Their Organizational Skills Are Just Depressing

, , , , , | Working | February 17, 2021

I was on antidepressants five to eight years ago but have been off them for a few years. Recently, however, I haven’t been coping and my friends have encouraged me to make a doctor’s appointment. When I try to book online and select “mental health consultation,” the website tells me I can’t book this appointment type online and will have to call their office. After getting up the nerve to make the phone call…

Me: “Hi, I’d like to make an appointment for a mental health consultation.”

Receptionist: “Okay. What was your name?”

Me: “[My Name].”

Receptionist: “I notice that you used to see [Doctor #1]. He doesn’t consult here anymore. If you’d like to see him, you’ll have to call his current practice.”

I feel like she is about to hang up on me. I’m actually glad that [Doctor #1] doesn’t work there anymore as he refused to prescribe me medication for months the first time around, and I know medication is what I need once again.

Me: “No, that’s okay. I can see any doctor.”

Receptionist: “All right, I have nothing this week. How about next Wednesday at 3:00 pm?”

Me: “That’s perfect. Thank you.”

Receptionist: “Okay, you’re booked in with [Doctor #2] for next Wednesday, second December.”

Two hours later, I receive a missed call from the doctor’s office and have to get up the courage to call again. The same receptionist answers, though she obviously has no recollection of the previous call. After verifying who I am…

Receptionist: “Now, unfortunately, we will have to reschedule your appointment as [Doctor #2] is going away next week and will be away for quite some time, two to three months. What was the appointment for?”

Me: “It was a mental health consultation.”

Receptionist: “I see. Is it urgent? Do you want to wait until she gets back from overseas?”

I don’t even know [Doctor #2]!

Me: “No, that’s fine. I can see any doctor.”

Receptionist: “All right, I can get you in for the same day, a bit later. What was the reason we had you down to see both a doctor and a nurse?”

Me: “I don’t know. You booked it that way.”

Receptionist: “Let’s make it 3:45 on the same day so that you can see both [Doctor #3] and a nurse.”

Me: *Gives up* “Okay, thank you.”

Seriously? I’m sure you make dozens of appointments each day so you wouldn’t necessarily remember mine, but there is no way you didn’t know two hours ago that one of your practitioners was going to be away for months! And I understand that there may be some reasons why you can’t book a mental health consultation online, but then why isn’t it marked as one when the booking is made over the phone? And no, mental health appointments can NEVER be pushed back by months. And I still don’t know why I’m seeing a nurse.

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Everyone Has Two Voice Settings: “Normal” And “Customer Service”

, , , , , | Healthy | January 25, 2021

When I need to find a new primary care physician, my sister, who’s a medical assistant, strongly recommends one of the doctors she works for. I accept — and she turns out to be the greatest PCP I’ve ever had, but I digress.

I don’t know if this is the law or their office’s policy, but my sister explains to me from the beginning that she’s not allowed to have anything to do with my treatment; she can’t look at my chart, she can’t room me when I come in, she can’t talk to me on the phone, etc.

Okay, rules are rules. I almost never have to call the office anyway — you call the network’s central line to make appointments, not the office directly — but I figure if she ever answers, I’ll simply say, “It’s [My Name],” and wait for her to put someone else on the line.

There comes a day where I call the office with some questions for my doctor about a course of treatment I recently began. A female voice I don’t recognize at all answers.

Assistant: “Thank you for calling [Office]. We’re on a recorded line. How may I help you?”

Me: “Hi, this is [My Name]. I saw [Doctor] earlier this week and just had some questions for her about [treatment].”

Assistant: “[My Name], it’s [Sister].”

Me: *Stunned* “Oh! I’m sorry, I—”

Assistant: “Here, let me get [Coworker].”

Another employee took care of me. For the record, the health issue was neither embarrassing nor something I hadn’t already told my sister about in typical family conversation.

When we hung up, I texted my sister, “I’m so sorry! I know you can’t help me, and had I known, I would’ve waited for you to get someone else, but I swear, I had no idea that was you! Your voice sounded so much deeper and more mature.”

When she was free, she simply texted back, “Customer service voice.”

And now I know what voice to listen for!

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Travelling For Work Is Less Than Glamorous

, , , | Working | January 11, 2021

I’m working in a plant that’s about as middle-of-nowhere as you can possibly be in northern Italy. I’ve joined two of my colleagues, who have been working at the site for a week. They clock out for the day and go to the hotel, but I stay, alone, to complete the first part of the intervention. When I’m finally done, it’s raining in buckets, my period came unannounced, and I feel like crap.

Looking forward to a hot shower and dinner, I get to the hotel reception while still in my dirty overalls.

