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Difficulty making an appointment keeps us from the doctor's, but who can face an NHS receptionist?

It's hard enough to quibble with a hairdresser...

According to a new survey, more than a third of us delay seeing a doctor because of the difficulty of making an appointment. Clearly, as a people, we need to be more assertive in our dealings with NHS receptionists, but there’s little hope. Most of us can’t even be assertive with the hairdresser’s receptionist, and she doesn’t encapsulate within her person an entire nation’s dreams of a more equal post-war society.

Last week, I got a haircut so bad that the hairdresser stopped half-way through to reassure me it would eventually “grow into itself”. The final result is the exact same style worn by American serial killer Aileen Wuornos, during her years terrorising Florida motorway service stations. Did I inform the salon of my misgivings? Or take a stand in the name of all victims of bad haircuts and demand, at the very least, a discount? Certainly not. I complimented the work and left a £10 tip. It’s the British way.