Conversation with a Gas engineer (or 2 or 3…)…….

At the end of last week, I had problems with my heating. It comes on in the morning for a couple of hours and again at 4pm for a couple of hours…..In between I’m either out or snuggled in my duvet upstairs listening to the radio or tapping away on my ipad…..

On this particular day, there I was snuggled and tapping away, waiting for the clicks and clunks that signify the heating was coming to life……….it wasn’t until my nose was still cold that I realised the necessary clunks and clicks hadn’t occurred…..🤔

Wasn’t until I reached out and touched the cold radiator that my worst fears came to light. Sure enough, when I got downstairs to the boiler the red light was mischievously blinking at me🙄 It had only been serviced 2 days prior and was working fine before then……🤔

I went on line, found the British gas service site and clicked on ‘repair needed’ – no need to phone these as they allow you to do it online……usually……….as the page refreshed for appointments, up popped the message:
“We’re sorry, but we’re unable to book your appointment, please ring……….”😩

I knew Gemma’s phone wasn’t working and Sarah was at work, so there no choice but for me try and ring😱 However, I got the most lovely patient chappie, who did everything he could to help and didn’t rush me in the least – BIG brownie point.

They knew I had dementia and lived alone so would send someone out that evening before 10pm………😴 Many of you know I don’t do very well in the dark, so the prospect of engineer suddenly turning up was making me more anxious by the minute (Yes, I know I could have tried to ring your landline Gem, but I thought I’d be ok after the nice phone call..😊)

The man turned up at 8pm, which wasn’t too bad but he’d obviously had a bad day and was very impatient at first. It took him ages to fix. In the end we had a  conversation that went something like this….

Man – ‘Do you know how to use the pressure key?”
Me – ‘What pressure key”?
Man – ‘The one hidden underneath the unit. I’ll show you what to do in case the pressure drops ’
Me – ‘That’s ok, I won’t remember – I have dementia’
Man – ‘That’s ok, I’ll show you’
Me – ‘But once you’ve left I won’t remember, so don’t worry’
Man – ‘But if it the pressure drops, you’ll know what to do’
Me – No I won’t ‘cos I won’t remember’

This conversation was obviously going to continue until I gave up and watched him show me where the secret key was hidden that I’d never remember in a million years, never mind what to do with it on the off chance of me stumbling across it!

He left telling me he’d fixed it, ….🤔

The next morning, I heard the comforting clicks and clunks of the heating coming on so thought it was all ok…..I went downstairs, after a warm shower, that’s usually hot….to find the heating very slow to wake up.

It wasn’t right……..

By the by, ( Sarah and Gemma need to skip this paragraph….) I also found my draining board empty of washing up, apart from my porridge bowl from the previous afternoon, so me thinks in all the chaos I forgot to eat the night before🙄

I went on line again, in the hope that the booking system would be working……
“We’re  sorry, but we’re unable to book your appointment, please ring……….”😩

So the whole thing started again (Gemma and Sarah at work this time) Feeling quite confident and expecting to hear a nice friendly voice as I had before, I was surprised to get a very grumpy, unhelpful girl this time who didn’t even say goodbye…….😞 Brownie point from yesterday immediately deducted………
The new engineer came, but couldn’t fix it properly, so I had to have another person booked in to come on Saturday…………..I was  hoping for a nice smiley face…….and wasn’t disappointed. He was the smiliest of them all and the poor chap was here for hours putting right all the others work…..

So me thinks that utility services could do with some dementia awareness training…..after all I can’t be the only person living alone with dementia who needs their services………and what are we always saying…..:

Get it right for people with dementia and you get it right for so many others……..

About wendy7713

On the 31st July 2014 I was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. I may not have much of a short term memory anymore but that date is one I’ll never forget. I’m 58 years young, live happily alone in Yorkshire, have 2 daughters and I’m currently still in full time employment in the NHS. However, I’m now in the process of taking early retirement to give me a chance of enjoying life while I’m still me. I've started this blog to allow me, in the first instance, to write all my thoughts before they’re lost. If anyone chooses to follow my ramblings it will serve as a way of raising awareness on the lack of research into Alzheimer's. It will hopefully convey the helplessness of those diagnosed with dementia, as there is no cure – the end is inevitable. However, I’m also hoping I can convey that, although we've been diagnosed, people like me still have a substantial contribution to make; we still have a sense of humour; we sill have feelings. I’m hoping to show the reality of trying to cope on a day to day basis with the ever-changing environment that dementia throws at those diagnosed with the condition. What I want is not sympathy. What I want is simply to raise awareness.

5 thoughts on “Conversation with a Gas engineer (or 2 or 3…)…….

  1. Hi Wendy
    I’m sending empathic eye-rolls and infuriation for you.
    I was booked to do a number of dementia communication workshops for a power company in the north-west last autumn – for their call centre and their engineers. However, in their wisdom, they cancelled them. This is how it goes!

    Liked by 2 people

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