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About To Be Disappointed

, , , , , , | Right | January 16, 2023

My job is contacting people who have been referred to my employer’s internal case management program. Medical providers are supposed to inform patients of their referrals but a few are notoriously bad at doing so. This phone call was something special.

The patient answers the phone and says hello.

Me: “Hi, my name is [My Name], and I’m calling from [Clinic], trying to reach [Patient].”

Patient: “Yeah, that’s me.”

Me: “Excellent. I’m calling because you have a referral to [Clinic]’s case management for [Patient’s unique need]; does this sound correct and familiar to you?”

Patient: “Who told you that? Who are you?”

I repeat the information while confirming in the patient’s chart that they are neither hard of hearing/deaf nor experiencing a brain issue like dementia; they are neither.

Patient: “Oh, right. I told my doctor I was having a hard time with [issue].”

Me: “Yes, [Patient], that’s why I’m calling! I’m happy to schedule you with one of our case managers, and afterward, I’ll do a quick screening with you.”

Patient: “Can you schedule me with a case manager?”

Me: “Uh, yes, sir! Would you prefer an appointment over the phone or at one of our clinic locations?”

Patient: “I’m not available on [date].”

Me: “Very good. We won’t schedule you on [date]. Would you prefer an appointment over the phone or at one of our clinic locations?”

Patient: “I need the appointment to be in the morning, but not too early. I can’t get going as fast as I used to be able to.” 

Me: “Of cour—”

Patient: “Actually, can you make that appointment over the phone?”

Me: *Internal sigh* “Yes, I can.” *Enters the data* “Give me one moment to enter some information into the system, and I can offer you some dates and times.”

Patient: “I can’t be scheduled on [same date as before].”

Me: “Of course, sir, I got you. Are you available on [entirely different date] in the morning?”

Patient: “Can it be in the morning?”

Me: *Chewing on my face* “Yes, of course! How about [time]?”

Patient: “Hmmm, nah, that’s too early. Do you have anything on [date they said they weren’t available]?”

Me: “Uh, yes, we have a [later morning time], but you said you aren’t able to schedule on that day?”

Patient: “No, I didn’t. That time will be fine.”

Me: *Shrugging* “All right, I’ve made you that appointment with [Case Manager] on [date and time]. If you need to cancel or reschedule, please call [Clinic]; I can give you that number if you like.”

Patient: “No, I got it.” *Click*

A couple of weeks later, I got a notification in my work queue that the patient no-showed their appointment. There were notes in the patient’s chart saying that they were upset at having an appointment made on a day they didn’t want to have an appointment. Sigh.

Question of the Week

What is the most stupid reason a customer has asked to see your manager?

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