Konga Fail

So it seems that I don’t have much luck shopping online over here… Keep reading for a long and ranty post!

We needed a new fridge. LagosDad told me to look online and check out what was available.

I spent a week looking at various options and decided on one particular one, which I found on konga.com. I got LagosDad’s approval. He told me to get Mil and Fil’s approval. I sent them the link. Neither of them replied to my Whatsapp message (no surprise, really). Finally, LagosDad told me to just go ahead and order it.

I ordered and paid and the fridge arrived a week later (through a third party seller – RCT). I was in school at the time, but LagosDad messaged to say that it was really small and that I should return it and get a refund. This was December 1. When I got home, I saw the carton and realized that yes, it is too small. Did I measure? No. So how on earth did I know what size fridge I was buying? Don’t ask. I thought I knew what I was doing.

Anyway, so that very day I emailed Konga and I rang them and explained that I’d made a mistake and that I wanted to return the fridge.

Ugh, you know what… This is going to take too long. I’m going to copy and paste an email that I just sent them…

“Needless to say I am very disappointed by this decision. I have seen the return policy. I have also looked at other items by RCT on Konga and NO WHERE does it state their return/refund policy.

I have admitted that I made an error when I ordered the item. I ordered the wrong size. But again, no dimensions were put on the seller’s page. Perhaps that should have been my first clue.

HOWEVER, I contacted Konga on the day of delivery (December 1) to request a return/refund. I emailed and I spoke with someone on the phone. I received an email confirmation to this effect. 
I spoke to Konga the next day (December 2) as well. I was assured that the seller had been contacted and that someone would get back to me.
On Monday (December 5) the seller contacted me to say I had had the item for more than three days so that they would not accept a return/refund. WHY DID THEY WAIT FOUR DAYS TO CONTACT ME?
I spoke with Konga again after that. On the Monday and on Wednesday (December 7) and again, I was assured that the seller had been contacted.
And then last night I received an email to say that the seller had declined my appeal for a return/refund because the item is not defective. 
So, please tell me – what does their policy state? They knew the item was not defective when they were first contacted. But they didn’t state that as their reason for not accepting a return. They said that I’d had the item for more than three days. And now they’re saying that they won’t accept it because it’s not defective?
PLEASE clear this up for me. 
I am very upset about this.”
I’m so angry about this right now. I don’t know if anything will come of this back and forth email exchange, but I have to try at least.
Meanwhile, if anyone wants a 212L Samsung single-door fridge, it’s NGN100,000.
Update: After Konga saw this post on Twitter, they rang me up and said they had a resolution. I could exchange my fridge with another item from the same seller. She told me that they had a chest freezer which was larger. I told her that this would not work as I ordered a fridge, not a freezer – and that I didn’t want a freezer.

Starting Again

As you already know, I’ve started teaching full-time again. And… I love it!

One of the things that I was looking forward to, was the fact that I’d be too busy to eat everything I could get my hands on!

Seriously – I’ve exercised five times in the last YEAR! Four times in August and once in September. And that’s it.

Every day I eat two boiled eggs for breakfast and I take food to school with me – a small box of Crunchy Nut Cornflakes, a small box of carrot sticks, an apple and some chicken salad. It’s enough to see me through the day, right? Apparently not.

So I need the Crunchy Nut and the carrot sticks for while I’ve got my prep periods – you know, something to munch on while I’m grading or planning, or whatever. But that usually means that it’s all gone by 8.30 am.

Anyway, so just my luck – the cafeteria is right next door to my classroom. RIGHT NEXT DOOR.

Bistro 7 caters for the school. This is great for them. But not for me. Have you ever had their chocolate brownies? TO DIE FOR!

Anyway, so at 9.30 every morning, in to the cafeteria I go – whether I’m hungry or not and I have a chocolate brownie. It’s reached a point where the staff don’t even ask me what I want anymore – they just hand me the brownie and I hand them a N500 note. It’s also reached a point where my colleagues take the piss out of me!

But that’s not all. So I have the brownie. And then two hours later – during my lunch period, I have my chicken salad (it’s good – but it’s become boring). And then I’ll go back to the cafeteria and get French fries (they are SO good). JESUS CHRIST – WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? Again, the staff just know what I want!

Perhaps it wouldn’t be so bad if I had to walk down three floors to get there and then three more floors to go back to my classroom – but no. NEXT DOOR!

