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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A Would-Be Thief Has His Eyes Opened

, , , , | Healthy | March 7, 2020

(I work with patients at an eye specialist, checking vision and administering eye drops. One day, one of my newer coworkers comes to me about a patient.)

Coworker: “He’s complaining about his eye being sore, but he’s asking way too many questions about [expensive temporary numbing agent for office use only].”

(I trust his judgment, so I ask another technician to casually restock something in the exam room where the patient is waiting for the doctor and take the numbing drop with him when he’s done. Not ten minutes later, when the doctor goes to see him…)

Patient: “Hey, Doc, why can’t you give me some more of those numbing drops?”

Doctor: “Because too much is toxic for your eyes. A patient stole a bottle years ago and used it non-stop for days; it really damaged their eye.”

Patient: “Good thing you said that, Doc, because I was planning on stealing that bottle!”

(He said this without any embarrassment whatsoever! I only hope he learned not to mess around with that sort of thing.)

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The Effort Of Listening Is Too Much

, , , , , , | Right | January 14, 2020

I work for an optometrist and my job involves phoning people to let them know that their glasses have arrived from the lab, and are ready for pickup. This is done in between all my other tasks, and, theoretically, should only take a few minutes.

Very few people actually answer their telephones, so if their voicemail is activated, I leave this standard message: “Hello. I’m calling from [Company] to let you know that the prescription glasses ordered for [Customer] have been checked in. Please pick them up at your convenience. We are open today until 5:00 pm, and we are open tomorrow from 9:00 until 5:00. Thank you.”

As I am dialing the next person on the list, I get an incoming call, so I disconnect the call I’m trying to make to answer the incoming call. Nine times out of ten, the incoming caller says, “I got a missed call?”

I say, “And you are…?” After a peeved pause, as if I should recognize them somehow — we don’t have caller ID at the office — the customer says their name. I look on my list, and sure enough, it’s the person I just left a message for.

If you’re too occupied or too lazy to answer your phone when it rings, then listen to your voicemail message. I don’t have time to backtrack through the list when I’m trying to call twenty people. If you’re not going to listen to your voicemail, why do you have voicemail?

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Eye See What You’re Doing

, , , , , | Healthy | January 9, 2020

(I work in a fairly busy eye clinic. Despite having eleven doctors, spots for our regular eye exams are booked out months in advance. However, we keep emergency spots open for any patients that need to be seen immediately. Note that it’s also Christmas time, one of our busiest times of year because people have met their deductibles and want to be seen before the end of the year. I’m looking at the schedule one day and see a name I recognize. It’s a woman who’s called in several times wanting a regular eye exam with one and only one particular doctor, who happens to be the most popular doctor at our practice, whose schedule is the hardest to get into. But I see she’s coming in for an emergency situation, while said doctor is in the office, which should only take maybe half an hour — our regular eye exam patients are usually there for an hour and a half. Lucky me, I get her chart when she comes in. I walk her back to the exam room.)

Me: “So, what brings you in today? My note line states you’re having some new flashes and floaters?”

(We take these very seriously as they can mean a retinal detachment.)

Patient: “Oh, no, nothing like that. I just told them that because I knew I could get in. I just want my regular eye exam. You have to help me now that I’m here.”

Me: *dumbfounded* “One moment, ma’am.”

(I walk out of the room to talk to my doctor. She already has a completely booked schedule for the day and adding the extra testing would set her behind for all the other patients who had a legitimate appointment. Unfortunately, my doctor is also a super nice woman who tells me to go ahead and do the exam. I do the exam but inform the patient it will be a long wait due to the change in exam type because we now have different things we have to do and she’ll be placed in the wait box behind other patients who are already there — there were about three people in front of her. She says it’s fine and goes to wait in the waiting area. Ten minutes into waiting, she comes up to me complaining she still hasn’t seen the doctor yet. I tell her she will be seen as soon as it’s her turn. Apparently, that’s not good enough for her.)

Patient: “You dumb b****! I’m here for an emergency! I should be seen before all these people!”

Me: “Ma’am? You told me earlier you’re here for a regular eye exam, not the emergency you told them so you could be seen. My doctor was kind enough to let you stay in the schedule despite this. She will get to you as soon as she can.”

Patient: “That’s not my f****** problem. She needs to see me now!”

(My doctor heard the commotion as she was stepping out of her current exam room. She told me to just bring the patient in and she’d see her so she’d stop bothering everyone. The lady gave me a smug smile as she walked into the exam room. I hate when they reward bad behavior. Of course, that left me in a room with other patients who had actually been waiting their turns, glaring at me.)

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Unfiltered Story #180422

, | Unfiltered | December 25, 2019

I’m an optometrist, so, our store sells nothing but glasses and sunglasses. Glasses everywhere.

A woman with a stroller walks into our store.
Woman with a thick accent: “I need a photo from me and my son”
Me: I look around and point to the walls filled with frames. “no photo, only glasses”
Woman: “aah, weird”