Name, Time, And Place

, , , , , , | Healthy | October 2, 2018

(I’ve chipped a tooth. My regular dentist puts a filling in, but recommends a crown as a more stable, long-term repair. Since I already have a rather large cavity and filling in that tooth, they also refer me to an endodontist to see if I’ll need a root canal first. I call their office to set up a consult.)

Receptionist: “Good morning. Thank you for calling [Office].”

Me: “Good morning. I’ve been referred to you by [My Dentist]. I need a consultation to see if a root canal is necessary.”

Receptionist: “Okay, are you a patient of ours?”

Me: “No, I’d be a new patient.”

Receptionist: “Can I have your name?”

(I give my first and last name. My last name is somewhat unusual, and has a lot of letters that sound like other letters, so I always go the extra mile and spell it out using the phonetic alphabet.)

Receptionist: “I’m sorry, can you repeat that?”

Me: *spells it again, still phonetically*

Receptionist: *spells it back, inverting the last two letters*

Me: “No, no.” *spells it out again*

Receptionist: “Oh, okay, no R.” *spells it back incorrectly*

Me: “No, there is an R.” *spells it AGAIN* “It’s like [word], but with an A at the end.”

Receptionist: *finally gets it right* “I’m not finding you in our system.”

Me: “Right, no, I’m a new patient; I’ve just been referred for a consultation.”

Receptionist: “Oh, I’m sorry, okay. I’ll need more information from you, then.”

(We very slowly and carefully go through the rest of my details.)

Receptionist: “And what do you need done?”

Me: “Just a consultation right now. I’m getting a crown, but my dentist would like to see if I should get a root canal first.”

Receptionist: “You need a root canal?”

Me: “No! Just a consultation.”

Receptionist: “Okay, a consultation. When would you like to come in?”

Me: “Anytime Monday is good.”

Receptionist: “We have 3:30 on Monday?”

Me: “Yes, that would be fine.”

Receptionist: “Okay, there’s also 1:50?”

Me: “Um, either one, I guess? 3:30 or 1:50, whichever is more convenient for you.”

Receptionist: “Okay, 1:30 on Monday, then.”

Me: “I’m sorry, 1:30 or 1:50?”

Receptionist: “Yes, 1:50.”

Me: “Great, thank you.”

(I think I’ll show up before 1:30, just to be safe!)

This Number Is Not Always Right

, , , | Healthy | August 17, 2018

(This takes place when I’m in college. I get a call around ten am from the secretary of a doctor’s office, saying the doctor will be late for the appointment. The secretary got the wrong number and I’m not the person she was trying to reach. As I have class all morning, I only see the missed call and the message at noon. I assume it’s too late to call back to say they have the wrong number, because the appointment was scheduled the morning, anyway, so the patient probably already went to the doctor’s office. I don’t think about it anymore, but the next day I get another call from the secretary. This time she calls while I’m on my break, so I answer.)

Secretary: “Hello, [Patient]. This is [Doctor’s Office]. I’m calling you about your file; I need some info.”

Me: “Oh, actually, you got the wrong number; I’m not [Patient].”

Secretary: “What do you mean it’s the wrong number ? It’s…” *she dictates my phone number* “…right?”

Me: “Yes, it’s my number.”

Secretary: “So it’s the right number!”

Me: “…”

Will Fedex Them The Medical Bill

, , , , , | Working | August 7, 2018

(As tech support for the office, I go into the server room one day and see two of the Uninterruptible Power Supply [UPS] units are showing battery condition warning lights. As these protect vital machines, I order two new batteries to be delivered overnight. UPS batteries are, in this case, sealed lead-acid units, weighing almost thirty pounds each. Next morning, I’m in reception, waiting for them, but someone calls with an urgent tech support issue. While I’m on the phone, a delivery driver walks in, and in almost a mime act, carefully places a deceptively small package on the counter.)

Delivery Driver: “These are UPS batteries, so be careful with them.”