Needless to say, although I know I’m not doing myself any favours, I keep on eating. A couple of weeks ago I decided enough was enough and I didn’t want to keep eating the brownies and the fries. So I decided to go back on Cambridge Weight Plan. I did so well on it last year… But stuff kept getting in the way – dinners with friends at the weekend, drinks with colleagues on a Friday afternoon, brownies in the cafeteria next door…

I decided half-term was a perfect time to start. I wanted to go to the CWP centre on Friday to get all my shakes and soups sorted so I could start on Monday. But Friday was a half-day at school and a large glass of red wine with colleagues put a stop to that plan. So I decided to go on Saturday – but they close early on Saturdays and I couldn’t make it on time. So I went yesterday (Monday).

I walked into the centre and the lady there had to weigh me. And I’m ashamed to say that I’ve put on four (FOUR) kilos since April. WTAF? To be fair, I did go in the middle of the day – so maybe I’ve only put on 3?

Anyway, so I’ve started Cambridge Weight Plan again today. It should be relatively painless (yeah right) this week – but once I start back at school…

Oh well – let’s see!

I Should Have Stayed At Home

This morning I had to go to Spar. If you know me, you will know that I HATE grocery shopping. But, you know, someone’s got to do it.

We needed a new iron and a few other things.

Anyway, got there and went upstairs. Chose the iron (bought two (don’t ask)) and paid for them upstairs. I went down to the supermarket area, got a trolley and proceeded to start dumping things in.

I got to the till, the checkout girl scanned everything and someone else packed it all for me. And… My card didn’t work. Actually, it wasn’t my card that didn’t work – it was their POS machine thingy. No network, apparently. She tried from three different machines and it didn’t work. They asked me to use the ATM outside to withdraw some cash and then come back to pay. There was a lady in the other queue who said she’d just been to that ATM and it didn’t work.

They then suggested that I go across the street to the bank and withdraw the money from the ATM over there.

I became a bit irate. You see, you’d think it was so simple to just ‘go across the street’ and get some cash. But it’s so much more complicated! I said to the checkout girl, ‘So I’ve spent one hour in this store, your POS machines aren’t working, so I have to leave all my things here, go across the street, withdraw the cash and then come back and pay?’ I was beginning to regret leaving the house. She replies, ‘I can’t let you take the shopping without paying.’ FFS – I never said I wanted 10,000 NGN worth of groceries for free! The lady behind me in the queue offered to lend me the cash. A great big thank you to her, if she ever reads this. But I couldn’t accept that (even though I’d have paid her back).

Anyway, so I had to just suck it up and go to GTB across the road. There are three ATMs outside the branch and NONE of them were dispensing cash. So off I went inside – to the second floor (no lift), stood in line and then managed to withdraw my money. Got back into the car. Had to go round again (irritating even though I wasn’t driving) and went back to Spar.

They wouldn’t let me in through the exit ((near the tills)I understand they have security policies and stuff in place, but I wasn’t about to rob the place, ffs), so I went in through the entrance and had to walk through the whole store again.

I realise this is hardly a big deal, and I feel ridiculous even writing about it. But I can’t understand how something like this can happen! How can none of the ATMs work? How can NONE of the POS thingies work? I wasted a good forty minutes in total. Forty minutes I could have spent at home. Alone. In peace.

I’m guessing that the whole problem was through GTB. Hopefully they’ve sorted themselves out by now.

This Is What I Do!

I’m a teacher.

I’ve always taught. My degree is in Teaching Studies with English Language and Linguistics. I left university and went straight into a school in London. I was there for four years and then moved back to Lagos. I taught at an international school in Lagos for six years.

During those ten years, I did various courses. CELTA, SEN, ADHD, etc. Some were online and some were evenings and weekends. I became the SENCo (special needs coordinator) at the school in Lagos (where I was for six years).

I’d like to think that I’m quite well qualified!

I took a break once Vins was born. A five year break. Bit long, yes. But I think I needed it.

I tried to start my own business (selling baby and toddler shoes and clothing). My heart wasn’t in it. So I started tutoring. Kids either came to me, or I went to them for a couple of hours a week. I enjoyed it, but it got a bit boring with only the one child each time. I explained to LagosDad that education is what I “do”, and what I do well. And then I got pregnant with Booni.

Once we came back from London, I started getting a little involved in Vins’ classroom activities – story time, Diwali presentations, etc. And I remembered how much I LOVE teaching and how much I LOVE being in the classroom.

