Never To Early To Consider Retirement

, , , | Right | December 18, 2017

(I visit elderly people in their own homes for routine maintenance of medical appliances supplied to them. I call ahead to let them know roughly what time I will be with them; as I do several visits each day I tend to give them a window of a couple of hours, and I can usually switch visits around to suit patients’ schedules. One patient doesn’t seem to quite get this. I’ve phoned him and arranged to visit him in the morning, sometime between 10:00 and 11:30 am. I arrive at 11:25 am and the visit is straightforward and quick. Thirty minutes later I’m about to leave.)

Me: “So, I’ll see you in six months. Is there anything else I can help you with today?”

Patient: “Well, I hope you can get here earlier next time; you were really late today and now I’m behind with everything.”

Me: “Sorry? I said I’d be here by 11:30. Was there a misunderstanding?”

Patient: “No, you were here right at 11:30.”

Me: “Yes.”

Patient: “So, next time, can you try to get here on time?”

Me: “Uh, I was here on time. I was here before 11:30, just like we arranged on the phone.”

Patient: “But I needed to go out! You said from 10:00 to 11:30. How was I to know you’d wait right up until 11:30?”

Me: “I don’t know what to tell you. I said I’d arrive between 10:00 and 11:30, and I did.”

Patient: “Well, next time, get here on time. That means early, not right at the end!”

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