Unfiltered Story #67341

Unfiltered | October 28, 2016

I’m a receptionist at a clinic that specifically handles allergies. One of our policies is to never schedule one doctor’s patient with another doctor, but since a third doctor has just joined the practice, every now and then we get some schedule mishaps by accident. I’m working when I get a call from a lady who wants to confirm her son’s appointment on (day), but is upset because “I thought he was (male doctor)’s patient! I’m sure she’s very nice, but I want my son to see the man doctor! ”

I look in the charts and see that there was indeed a mistake in scheduling, made by someone else in the office. I explain to her what happened, and that we’ll have to reschedule her son with (male doctor), who is booked three months out.

She loses it.

For the next 20 minutes, she yells at me, saying over and over, “No! You need to understand that this was YOUR mistake and I shouldn’t have to pay for it! Do I have to speak to your boss personally? Because I will!” And, “You’ll get my son in on Friday! Do you understand me? You put him in on Friday! ”

I suppose she thought she could bully me into giving her what she wanted. I am very stubborn: trying to pressure me into doing something, especially something against office policy, will only make me dig in my heels. Of course, we have to be polite to the patients and their families, so I kept my tone calm.

” Ma’am, even if there were an opening on Friday, we couldn’t bring him in because (male doctor) doesn’t come in on Friday. ”

She gets angrier and angrier, going on and on about how it was all my mistake (it wasn’t) and that I had to make a spot for her son in the schedule. (We’re not allowed to do that)

I continue to politely tell her the same things: that we’re sorry about the mix-up, that the first available appointment is three months out, and that due to the number of patients waiting, we cannot do a waiting list for established patients.

Finally, the woman starts shouting at me, “When you say that, you are lying! You’re a liar! Don’t tell me you’re sorry, that’s a lie! Don’t tell me you care about my son, you’re a liar! ”

By this point, I am getting angry. People swearing at me, I can ignore. People trying to bully me, I can brush off. But I don’t let anyone call me a liar. I believe it is one of the most serious accusations you can ever make, and I take my reputation very seriously.

Still painfully polite, but with a bit of an edge to my tone, I say, “Ma’am. I am not. Lying. I have already apologized several times for the inconvenience, and explained what happened. It was a very simple mistake, and it has been fixed. We do not have a waiting list. Do you want to reschedule your son? ”

She hung up.