So I thought I’d start substituting. I’ve written about this before

So now I’m substituting in the school that Vins attends. I love it, and it’s a very good school. One of the best in Lagos (depending on who you’re asking).

Anyway, so the point of this whole thing is…

Each time someone asks me (or my ins or whoever) what I’m doing now, and I explain I’ve gone back to school, they’re all like, ‘Oh that’s nice.’ And they ask if I’m back at my previous school. I say no, and I tell them which school I’m in. And all of a sudden I get a flurry of ‘Oh WOW!’ and ‘Congratulations!’ and ‘That’s amazing!’

Umm – Hello?

Is it not amazing that I spent four years getting qualified? Is it not amazing that I taught for ten years before taking a break? Is it not amazing that I was head of the special needs department?

I mean, I’m only a substitute at the moment.

And last week one of my MIL’s friends said, ‘Oh that’s good. It’s good “time pass”‘. I have been told this for YEARS. First I was ‘passing time’ until I got married. Then I was ‘passing time’ until we had children (once people got over the shock that I decided to continue working after marriage). So what am I doing now? Passing time until what?

FFS. THIS IS WHAT I DO!

Rant over.

 

More Disappointment (Updated)

You know I’ve written about Mall for Africa before, right?

About their delivery that arrived four months late. Not only that – it was delivered to the wrong address.

I used Mall for Africa to order a couple of things (for myself) at the beginning of April, and the store I ordered from was House of Fraser.

I placed my order on April 3rd.

On the site it says, Order Date: April 6th (That’s fine. I guess by the time they process it all, etc.)

Also on April 6th, the site said: Awaiting Items from Merchant.

I was a bit excited. I know that House of Fraser delivers super fast.

And then… Nothing.

I emailed them on April 22nd for an order update. They replied within an hour or two and apologized for the delay (apparently some backlog in their UK warehouse), but assured me that my order was en route.

So where the f*** is it?

The site says that it takes 4 (FOUR) to 15 (FIFTEEN) business days for items to be delivered to the customer (if they get the address right). I realise it’s only a couple of days more than expected, but… You know.

I keep saying this – regardless of whether it’s Konga, Jumia, Amazon, whatever – IF YOU CANNOT DELIVER ON TIME OR IF THERE IS A DELAY – I DO NOT MIND. BUT PLEASE INFORM YOUR CUSTOMERS!

Ugh – Rant over.

I’m off to choose which Kendra Scott earrings to buy… (I did say I’d never learn)

I’m trying to think of something to say – comparing my need for retail therapy to my lack of common sense. If you think of something, please comment below!

***UPDATE***

I feel a bit bad now… After posting this I used the Mall for Africa web chat thingy (in the morning) to find out about my order. The person on the other end was very helpful and said that my package was in Nigeria and would be with me by Friday.

And then LagosDad called at 3.30 pm and said my package had arrived.

Hooray!

Santa’s Late Delivery (Updated)

After the debacle of our Mall for Africa experience, I decided to use them again.

I mean, what’s a girl to do when she needs some retail therapy?

Anyway – I’ll report on that experience when my order actually arrives (if it ever does?)!

So, back to the point – after receiving our three missing items – from a third party couple (it’s just insane, isn’t it?), I emailed Mall for Africa to complain.

I received a reply from them within hours.

Dear

Thank you for your mail.

Many apologies for this inconveniences this may have caused you.

The logistics Team where following up on your order to retrieve it when apparently the customer that received the order has returned them to you.

Please accept our sincere apologies for this again as it was not intentional and will not happen again.

Thank you for choosing MallforAfrica.

Sincerely,
MallforAfrica

I copied and pasted the email – so that is exactly how it was written. My first thought was, ‘Where’s my red pen?’ My second thought was, ‘They’ve not actually explained anything.’ And my third thought was, ‘Ugh. Whatever.’
Anyway, so that’s that.

Family Complete

Last week a friend of mil’s came to visit Baby V.

The two of them hadn’t met in a while and were having a catch up.

Talk turned to someone they know who has a two (I’m guessing) year old daughter and just recently had a baby boy.

One of the women says, ‘Oh, so now their family is complete?’

And the other replies (while shaking her head from side to side (Indian style)), ‘Yah yah – family complete.

I sat there becoming more and more irritated.

WTF.

