Shula complains that Alistair was unprofessional because he didn’t answer his phone when he was on call. Seems reasonable enough on the surface, but…
Any “out of hours” service is usually a dedicated number which forwards the call to whoever is on duty. As this is an emergency service, it is usually distinct from the usual “work” number; no point forwarding routine calls that can be dealt with when the surgery opens next day. Shula, of course, would know Alistair’s private number; if she rang that, he was perfectly entitled to ignore it. So why didn’t she ring the official number? Or text, for that matter? I’d say she was as negligent as he was.
That only really works if Alistair does have a dedicated out-of-hours number; the totally unprofessional way he works makes me feel that he may not.
But I would bet that Shula did ring his private number.
The way to do this on the cheap is to have a “red phone” to which the out-of-hours number goes, and the duty person carries it. Not much point even in that if you’re a one-man practice of course.
But he’s not on his own, is he? Up to last week Anisha was there and she said Graham was covering now. Clients need to know that there’s a single number they can call in an emergency, not to have to ring round every member of the practice until they find the one who’s on duty - having in the meantime seriously pissed off whoever isn’t and was expecting an undisturbed night off.
Of course, this would be much simpler if he were part of a larger practice. Remind me again, who put him off that idea?
Oh - and I’d say he does have an out-of-hours number; how else would people have got hold of Graham while he was off having his frosty holiday with Shula? He was hardly going to go round all his clients and give them the new number.
I still think that Shula, assuming that she was a special case, will have rung his private number.
She is - but maybe not in the way she thinks…
Seriously, yes, she would, but if there was no response wouldn’t you then try the “official” number - particularly when an animal is distressed? The way this played out, it sounded as if she cared less about Topper than having an excuse to berate Alistair.