Monday, October 24, 2005

Booking of slots

I spoke to a woman who was told to contact CWS by the vet she went to. She wanted to send in some community cats for sterilisation, but she had called the vet directly first.

The woman said that she wanted to sterilise the cats, but she wanted to call herself and then have CWS confirm. I explained it wasn't possible, and she said this was bureaucratic and she only had time this one week, etc. She also said she brought her own cats to the clinic.

I explained to her that we can't take bookings that way because firstly, it can be annoying for the vet clinic. For example, if three people call the clinic, then ask CWS to confirm the slots, we are talking of a minimum of four phone calls to the clinic here. If CWS calls, Rebecca or Jolanda will call once. As such, the vets have asked that we do the booking and others do not call and ask for slots directly. In fact, we clarified with the clinic who said that as this was the first time this person had heard of CWS' slots, they were okay with helping this one time, but in the future she had to go through proper channels.

More importantly, it's not fair - it is like jumping queue, and isn't fair to the other people who call the hotline directly. As some caregivers know, if there is a sudden cancellation, someone may be given a much earlier slot than the next person in line - and it really should be a first come, first served situation. It should not be dependent on whether the person knows the vet or goes there for their home cats or not.

All committee members and everyone else also has to go through the same system of emailing or calling the mailbox as well, so no one gets preferential treatment.

Jolanda and Rebecca always try to get the slots as early as possible for everyone, but we also want to be fair to all, and not annoy the vets. It's not a perfect system, but it's the fairest one we can think of for now.

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