Since when does having one boy and one girl make a family ‘complete’? Is my family incomplete because I have two boys? If I had a third child and that one turned out to be a boy as well, would my family still be incomplete?

I find these archaic views of life so frustrating that I wanted to just scream.

But I didn’t.

I just shut up and smiled. This time.

Two Children

A couple of Sundays ago we went out for a family lunch. Four of us and my in-laws.

When we got to the restaurant the two Vs and I went in while LagosDad parked the car.

There was a big corner table of people we knew – friends of my parents’/in-laws’ and friends of ours.

Anyway, so I took the children to meet them – many of them hadn’t seen V2 before. V1 wasn’t happy with being surrounded by so many people and stuck by my side the whole time.

One of the ladies (mil’s friend) congratulated me on Baby V’s birth and said, ‘Isn’t it just perfect to be able to say that you have two children instead of just one?’

Errr… Excuse me, lady – my son is standing right here listening to you. I thought she was totally insensitive and out of order, but I just smiled and said, ‘Actually, having one child was also perfect for us.’

She was a little taken aback and didn’t really know what to say. She said, ‘Oh yes, yes, of course.’

When I told LagosDad about it, he said I wasn’t meant to answer her back. I was meant to just shut up and smile.

I told him that I don’t just shut up and smile when I’m offended by someone’s insensitivity. Especially when it involves my children.

 

Personal Shopping

I’ve put on a lot of weight. I’ve gone up two dress sizes. Yes, the same happened when I was pregnant with V1. But I never really lost all the weight the first time round, so now I’m bigger than I was then. Oh – and my feet have also grown. Again. Last time they grew half a size. This time they’ve grown a full size. So they’re a size and a half bigger than they were before V1 was born!

I’m not thrilled about it. And I know I can lose a lot of it (if I put my mind to it) – but it will take time. More likely it will take time until I actually start doing something about it! It’s very rare that I feel determined to do something. It wasn’t until last year that I started looking semi-normal (for me) again. And that was when V1 turned three! I’ll have to start working at it sooner this time I guess.

Before I go any further, it would be worth mentioning that I’m not trying to offend anyone with my comments about size or shape. I’m not saying that big isn’t beautiful or anything like that. I’m talking about MY size and MY shape and how it makes ME feel. I think if you feel good, you look good. And right now, I’m not feeling good. Got it? Good.

Since Baby V was born (two months ago), I’ve worn leggings every day. Leggings and a maternity t-shirt. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I’m very comfortable – I won’t deny that. I tried on some jeans about two weeks after he was born. Big mistake. I couldn’t get anything round my waist and zips hurt my c-section site. So I decided I wasn’t going to do that again.

I was tempted to buy lots of winter clothes. You know – layers! But that was pointless as I am only in London for a short time. And I’m glad I didn’t as it’s been so warm. Well, until yesterday anyway.

And now I need summer clothes. All summer long I’d waddle around the shops (buying stuff for the children) admiring the clothes. I wanted to buy loads – but didn’t know what size I’d need. So I didn’t buy anything. And I’m regretting it now!

Anyway – so since I’ve never been this size (very large) or shape (very round) before, I’ve really struggled to buy clothes. I didn’t know how to dress for my shape or what would look good/what I could get away with.

The first thing I did was go to John Lewis to get myself measured so I could buy new bras. I couldn’t wait to get back into underwired bras! After trying on about ten bras, the ‘fitter’ (I don’t know what else to call her) told me my size. She then went on to tell me that they had NOTHING in stock in that size. Lovely. So I went to House of Fraser. I got fitted again. Turns out I wasn’t the size the woman in JL told me, and I was actually another size. But that size wasn’t in stock at House of Fraser. I was ready to have a meltdown. All I wanted was a bra! The lady at House of Fraser gave me another size option. The fit wasn’t perfect – but it would do.

I’d been thinking about making myself an appointment for a personal shopper at John Lewis or Debenhams. To help me with my clothing dilemma. I’ve been to John Lewis A LOT over the last few months – and while I’ve liked a few things I’ve seen – I hadn’t liked loads. So I decided not to do it there. I don’t know why I decided against Debenhams, I just did. So while I was in House of Fraser that day, I made a Personal Shopper appointment for the following Wednesday. The lady who took the appointment asked me if I’d mind a male stylist. I was quite happy with that. In fact, I preferred it.

