Thursday, 10 September 2009

Keep the customer satisfied

A protracted stay in hospital calls for a strong constitution, a good sense of humour and the opportunity to have a few laughs. I’m indebted to the organisation currently trying to pass itself of as the hospital catering contractor for providing me with today’s belly laugh.

Today my luncheon arrived with a customer survey form on the tray. It would seem that recently there have been one or two complaints concerning the standard of the food. In fact, the food is so dire, if this were a prison the warders would have been taken hostage by now and inmates would be sat on the roof with makeshift banners demanding better grub as they threw roof tiles at police negotiators.

However, this being a hospital, things are a little more sedate. No one has yet barricaded themselves in a storeroom with one of the nursing auxiliaries but discontent has reached the point where the trust’s chief executive has been forced to lodge a complaint with the caterer.

To be fair, food probably isn’t the caterer’s first line of business. In fact, I have a strong suspicion that the private company responsible for feeding us is just a money laundering front for a Columbian drugs cartel, hence the distinctly lacklustre quality of the food. But to give them their due, they have shown willing by distributing a customer survey form and it’s been a real giggle filling it in. It occurred to me that you, dear reader, might be interested in taking a glimpse at my completed questionnaire.


Q: When ordering your food, was the hostess helpful in taking your order?
A: If helpful means throwing a menu through the door, like a piece of meat being tossed into a lions’ enclosure… then yes.

Q: Were you offered a choice?
A: Yes… a choice of three equally ghastly main courses.

Q: Did you get the food you chose?
A: Yes… unfortunately.

Q: How did you score the hospital food?
A: By awarding each dish between one and five Rennies.

Q: Did the food look appealing?
A: Probably… if you’re a famine victim.

Q: How would you describe the preparation of the food?
A: Haphazard and chaotic.

Q: How would you describe your health over the past four weeks?
A: How do you think? I’m in a bloody hospital for Christ’s sake!

Q: Do you consider yourself to have special dietary needs?
A: Only since eating your food.

I’m sure I can expect to receive a follow-up visit from the head chef, as I know these companies take customer surveys very seriously. Perhaps tomorrow I can look forward to Eggs Benedict for breakfast and a nice bit of Sea Bass for lunch. I’ll keep you posted.


  1. If I were you I would be ordering in food from 'the outside' and sending the bill to the hospital ! Hilarious survey though.... talk about them making the right noises but nothing will change.

  2. No, you are right there Bangkok Blogger, nothing will change. When we complained about the food in our hospital staff canteen always being curry we were told "well it's a different curry each day".

    I would prefer it if you did eat your "food" Traction Man as it may well be that's what our chef makes his infamous curries out of. By the time it reaches our hospital kitchens it would be day old food. Hmm, remind me to inspect the rice closer!

  3. You're a whinging twat.

    Get over yoruself and be greatful you can eat.

    There's a lot of people worse off than you.

  4. You're right, Mick. I am a whinging twat. I was forgetting myself for a moment. Put it down to the drugs, the nine months of excruciating pain and a level of boredom I haven't known since doing algebra homework. Forgive me for having a laugh. I'll go and eat my food up now like a good boy. Sorry to have offended you and thanks for putting me straight.

  5. Dear Mick,

    Perhaps you should admit yourself to hospital and have a sense of humour inserted into your brain.

    Sure...we all know there is always someone worse off than ourselves. This has nothing to do with trying to work who and who isn't worse off - it's just a humourous outlook on obviously BAD BAD FOOD.

    I think YOU are ''Mick the Twat''

  6. Have they served you curried turkey lasagna yet ?

  7. Careful - Mr Burnham's all ears now. As a patient your view is important. Before you know it,they'll have swapped the ICU for your choice of a la carte menu. Afterall, you're not going to choose to get iller and 'choice' is the buzzword this morning - no matter the chaos it causes!!

  8. Ugh turkey curried lasagna. That does not sound good.