Me: “Good evening. I’m [My Name] from [Company]. There should be a single room booked in my name.”

Receptionist: “We have no rooms available.”

Me: “It’s okay. I have a reservation made in my name by [Company]…”

Receptionist: “Ma’am, there are no rooms available, at all, because there was a problem with the online booking site. I explained the same thing to your colleagues when they showed up last week.”

Me: “So where are my colleagues right now?”

Receptionist: “I helped them find accommodation to a different hotel, but even that is full right now. Frankly, I thought you and your company would solve the problem on your own.”

I start fuming.

Me: “No, because we were never informed of a problem, either by your hotel or my colleagues, and now I have nowhere to sleep through no fault of my own. I’m not familiar with the area and my phone has no reception. The sooner you find me a place within a reasonable distance, the sooner I’m out of your hair.”

She starts making phone calls. All the while, I’m standing in the reception, uncomfortable and cramping, because I don’t want to get their sofa dirty in any way. Finally…

Receptionist: “I’ve found a room. It’s a twenty-minute drive away but I have to tell you, it’s no place fit for a lady.”

Me: “Ma’am, this ‘lady’ spent the day rolling in dirt, expects to sleep rough in the back of a van, and fails to see how a motel can be any worse than that.”

The receptionist reluctantly gave me the address and I went. I soon found out why she’d say it was “no place fit for a lady.” It was an hourly motel!

It was, however, comfortable and clean, and despite the odd nocturnal noises, I stayed there for the rest of the gig. On the following day, I made sure to chew a new one to my colleagues, who did not see fit to alert me about the booking mishap or even inform the company that they were not staying where everyone thought they would, in an area where cell phone reception is iffy at best!

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Thanks For Sleeping On It, I Guess

, , , , , | Working | January 7, 2021

In 2018, as a high school graduation gift, I go on a solo trip to Spain and Portugal. During the Madrid leg of the trip, I have booked a room at a hotel for four days, with the plan to take a train on the fourth day to leave for Seville. On the evening of the second day, I have this interaction.

Receptionist: “Good evening. How was your last day here in Madrid?”

Me: “It was great, thank you… Wait, last day? I still have two more days.”

Receptionist: “Are you sure? You appear to have booked for two days only; you’ll have to leave tomorrow.”

Me: “Did I? I’m pretty sure I booked for four nights, not two.”

Receptionist: *Smugly* “Well, I surely didn’t mess up writing it down, so…”

Me: *Trying to keep calm* “Are you absolutely, 100% sure? Can’t you double-check?”

Receptionist: “I’m certain beyond doubt and I won’t check again. So, prepare to check out tomorrow.”

I’m worried and kind of scared. I can’t change my train’s reservation, and even if I could, there is no guarantee the hotel in Seville will have a room available, anyway. But, keeping my calm, I go to my room and pack up hurriedly. After a night of troubled sleep, I go on a hunt for a new place to stay for two nights, taking me the entire morning searching the Internet and making physical visits, leaving me almost one hundred euros poorer than anticipated. The same day, in the evening, I receive a call.

Receptionist: *Sheepish* “Hello? Are we talking to Mr. [My Name]?”

Me: “Yes, what is it now?”

Receptionist: “Turns out, you did book for four days… I mixed up the room numbers. My manager asked me if you’d like a refund for the inconvenience, or if you want your room back.” 

Me: *Barely suppressing my rage* “I’d like to have a refund; I’m certainly not going back after nearly spending 100€ for a new place to sleep in.”

I did get my refund eventually, though I definitely noted the receptionist’s behaviour in the review for the hotel.

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Master Procrastinators

, , , , , | Working | January 5, 2021

I pop into my doctor’s office for an appointment I made a few days ago. I’ve been coming to the same clinic for years; while the receptionist staff are pretty rubbish, the doctors are always good.

I approach the receptionist.

Me: “It’s [My Name] to see [Doctor].”

Receptionist: “Hmm… looks like you missed our appointment.” *Condescendingly* “You should really try to attend on time; we have other people waiting.”

Me: “No, my appointment is at 8:30. It’s only 8:15. I have the appointment letter here.”

Receptionist: “Actually, it tells me your appointment was changed. We did send you a letter about this.”

Me: *Checking my appointment letter* “This letter is dated yesterday and has my old, correct time on. When did you send the new letter, exactly?”

Receptionist: “…”

Me: “Because I’d like to know how this new letter was going to magically get to me.”

Receptionist: “I will see if the doctor has time for you.”

After a long wait, I did eventually get seen. A day later, the letter telling me my appointment time had changed arrived. It was dated the day of the appointment.

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