Phoning In The Excuses

, , , , , , | Healthy | May 3, 2020

I work as a medical receptionist for a retinal specialist. The medical building where our office is located has nineteen floors and each floor has up to five medical offices in it.

Due to the current health crisis, the main door of the building is closed; for the patients to get access, someone has to physically let them in. For the last month, this has been my task. When someone approaches the door, I have to greet them, ask them to step back six feet as required by CDC and WHO, and ask them about their recent travel and health history. 

There are still quite a few of the specialists in the building that need to see their patients in person, but not all of them have enough staff on payroll to have a greeter. I am only authorized to let my own doctor’s patients in after they have passed the screening and check them off my list. I am forbidden from letting anyone else in unless they are an employee that I recognize or has a valid pass. 

A lot of the people stopping by do not feel that they have to be inconvenienced by the rules meant to protect them. 

One of the doctors I don’t work for requires that once their patients arrive, they call their office so one of the staff can come down and collect their patients. I am the one that has to explain this to them. The majority comply but quite a few give me trouble. One particular lady, though, takes the cake. 

Me: “I am sorry, but due to the current crisis, I can only let my own patients in and no one else.”

Lady: “I do not have my phone with me.”

Me: “I am unable to help you since I do not work for your doctor.”

Lady: “YOU HAVE TO LET ME IN! I AM ALREADY LATE!”

She moves very close to me, less than two feet. I quickly close the door. She starts banging on the glass. I gesture for her to move further for nearly five minutes before she will comply. I look around for the security guard but do not see him.

The lady moves away from the door. I open the door and repeat the rules to her. She screams at me that she does not have her phone with her. I repeat that, in that case, I am unable to help her since I can’t leave my station. 

A few minutes later, as I escort a leaving patient out — both because said patient has mobility issues and to prevent the lady from sneaking in — I spot her staring at her phone.

Me: *Somewhat smugly* “I was under the impression that you did not have your phone with you?”

The lady turned bright red and glared at me.

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