October Theme Of The Month: Halloween!

Category: Time

Making It A Point To Make An Appointment

| Tulsa, OK, USA | Crazy Requests, Time

(My favorite thing is when patients call to make appointments, and they clearly haven’t gotten their lives together before picking up the phone. These scenarios could go one of several different ways:)

Me: “Dr. [Name]’s office.”

Customer: “Yes, I’d like to make an appointment.”

Me: “All right! Is there a day that works well for you?”

Customer: “Oh… I don’t know… Let me get my calendar and call you back.”

(Next caller:)

Me: “Dr. [Name]’s office.”

Customer #2: “Yes, I’d like to make an appointment. Any time is fine. What is your next available?”

Me: “We have a 2:00 tomorrow.”

Customer #2: “Oh I can’t do tomorrow.”

Me: “How about 10:00 the next day?”

Customer #2: “No, I have another appointment somewhere else.”

Me: “…why don’t you tell me when the best time for you is.”

Customer #2: “Oh, I’m really actually very flexible. I can do pretty much whenever. Just not those times you gave me already.”

Me: *decides to try one more time* “Okay… how about 1:30 on Monday?”

Customer #2: “No, I can’t do that.”

(My other favorite thing is when they call saying they will be late for their appointment but that they are “on their way!” and then they walk in with a fresh drink from Starbucks in their hand.)

Only Five Minutes Away From Crazy

| UK | Crazy Requests, Time

(I am working on the phones first thing in the morning at a busy medical centre. About half of our appointments are bookable in advance and half are on the day only. I take the third call of the day.)

Me: “Hello, [Centre]. How can I help?”

Patient: “Hello, dearie, I would like to book an appointment with [Doctor] at about 10 am. Do you have anything?”

(I check the computer system.)

Me: “Yes, we have an appointment at 10, actually.”

Patient: “Oh, that’s a bit early. Have you got anything else around that time?”

Me: “Yes, we have 10:10 or 10:20.”

Patient: “Well, both of those are a bit late; do you have anything at five past?”

(All our appointments last ten minutes, so we never have appointments at five past.)

Me: “Sorry, ma’am, we don’t do appointments at five past.”

Patient: “Bloody NHS! I’ve paid taxes my whole life and you can’t even give me an appointment around 10 am!” *click*

Needs To Take A Pager From The Book Of Patience

| Woodbridge, VA, USA | Bad Behavior, Time

(I’m a hostess at a restaurant. Saturdays are our busiest days, and we are on a wait all day long. On this particular day, several of our tables just don’t want to leave, and our queue starts to run over.)

Guest: *storms in through the door* “How long do I have to wait?”

Me: “For how many, ma’am?”

Guest: “Four.”

Me: “Right now, the wait is about 45 minutes, but you’re welcome to go walk around the mall for about twenty minutes and check back in with your pager.”

Guest: *snatches pager from me* “Okay.”

Guest: *comes back ten minutes later* “How long do I have to wait?”

Me: “You still have about a half hour left.”

(The guest takes two steps back and stands in front of me the rest of the time. Her friends join her; she checks back in every few minutes. She is now seventh on the list. I page a couple people.)

Guest: *comes forward and shoves her pager in my face* “I’m next, yes?”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but I still have a few names in front of you. A few of our tables are sitting a lot longer than we expected, but as soon as they come available I will page for them.”

Guest: “This is ridiculous! I have been here over an hour!”

Me: *looks at the timer next to her name on my screen* “You’ve been here fifty minutes.”

Guest: *swings pager around* “But I got this over an hour ago!”

Me: “You got it fifty minutes ago.”

Guest: *pauses* “Well, that’s almost an hour.”

Me: *looks at her and gives a forced smile*

Guest: *glares at me the rest of the time until I page her*

(I pretended to be preoccupied with my screen not to notice. Her party ended up being five; she didn’t count her child.)

Starter For Ten

| Nashville, TN, USA | Bizarre, Time

(I have worked for four years in a tourist trap, which opensevery day at 10 am… Even so, most staff are obligated to report by 8:30 am. I am in the front one morning when a guest wanders in.)

Woman: “Three, please.”

Me: “I’m sorry, we don’t open until ten.”

Woman: “What? No, the website states that you open at nine.”

Me: “Sorry, I’m afraid not. We are not open.”

Woman: “Are you callin’ me a liar?”

Time Zoned Way Out

| TX, USA | Extra Stupid, Technology, Time


(I am on the phone.)

Me: “I sent the instructions to you in an email about half an hour ago; have you received it?”

Customer: “No, but I am in the next time zone, so I will check in another half an hour, at the time you sent it.”

Me: “If you would please check your junk mail or spam folder, just to be sure?”

Customer: “Oh, hey! Look at that! It’s already here!”

Me: “Computers are amazing, aren’t they?”

Customer: “Wow! They sure are! How did it know?! Oh, well, I have it now. I’m gonna open it before it realizes that it sent it early and deletes it.”

Me: “Sounds great.”

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