La Vie à Lyon

Living, learning and loving in Lyon !

Allo ? Allo ?

The thing that throws up the greatest language barrier for me is talking on the phone. I hate it. I very rarely answer the phone when it rings at home, and it takes me days to mentally prepare to make a phonecall, which I’ll put off for the slightest thing :

Gee, I should ring the doctor to make an appointment. Oh the skirting boards are a bit dusty, better do them first. The magnets on the fridge are messy, better rearrange them nicely. Ooooh, something else pointless and irrelevant needs doing and oh ! Is that the time ? It’s too late to ring the doctor, I’ll have to do it tomorrow.

But the time finally came that I needed a new prescription, and I had to bite the bullet. I’ve only been to the doctor once by myself, and even then Sim rang and made the appointment for me. Doctor G-D has a practice in an apartment building on the main street rather than in a medical clinic. She was recommended to me by Sim’s cousin, on the basis that she spoke English and was super nice. It’s true, so I rang her secretary to make another appointment.

The conversation went something like this :

Moi: I’d like to make an appointment with Doctor G-D, please.

Secretary: Yes of course. Have you already seen Doctor G-D ?

M: Yes, once, a year ago.

S: What is your name ?

M: Jayde Clements.

S: How is that spelled ?

M: Jayde J-A-Y-D-E Clements C-L-E-M-E-N-T-S

S: Yes, but what is your name ?

M: Jayde Clements…

S: Yes, but what is your LAST name ?

M: Clements

S: How is that spelled ?

M: (Really ? I repeated the spelling of my name – both of them…)

S: OK. I have an appointment at 12:30 on Monday February 18.

M: No, that won’t work sorry. Do you have any evening appointments ?

S: 5pm on Wednesday February 20.

M: Nothing later ?

S: No, there are no free places.

M: Nothing on Saturdays ?

S: No, you  have to go to the nurse on weekends.

M: OK, I’ll take that appointment.

S: Very good. What is the appointment for ?

M: I need to renew a prescription.

S: Yes, but what is the appointment for ?

M: Er, my prescription has expired and I need to renew it… (maybe she didn’t understand me the first time)

S: You do realise that you need an appointment to do that ?

M: What ? Didn’t I just make an appointment ?

S: Yes, but it’s obligatory to have an appointment to renew a prescription.

M: Er… But… What ? (By now, I’m both confused and flustered, forgetting all the French I’ve ever learned and just want to hang up)

S: Pfffft. Wednesday February 20, it’s noted, au revoir.

And up she hung ! I just stared stupidly at the phone, looked at my diary and realised I have to work at that time anyway and promptly burst into tears ! Bloody hell !

So now I have an appointment that I can’t keep, a bruised ego and an even deeper hatred of making phonecalls ! I’m going to have to find a clinic that I can physically go to and make an appointment face to face. Sorry Doctor G-D, but your secretary is a con***se !

I just have to ask Sim nicely if he’ll ring and cancel my appointment for me first !

Bisous !

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5 thoughts on “Allo ? Allo ?

  1. Dot Boelen on said:

    Hi Jayde,

    You poor thing, I HATE going to the Dr and do exactly the same thing when I need an appointment here, and I don’t have the language excuse! Perhaps you could get Sim to get a “repeat prescription” when he cancels the appointment then you wont have to go at all!!! Good Luck!!!

  2. You’re so funny. Just because it’s the telephone you think it has to be perfect. lol the person on the other end will be very helpful if you say, (i;m sorry but I have a little difficulty speaking french on the phone. ) Then try as best you can. and I reckon it’ll be pretty bloody good.
    Glenn

  3. Erich on said:

    highsterical! Now I’m nervous.

  4. Pinay Flying High on said:

    LOL.

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