The next morning I put on my new bra. And I was really upset. It just didn’t fit properly. It had looked alright in the store – but terrible at home. So I went to Bravissimo. Why I didn’t go there in the first place, I just don’t know. The lady who did my fitting was brilliant and I left with four new bras. Hooray!

So the morning of my personal shopping appointment dawned. I was nervous. What would it be like? Would it be like a Trinny and Susannah thing? Would I look like a different person (yes please!)? Would I get to walk round and choose stuff with the stylist? Would he laugh at me and my huge arse? Would he advise me on what I should and shouldn’t wear? Clearly I had too much time to think about it!

Anyway, so I arrived fifteen minutes early and waited. And waited. A man finally showed up. He looked at me and smiled and said, ‘Hi’. I said ‘Hi’ too. And then he said, ‘I haven’t seen you for a long time.’ Errr… Or ever? I told him we’d not met before. He looked a bit confused but shrugged it off.

He led me to a private dressing area for my consultation. I explained that I had just had a baby and needed summer clothes – day and evening. The consultation was about ten minutes long. He said it would normally be longer, but because there’s only winter wear on the shop floor there weren’t going to be too many choices! Great. He told me to wait there and that he’d be back in about thirty minutes with a whole bunch of stuff to try on. That was fine, but I was confused. How was he going to know what I will or won’t wear? He didn’t know that I try to avoid sleeveless tops (the arm holes always gape and my back fat isn’t a pretty sight). He didn’t know that I like sparkly things. Or that I didn’t want to wear any short tops. What the hell was he going to bring me?

When he came back, he brought a rail of clothing. I immediately saw things that I hated. And a couple of things that I quite liked. On the whole I didn’t think he really ‘got’ me. But how could he have? I tried everything on anyway and I have to admit, I was quite impressed with some of the things. He told me I had to dress for the body I have. Not the body I had. NO SHIT? REALLY? Isn’t that why I was there? He also told me that if I wear long tops and t-shirts, my legs would look shorter. Oh yeah! I saw that immediately. I’d much rather have my arse hidden away, but that wouldn’t always be possible. I wondered why he hadn’t bought me some of the evening wear I’d seen when I’d walked around earlier. Did he think I was too old? Too fat? Wouldn’t need it? I let it go and decided I could always try stuff on on my own at a later time.

So he did quite well. I bought quite a lot. I won’t tell you how much I spent or how many items I bought. But I will tell you that because it was all mostly summer wear, it was pretty much all on sale!

The experience has bolstered my confidence a little. I feel a bit better about going into shops and trying on (and buying) larger sizes than I’m used to.

But I am going to miss my leggings and maternity t-shirts once I’m back in Lagos!

 

 

I’ve Had Enough

You know me – you know I like to have a good whinge now and then.

Well, now is one of those times!  Sorry – it’s going to be a long one!

When I was expecting V, I chose my ob/gyn based on the fact that the clinic was right next to school.  It meant I was able to go straight for my appointments after the school day and then head home.  I had been to this clinic several times prior to being pregnant – when LagosDad and I were doing all our fertility tests, etc.  So I was happy to go back there.

On the other hand, my parents and in-laws, and LagosDad actually, didn’t want anyone to know about the pregnancy until I was in my 2nd trimester.  So if no one is meant to know you’re pregnant, how are you meant to ask advice on which doctor to see?

Anyway, so I made my choice and was quite happy.  I went there at about 7 or 8 weeks to have a blood test to confirm.  Then the doctor saw me at 10 weeks for an ultrasound.  At 13 weeks I was referred to Crestview Radiology Ltd for my nuchal scan and I had to go back there for my 20 week anomaly scan.  The clinic didn’t have the staff or expertise or machinery or whatever else to do it in-house.  And that was fine.

Before 13 weeks I had to pay each time I saw the doctor.  The consultation, the blood test, the scan – all was charged separately.

After 13 weeks we paid about N120000 ($750) that included all appointments, medication, scans and antenatal classes every other week until week 32.  At 31 weeks I collected my ‘Fit-to-fly’ letter and left for London.

The only problem I had throughout all this was the waiting times.  It didn’t matter what time I made my appointment for (usually afternoon because I was at school until 2pm), I always had to wait about an hour to be seen.  ALWAYS.  It didn’t bother me too much at that time because I wasn’t rushing to do anything.  Work was done for the day.  I didn’t have a kid to rush home to or to pick up from nursery.  Nothing.

