almost all of them, for some years now I have been feeling like a second hand patient. Let me explain, please.

A while back, if I was to call the call center for an appointment and there was no availability, I was suggested another time. But now, the call center agents don’t even bother to hide why this happens. There is no room for those that have subscriptions, but those that do not and can pay the examination can have an apppointment the very next day.

In this case, the question arises about why should the employer pay for a subscription for an employee, having good intentions at heart, when the provider of services (namely, the private clinic) chooses to treat that employee as less important than a patient with no subscription?!


It’s worriesome to learn that the financial interest is being considered more by the professionals that have swore to make good. One morning, while I was waiting to draw blood and there was only one pacient than myself, with appointment, the nurses ignored us for a while until other pacients that did not have subscription (having priority, as one nurse explained to the lady that was waiting with me for more than 30 minutes) arrived and were invited in before us. I felt the bitter taste of humiliation, and it was then that I thought of the abovementioned question. Wouldn’t it be better if the employer allocated a budget to the employees so they can use it whenever they need and at any private clinic they wish (or they find appointments)? This way, the clinics would be more amiable and humane to all pacients going to a clinic. For it seems to me that the subscription does not mean anything for the clinics anymore.


And there’s another thing that bothers me. Why is the employer’s money less valuable? If a clinic wishes only to make money, they should target this, without giving employers the facility to make medical subscriptions for their employees. It is absolutely grotesque to realize that this type of clinics have as slogan: we provide care, but if we already got your money, you are less interesting.


When I finally got to the pay desk to pay for some blood tests that were not included in my subscription, what I heard made me even furious. Below you can find the excerpt from a dialogue that I heard between an old man and the receptionst.

Old man: But, can’t I see the doctor before?

Receptionist: I’m sorry. There are no available slots. But if you want an appointment outside your subscription, you can come tomorrow. But you must pay.

Old man: How much is it?

Receptionist: 250 RON.

Old man: Oh, I see ... no.

Receptionist: Then, shall I make you an appointment at the end of February?

Old man: Isn’t it possible earlier, please? Or at least, you can call her now and ask her? I just need her advice. Should I stop the treatment or should I wait for the results of the blood tests? You know, this amount of money is too high for me. 250 RON is too expensive, you see?

Receptionist: (maybe a little ashamed that all people waiting in line were looking at her as if she was an executioner) Hm, well, wait a little...

Old man: OK, I will wait right here until you call the doctor and see what she thinks.


Humanity. Where has humanity gone? And why we cannot find it in places where it should be by default…

Friday, 27 January 2023


At a hotel reception, the client explains to the receptionist that he took the booking without breakfast and asks for the price.

Receptionist: It would have been better, had you booked the reservation with breakfast included. It’s cheaper on their site.

Client: I understand. But if I should want to have the breakfast at the hotel tomorrow morning, how much would that cost?

Receptionist: Sir, it would have been better to have booked with breakfast included. Otherwise, it’s expensive.

Client: OK, but how much is it?

Receptionist: ... it’s expensive.

Client: Ah, OK, it’s expensive.

Receptionist: Yes, sir.

Monday, 16 January 2023


In a Romanian grocery shop, an old couple enters. He is bored out of his wits and has had enough of stores. He just wants out. She is at her leisure, she takes her time and she analyzes very keenly every little jar, every little label. This is why she pulls up a jar of sourcherry jam and takes it right in the shopkeeper’s face.

‘This jam is grainy.’

The shopkeeper is not at all impressed; maybe she faces often enough such thorough analyses, and she tells her, ‘tilt it a little bit. You see, it’s not grainy at all!’. She (the client) smacks her lips, unfazed, and puts the jar back at its place (hopefully, for the sake of the shopkeeper) and continues her inspection. He sits now closer to the exit, like a desperate cry that he needs to leave. She cannot be bothered. And then yells at the top of her lungs, as if they were alone in this world.

‘What do you say? Shall we buy a jar of jam?’

‘No’, he answers really quickly.

‘You don’t want to?’


A small pause. ‘Why don’t you want to?’

‘Eh, why…?!’

Another small pause to give her enough time to inspect a couple of jars more.

‘Well, we’ll take one. It’s not that it’s up to you, is it?!’

Monday, 9 January 2023

Call a spade a spade

This year, I am not going to make plans (well, only regarding the number of books I am going to read). This is how I am, even though I did not live many years under Ceausescu’s regime I have an issue with planning over the next five years. And I must admit I am one of those persons that like to set milestones whenever a personal or professional project must be delivered. Thus, I have no issue with strategy, but with the too-much-promoted question – where will you be in … years’ time?

Thus, this year I won’t let stupid remarks get by without telling things as they are. And here’s a clear example (I recently heard it and I really wanted to give that lady a piece of my mind (she was a psychologist), but I could not since she was on TV; yes, a small inconvenience for me, it’s true): nowadays, people are better. 

No, lady, people are exactly as they have always been and as they will be, even though now there are smartphones everywhere and we get the feeling that everyone is smart and cultivated. Some people are wonderful beings, always there to help, responsible, dignified, and reliable. Others, are ruthless, lazy and mere pests.

And I clearly saw the game you were playing, lady; it was to make me, the one watching you on TV, make me feel good about myself and remembering your name for you were the one that understood how great I am for living during these times. My father has a savory saying – shoo, smell the floor!


And you, what idiot remarks annoy you?