Only Five Minutes Away From Crazy

| UK | Crazy Requests, Time

(I am working on the phones first thing in the morning at a busy medical centre. About half of our appointments are bookable in advance and half are on the day only. I take the third call of the day.)

Me: “Hello, [Centre]. How can I help?”

Patient: “Hello, dearie, I would like to book an appointment with [Doctor] at about 10 am. Do you have anything?”

(I check the computer system.)

Me: “Yes, we have an appointment at 10, actually.”

Patient: “Oh, that’s a bit early. Have you got anything else around that time?”

Me: “Yes, we have 10:10 or 10:20.”

Patient: “Well, both of those are a bit late; do you have anything at five past?”

(All our appointments last ten minutes, so we never have appointments at five past.)

Me: “Sorry, ma’am, we don’t do appointments at five past.”

Patient: “Bloody NHS! I’ve paid taxes my whole life and you can’t even give me an appointment around 10 am!” *click*

Birth Out-Of-Control

| Indianapolis, IN, USA | Health & Body, Rude & Risque

(I am the patient in this story. I just received the birth control injection that goes in the arm.)

Me: “So, how soon does it take for this to take effect?”

Doctor: “Right now, you’re good to go!”

Me: “Challenge accepted!”

Doctor: “…”

No Rush, Go Break A Leg!

| PA, USA | Extra Stupid, Health & Body

(My mom’s friend is a receptionist at a small medical clinic. When you call them, there is a message instructing you to call 911 or go to the emergency room immediately if this is an emergency, a fact which is greatly emphasized since some people tend to ignore that, followed by about two minutes of information in the event that it isn’t. My mom’s friend is talking to a patient when the phone rings and she can’t answer immediately.)

Friend: *into the phone* “Hello, please hold for a moment.”

Caller: “Okay, take your time. It’s not an emergency.”

(Five minutes later, she finally finishes talking and picks the phone back up.)

Friend: “[Medical Clinic], how may I help you?”

Caller: “So, my son just got hit by a car while crossing the street. He’s not dead, but he’s lying on the ground bleeding and I think his leg is broken. What do you think I should do?”

Doctor’s Disorders

| ID, USA | Extra Stupid, Family & Kids, Health & Body

Me: “Thank you for calling pediatrics, how can I help you?”

Caller: “Hi, yeah, I saw my doctor today and she recommended I use lotrimin on my daughter’s yeast infection diaper rash but I’m at the store and the bottle says not to use on children under two except under the advice of a doctor. So I’m not sure what to do now…”

Treating That Attitude Problem

| England, UK | Bad Behavior, Health & Body

(We frequently get patients acting rudely and/or aggressively to the reception staff for various reasons such as the doctor running late, but the doctors never really believe it as the patient is all nice when they see the doctor. If a patient is rude or aggressive they receive a warning letter and if it happens a second time they are no longer allowed to be seen at this doctors’ office. On this day we have a young female doctor working with us for a few weeks before she returns to Ireland; she looks about 20 and is very small and petite. She is standing in reception when an agitated patient arrives:)

Patient: “I’ve got an appointment with [Young Doctor].”

Receptionist: “Can I take your name, please?”

(The patient gives his name and the receptionist realises his appointment was around 20 minutes earlier.)

Receptionist: “I’m sorry, [Patient], but you’re 20 minutes late for your appointment. I’ll have to ask [Young Doctor] if she will still see you.”

Patient: “You’ve got to be f****** kidding me. I’m only 20 minutes late! The doctors make me wait often enough! Just tell the f****** doctor that I’m here and I’m not leaving until I’ve seen her.”

(At this point the receptionist turns to the young doctor to ask her if she will still see the patient.  She addresses her by her forename but only manages to get her name out before the patient interrupts.)

Patient: “Oh, my god, you stupid cow! Stop gossiping and just go sort it out with the f****** doctor, will you!”

(The doctor leaves to go to the consulting room but quietly tells the receptionist to phone her, which she does. The doctor tells the receptionist she will see the patient and to send him in. After the consultation we found out it went something like this:)

Patient: *smiling* “All right, doc?”

Young Doctor: “[Patient], you were very rude when you were in reception.”

Patient: *starts blushing* “What? I apologised for being late but the receptionist shouted at me. She was the one being rude.”

(The young doctor realises the patient hadn’t recognised her, so repeated his conversation almost word for word. He still denied it all.)

Young Doctor: “[Patient], I was in reception when you arrived. I was the one [Receptionist] turned to when you called her a stupid cow. She was polite to you and didn’t turn you away for being past your appointment time. I will consult with you today but you owe both of us an apology and if we don’t get one I will make sure you receive a warning letter.”

(The patient stammered through an apology, had his consultation, and was reminded on leaving to apologise to the receptionist, which he did!)

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