Now this time round…  I came back to Lagos from Dubai at 9 weeks.  We delayed a couple of weeks because I’d had some bleeding and was advised to see a specialist before travelling (more on this at another time).  So we came back mid-week and a couple of days later I started bleeding again.

I panicked and called a friend and asked her who I should go see.  I had kind of mentally decided that I wouldn’t go back to my previous ob/gyn as I’d initially only chosen him because he was near school.  My friend recommended another doctor.  I called his clinic and couldn’t get an appointment for two weeks!  Not knowing what to do, I called my first clinic and they told me if I came right away they’d let me see the doctor before the 1st appointment of the day (10am).

Perfect.

I went there and was kind of glad to be there.  I know the layout, how it works, etc.  It sounds silly – but the ‘not-knowing’ about things worries me!

I waited an hour before seeing the Dr.  After all the initial paperwork stuff – DoB, LMP, EDD, etc. I showed him the reports I’d brought with me from Dubai – including ultrasound pictures (which the Dr in Dubai told me were necessary so that any other Dr could see what had happened).  He did an ultrasound.  Everything was fine.  He gave me a picture and told me to ‘add it to my photo album’.  Then I had a blood test and he told me to book in for my nuchal scan and to see him again in four weeks.

I paid for the consultation, the ultrasound and the blood test.  Altogether, it came to about N36000 ($220), I think.  I don’t remember, exactly.

A few days later I received an email from another doctor at the clinic asking me to call them as they had my blood test results and weren’t able to get in touch with me.  I realised that I’d changed my phone number around the time of V’s first birthday and hadn’t updated my records.  Anyway, so I called them and everything was fine.  I explained to the doctor that my phone number had changed and I could I update my records while speaking with her.  She said to just wait until the next time I came in (for my nuchal scan).

When I booked my nuchal scan, they told me it could only be done on a Tuesday as they had someone who came in to do it and that I would have to pay N35000 ($215) I was surprised that they didn’t refer me to Crestview again, but it had been four years and things do change!  So I was booked in on February 18th at 6pm.  It was the only (and last one of the day) slot left.

I couldn’t wait for this day to come round – it was only after this scan that we were going to start telling people that we were expecting!

So – come the 18th and LagosDad left work early to come and pick me up.  We arrived at the clinic and I was told, ‘Oh – didn’t anyone contact you?  We’ve had to move some of the scans until tomorrow because there were too many booked for today.’ They then went on about how my phone number wasn’t working.  Yes, true.  But if they could email before, why couldn’t they do it again?  They gave us an option of two times – either one was fine with me, but LagosDad had meetings all day and had to move his schedule around.  We took the 1.30pm appointment.  I was so disappointed.

We went back the next day in plenty of time.  And we waited and waited and waited.  It was 4pm before we were seen.  Why did we have to wait so long?  LagosDad kept complaining and the receptionist kept apologising.  When we finally saw the sonographer he also apologised.  I think he arrived late from wherever he was before.  In fact, I know this is true.  LagosDad saw him arrive when he popped out for a cigarette.  I didn’t particularly like him very much.  It irritated me that he kept leaning his arm on my leg while doing the ultrasound.  But anyway, at least everything was ok.  He booked me in for my anomaly scan for April right then and gave me the first appointment of the day (10am) so that I wouldn’t have to wait.  One of the doctors called me the next day to apologise.  I appreciated that.

At my booking-in appointment I paid N20000 ($100).  I thought this was a booking-in fee so I didn’t question it.  I couldn’t (and still can’t) remember how the payments worked last time.  A different doctor saw me this time (after I waited an hour) and I went through all the same questions I’d gone through at 9 weeks.  Previous pregnancies, LMP, EDD, etc. etc. etc.  Didn’t he look at my file?  He gave me some iron pills, calcium pills and some anti-malaria medication and told me to come back in four weeks.

I made sure that I booked the first appointment of the day (10am) for my next appointment.  And yet, I still had to wait an hour to be seen.  I just don’t get it??  I wasn’t asked to pay anything this time and thought since I’d paid at my booking-in appointment they would ask me for a lump sum, or for payment at week 32 or something.  The doctor didn’t do an ultrasound – he just used the doppler thingy.  This was the appointment where I told the doctor about my pain, by the way.  He told me to book an appointment to see him in four weeks.  I was disappointed that he didn’t do an ultrasound, but then thought it was a good thing that I’d at least heard the heartbeat.

