Their Time-Keeping Is Unhealthy

, , , , , | Right | January 9, 2019

(I work in an office that closes at five. The last patient of the day is a ninety-eight-year-old lady. Her appointment is at 4:15, though she should be in fifteen minutes early to fill out papers as she’s a new patient. There’s no sign of her by 4:25, and we’re about to start closing up shop when our phone operator comes over with the patient’s daughter on the line.)

Operator: “She says they’re stuck in heavy traffic and wants to know if you’ll still see them if they can get here in ten minutes.”

Doctor: “Well… it’s probably not easy to get her mom out of the house, so… if they can make it by 4:35, sure.”

(Five minutes pass and the operator comes back again.)

Operator: “She says it’s going to be more like 4:40.”

Doctor: “Yeah… she should probably reschedule, then. I just want to give her the full amount of time for her appointment, and we have staff that leaves at five.”

(Our operator relays the message to the patient’s daughter, who does not take it well. She is furious that the doctor asked her to reschedule even after she “gave the courtesy of calling” and repeatedly calls him “incompetent” and other names. She ends her tantrum by stating that she will find another doctor for her mother.)

Me: *to doctor* “Boy, I sure am sorry we let that one get away.”

Doctor: “Yep. Oh, darn.”

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