Making It A Point To Disappoint

, , , | Right | August 18, 2020

I am an admin at a pharmacy school. I get a phone call from a coworker who works in the dean’s office; she is transferring me a call.

Me: “[School] of Pharmacy, this is [My Name]; how can I help you?”

Caller: “Wait, what?”

I repeat myself.

Caller: “What’s your name?”

I repeat my unusual name for the third time now.

Caller: “Well, that’s a dumb name.”

Me: *Slightly annoyed* “How can I help you, sir?”

Caller: “I don’t want to talk to you. Here’s my wife.”

Caller’s Wife: “Hi there! I hope you can help me. I started a new medication and it’s making me feel awful, and I’m really stopped up.”

Me: “Wow, I am so sorry to hear that, but I am actually not a pharmacist. I am an admin at [School] of Pharmacy. Was one of the faculty the prescribing doctor?”

I’m thinking that maybe she is a patient from the clinic or the hospital that the faculty work at. The wife then tells me that she isn’t a patient of ours or affiliated with the school at all. She’s insisting that, since we’re a school, we have to help her. I urge her to go to her doctor for help. There is no one here who knows her history or medications, so it would just not be okay for me to just send her to one of the faculty for advice. Since I’m not a doctor, and she’s not our patient, I simply cannot help her. After telling her this in my best customer service phone voice…

Caller’s Wife: *To her husband* “No, she’s refusing to help me!”

The husband gets back on the phone.

Caller: “I am very disappointed in you!”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that, sir, but your wife needs medical help that I cannot provide. Please consider going to the doctor.”

Caller: “So disappointing! You are clearly a real disappointment. How do you live with yourself not helping an old, sick woman? What are you going to do about being such a disappointment?”

Me: “I have done all that I can do, so—”

Caller: *Cutting me off* “GET ME THE DEAN, YOU DISAPPOINTMENT!”

Me: *more annoyed* “Sir, that is highly inappropriate. I am not going to go bother the dean, who is busy running the school, with this. I will, since I am such a disappointment, write down your information and pass it on to my boss who is the chair of the department. If he thinks this clearly inappropriate interaction is worth him following up on, he will call you.”

Caller:Finally, you are being helpful.”

He then starts ranting about my generation being lazy and ungrateful, and about how my name is stupid.

Me: “Okay, bye-bye now!”

I asked my coworker why she transferred me the call, and she said it was because she “thought I would be more helpful than her.”

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