When I went to book my next appointment, the receptionist told me that the anomaly scan would no longer be there, but at another clinic nearby.  She said someone would call me the day before with the address and directions, etc.

It was about two or three weeks later when I started panicking about not feeling any movement – so I took myself off to Crestview and had a scan.  The receptionist asked me what kind of scan I wanted – I told her I just wanted to check everything was ok.  She said that would be N10000 ($50).  They were quick and efficient.  I was happy.

On Tuesday I went for my anomaly scan.  The clinic sent me a text message the night before (at midnight) giving me the address and directions.  We got there five minutes late (no thanks to LagosDad).  As soon as we arrived the security turned on the generator.  Clue number 1 that no one was there.

This clinic was brand new (it’s been open since February)- and it was totally empty except for one nurse.  She asked if I’d been referred from XX clinic, I said, ‘yes’.  She took all my details (even though they already had them all on file).  She wrote everything down on the tiniest scrap of paper and then took my blood pressure.  We then waited about 40 minutes for the sonographer to show up.  He hadn’t arrived yet.

When he did arrive, he went upstairs to set up.  When we followed he started asking me all the same questions again.  I figured this was because all my details were on his computer, which the nurse was trying to start up and he was trying to waste a bit of time.  Then she couldn’t find my file.

He told me the scan wouldn’t take long – probably only five minutes.  I looked at him and said, ‘Only five minutes?’  I was a bit annoyed.  I’d waited so bloody long and he wanted to take only five minutes?  For an anomaly scan?  I don’t think so.  He realised this and said, ‘But you know, it could take longer.  Maybe five minutes or maybe one hour.  It depends on what I find.’  He then went on to drag everything out – repeating himself and just generally wasting more time.  I was not impressed.  There were no air conditioners on anywhere – apart from in the waiting area, and I found the sonographer to be disorganised and a little unprofessional.  He did that whole leaning his arm on my leg thing again!

We said goodbye when they finally finished and went downstairs.  We said goodbye to the nurse at the desk as well and left.  No one asked for any payment and I didn’t ask if I was meant to pay.

Maybe this doesn’t sound all that irritating to you.  Maybe you’re thinking, ‘What’s she complaining about?’  But it’s all annoyed me.  But yesterday is what annoyed me more than anything else.  Maybe it was just the icing on the cake.  I was ready to have a full on tantrum.

I had a 10am appointment at the clinic.  The cashier asked me to pay N20000 ($100).  I paid and then asked her what I was paying for.  She said that I have to pay N20000 each time I want to see the doctor.  I told her that when I was coming to the clinic before I paid a lump sum at the beginning and why didn’t I do that now?  She said, ‘Oh.  It’s because you’re nearly at the end.’  Am I?  Really?  I told her I was only 21 weeks.  She said, ‘Ok, would you like to pay the N120000 then?’  I told her no, I didn’t.  But I wanted to know why it was never an option.  Why didn’t anyone mention it to me before or give me the choice?

To be honest, I think I’ve spent less this way.  But I’m wondering if I’ve received the same quality of care I would have if I’d have paid the lump sum.

I had my vitals taken and then waited an hour to see the doctor.  I walked in and saw my file on his desk.  And he always inputs everything in his computer while talking to me.  Or is he actually on Facebook or playing Solitaire?  He asked me when my last menstrual period was and then picked up his calendar to calculate how many weeks I am.  SERIOUSLY??  ISN’T ANYONE READING MY FILE???  HOW MANY TIMES WILL HE ASK ME THE SAME QUESTION WHEN THE ANSWER IS RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM???  No bloody wonder my blood pressure was elevated!  He asked if I had any complaints.  *snort*  Told him of the pain again  and said I felt like I was being ripped apart.  He told me to buy a pelvic support belt.  Finally – advice!  I asked him if I would find one easily and he said, ‘Probably not.’  Great.  Thanks.  Again – no ultrasound – just the doppler.  I was out in five minutes and made an appointment for four weeks’ time.

I realised that he wasn’t doing any ultrasounds because I’d not paid that N120k.

But you know what – and LagosDad agreed – I’m not going back there again.  In four weeks – or whenver I feel like it, I’ll go to Crestview, pay half the amount, wait half the time and get better service.

There’s only another couple of appointments to go until I leave for London, anyway.

And I can’t wait.

I’ve had enough