Very Bad Reception, Part 2

| Australia | Working | September 12, 2013

(I’m calling to book an appointment for a doctor’s office that I’ve never been to.)

Receptionist: *sounding totally disinterested* “Hello, this is [name]; how many I help you?”

Me: “I’d like to make an appointment if that’s okay please?”

Receptionist: “I guess. You can always just walk in you know, and save me the hassle.”

Me: “No… no I think I’d rather make an appointment to be safe.”

Receptionist: “Ugh, fine. We have one at 10.20. Can I get your name?”

Me: “It’s [bi-gender name].”

Receptionist: “Okay, and your date of birth?”

Me: “It’s—”

Receptionist: “Uh-huh. You’re booked in.” *hangs up*

(I go to my appointment before the scheduled time, and the lady at the front counter nearly wets herself laughing. The ditzy receptionist had put me down as a four-year-old Aboriginal boy, when in fact I am a 23-year old Caucasian girl!)


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No Time For Patience And Patients

| WV, USA | Right | September 11, 2013

Me: “[Doctor’s office]. How may I help you?”

Patient: “I need an appointment for tomorrow.”

Me: “How about 10:20?”

Patient: “20 minutes until 11:00?”

Me: “No. 10:20.”

Patient: *condescendingly* “Isn’t 10:20 just 20 minutes until 11:00?”

Me: “No. That would be 10:40.”

Patient: “How many minutes until eleven is 10:20?”

Me: “40.”

Patient: “So my appointment is at 10:40?”

Me: “No. It’s 10:20.”

Patient: “Okay. See you at 10:40.”

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Patients Need Patience

| Phoenix, AZ, USA | Working | August 16, 2013

(I am switching doctors within a practice, because I do not like my current doctor. I go up to talk to the receptionist after completing an exam with the doctor I do like.)

Me: “I would like to switch doctors please.”

Receptionist: “Okay, which doctor would you like?”

Me: “Dr. Johnson.”

Receptionist: “Oh, well she isn’t taking anyone new right now.”

Me: “She just told me I could.”

Receptionist: “But like I said, she isn’t taking anyone new.”

Me: “She said she would take me.”

Receptionist: “Well I can’t allow that; how about any of the other doctors instead?”

Me: “Well I don’t know those doctors, and I just came from an exam with Dr. Johnson, and she said I could switch to her.”

Receptionist: “Oh, well why didn’t you say that in the first place? I will switch you over right now.”

Me: “…thanks.”

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Doctors Of The Caribbean

| England, UK | Right | August 15, 2013

(I work at a General Practitioner’s Surgery, and I am taking phone calls from patients.)

Me: “How may I help you?”

Customer: “Hi, can I book a appointment to see one of the doctors this morning?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but there is no available appointments with the doctors today. We offer a triage service; if the triage nurse believes so, they can get you a appointment today, is this okay?”

(The customer says something, but I cant make it out.)

Me: “I’m sorry but the line seems to be terrible today; can you repeat what you just said?”

Customer: “Oh, sorry, that’s because I’m on a boat in the Caribbean.”

(I’m slightly confused at this point, thinking I misheard her.)

Me: “Can I just check that you said you were in the Caribbean?”

Customer: “Yes, I’m on a cruise, but I’m not feeling well, so I want to see [doctor’s name] today. Can I have an appointment to see him in the next few hours?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I cant offer you a appointment with the doctor today, due to all routine appointments being taken, and the fact you will not turn up to the appointment here, as you are hundreds of miles away out of the country.”

Customer: “But I’m not feeling well! I am a registered patient at your surgery, and I want to see the doctor right now!”

Me: “As I just said, I cant offer you a appointment that you have no way of turning up to.”


Me: “The doctors do try their best to help all patients as needed, but I am afraid asking them to fly over to you in the Caribbean at such short notice is not a feasible option. I suggest you seek the help of the medical facility on board the ship.”

Customer: “Oh… I didn’t think of that. But when I get back, I’m going to come to the surgery and file a complaint.”

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Trying In Vein, Part 2

| IL, USA | Working | July 25, 2013

(I am at a doctor’s office, which has a phlebotomist—the people who draw blood samples—on site. I am sent to her to get a sample taken for testing.)

Phlebotomist: “Don’t worry, girl. It’ll just be one quick prick and you’re done!”

Me: “Oh, it’s okay. I don’t mind needles.”

Phlebotomist: “You don’t like needles?”

Me: “I don’t mind them. I have a couple tattoos and piercings. It doesn’t bother me.”

(She proceeds to tell me all about her lower back tattoo, before finally getting ready to take my blood.)

Phlebotomist: “Okay, now stretch your arm out as far as it’ll go and clench your fist. Good, hold it there!” *sticks me* “Hmm… this doesn’t seem to be working.”

Me: “Yeah, I don’t really bleed easily. Sorry.”

Phlebotomist: *digs needle around* “Dang girl, you’re not kidding! I know it’s in the vein.”

(The phlebotomist pulls the needle out and starts digging again.)

Me: “Ow!”

Phlebotomist: “I thought you didn’t mind needles?”

Me: “Well that was before you were digging it around in my arm.”

Phlebotomist: “Huh, I still can’t get this to work. I’m gonna use a bigger needle. I should’ve taken it from the other arm. I can see you’ve got a nice big vein there.”

Me: “Please, by all means…”

Phlebotomist: “Nah, I already started over here.”

(She uses a different needle, and finally gets the blood she needs. As I’m walking out, I flex my arm a bit and notice I can feel a sharp pop around where she took the blood. Concerned, I step back and ask the receptionist if that is normal. She sends me back to the phlebotomist.)

Phlebotomist: “It’s popping?”

Me: “Yeah, if you touch it you can feel the vein move out of place.”

Phlebotomist: *feels my arm* “Oh, it does move! Girl, that’s weird. It doesn’t always do that, does it?”

Me: “No. It just started after you took the blood. It’s not a problem, is it? I wanted to make sure before I left.”

(She keeps making me bend my arm so she can feel it, proclaiming how weird it is, and how she’s never seen anything like it. She then calls a nurse in.)

Phlebotomist: “Check this out! Bend your arm again, girl.”

Nurse #1: *feels the vein pop* “Wow, that is so strange! I’ve never heard of that happening. Hey, [nurse #2], come take a look at this!”

Me: “Umm, it is okay, right? Nothing’s wrong with it?”

Nurse #2: “Woah, how far can you bend your arm back?”

Nurse #1: “You know, that might be what it is. It looks like you’re double jointed, so that might have shifted the vein. Hold on a minute.”

(They call the doctor in.)

Nurse #2: “You’re never gonna believe this unless you feel it for yourself.”

(By now, I have the phlebotomist holding my arm out for people to touch, one of the nurses bending my other arm to see how far it will go, and the other nurse placing the doctor’s hand on the elbow joint where the blood was drawn. I am seriously flustered, because I hate people touching me.)

Doctor: “Huh… that is very unusual. I can’t say I’ve ever heard of that before. You must just be a mutant!”

Me: “Oh, good. As if I don’t get that enough for the red hair and the two different-color eyes. Is it going to stop popping like that?”

Doctor: “Put ice on it.”

Me: “…ice?”

Doctor: “And if it gets worse, go to the hospital and have someone take a look at it.”

(I can hear them all still laughing as I finally leave. I don’t bother with the ice, because by the time they had all stopped playing with it, my arm was so stiff and swollen that I couldn’t move it at all for the rest of the day. The whole area was bruised for almost a month.)


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