Receptionist: “I don’t care what courier firm you’re from; there’s no special treatment here.”

(The driver was probably in a rush, so he didn’t stop to argue, but was on his way as soon as he was handed the signed delivery note. With a final, “Tsk!” the receptionist grabbed the plastic carrying handle on the package and pulled it off the counter. Her shriek as several pounds of plummeting battery nearly dislocated her shoulder was impressive.)


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Very Bad Reception, Part 22

, , , , | Healthy | August 3, 2018

(The doctors I am with primarily deal with “on the day” appointments, because let’s face it, you can’t schedule when you will be ill. They open at 8:00 am on the dot, and as I’m used to the fact they are busy, I start phoning at 7:59, hitting redial until I get the, “Welcome to…” automated message and not the, “The surgery is closed,” automated message. I’m aiming to be early in the queue of callers trying to get an appointment. Thankfully I get through quickly, having been second in the queue, and ask for an appointment to see a doctor. The receptionist is female, but my doctor is male.)

Receptionist: “Why do you want to see a doctor?”

Me: *politely* “I really would rather not discuss my medical issues with you, and would rather speak to my doctor about it.”

(This is my right here in the UK.)

Receptionist: “But I need to know why you want to see a doctor.”

Me: “I really am uncomfortable discussing it with you.”

Receptionist: “Unless you tell me exactly why you want to see a doctor, you will not today, or at any point, be able to get an appointment!”

Me: *losing my cool* “You are breaching every policy your practice has. I would like to speak to the practice manager, immediately.”

Receptionist: “There will be a short wait.”

(Thirty minutes later I was still on hold, and got another receptionist asking why I was holding for so long. I was put through to the practice manager, who was NOT aware I was waiting. I explained to the practice manager what had happened. I was advised I could come in immediately and see a doctor. I was given time with the doctor to go over my health concerns, which were legitimate concerns, but thankfully came to nothing serious. The first receptionist was made to apologise to me, and when I went back for a follow-up a month later, I was told she was no longer working there. I found out she had been doing this before, but it hadn’t been picked up on as people either caved, or just didn’t complain!)

Related:
Very Bad Reception, Part 21
Very Bad Reception, Part 20
Very Bad Reception, Part 19

Might Actually Be Worth Getting Whooping Cough, Instead

, , , , | Healthy | July 27, 2018

(I’m midway through my pregnancy and have been putting off getting the whooping cough vaccine, so I call my doctor to schedule an appointment.)

Me: “Hi. I was wondering if I could book an appointment for the whooping cough vaccination?”

Receptionist: “What’s your name and date of birth?”

Me: “That’s [My Name] and [date].”

Receptionist: “It says here you’re 22 weeks.”

Me: “Yep.”

Receptionist: “Then, no, you can’t have an appointment.”

Me: “Um, right. Is there any reason why not?”

Receptionist: “The vaccine is only available from 26 weeks.”

Me: “Oh, right. I thought [Doctor] said I could get it from 16 weeks. I must have misheard. It’s okay, though, I can wait another four weeks.”

Receptionist: “Let me check with the doctor. Hold the line.”

(Pause.)

Receptionist: *sarcastically* “Well, I guess the doctor just knows more than me, huh? Clearly I’m just a receptionist, so I wouldn’t know anything. Apparently you can get it from 16 weeks.”

Me: “So, can I book an appointment?”

Receptionist: “At 11 on Monday.”

Me: “That’s perfect. Thank you.”

Receptionist: “The vaccine isn’t free, you know.”

(Most health care is free while pregnant in Ireland, but things like vaccines aren’t.)

Me: “Yep, that’s fine. I have no issue paying.”

Receptionist: “Good, because you have to pay. You’re not getting it free.”

Me: “I know.”

Receptionist: “Because it’s not free. You have to pay.”

Me: *Pause* “Is there anything else you need from me?”

Receptionist: “No, but when you come in for the appointment you have to pay.”

Me: “Okay, bye now.”

 

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