Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Book Em Friday...or Tuesday, 10 O'Clock

I love and trust my doctor, but I hate specialists.

They love having extra appointments. They love making rules that no children can come, and they love setting hours that prevent leaving kids with my supportive spouse unless he takes the day off.

Yesterday, I finally got a hold of the specialist reception office. They take off from 12 to 2 for lunch and the machine doesn’t take messages and close at 4, except on Monday, when they close at 3. The phones also aren’t answered before 9 am.

When I complained about the inflexibility of times available, the receptionist explained, if I had called last week, I could have found better times. I called last week. No one answered the phone, even though it was during business hours.

“What day was that?”

“That was our staff meeting day. We turn off the phones so as to not be interrupted.”

“…Okay, well, now when can I come in?”

“2:45 Tuesday.”

“That’s when school is out and I pick up my kids…”

“What time is good then?
“I can come on Monday, Wednesday or Friday between 10 and 12:30.”

“We have an opening at four on Thursday.”
“The times I gave where when I would only have to find a sitter for my infant. If I come at 4 on a Thursday, I would have to bring all seven younger children.”

I think she thought I was kidding because she then offered 3 o’clock on Tuesday and then five on Monday. I kept bringing up the problem of child supervision and she finally sighed and offered up noon on Thursday.

I’d have to bring three kids. Hardly ideal, but I took it.

“What is this test for anyway?”

“I’m stressed.”

“Pardon me?”
“Your schedule for my appointment. It’s stressing me out.”

“This isn’t about your stress levels.” She explained.

“This is about the stress experienced by the baby.” She soothed.
“But if Mom is stressed, you can bet baby is stressed.” I argued.
“You can book the next four appointments.” She wasn't moving.

And lucky me got 10:15 Thursday, a 2:00 Wednesday and a lovely 3:30 on a Friday. I’d be schlepping three to seven for each of these examinations…I hoped the little guy had low blood pressure because this would be scads of fun.

Looking at a blocky ugly crowded three weeks, I dutifully penciled the schedule into my calendar.

“You’re in luck.” The receptionist said, “For the fourth appointment, I can manage an 11:30 on a Wednesday.”

My need to win got the better of me and I refused to book the final appointment—“He’s due that week so I don’t think I’ll need one.”

“You could always cancel.”
“No. I don’t want to even have it on the schedule.”

“I think you’re being rather childish.”
“No, it’s just that I’m having a company meeting that week and won’t be able to take calls.” I hung up and sighed contently at the aparently unscheduled week.

I probably just earned a few years on hold in purgatory but I haven’t yet decided to be penitent.

P.S. If you're stuck on hold or stuck with a customer like me on the line, you could use a laugh so try Humor-Blogs.com!


Anonymous said...

It might be worth the extra time in Purgatory, but only if the person in charge of phone messages is there, too.

Josephus Flavius said...

Good for you!

Medical office receptionists are the worst; they judge what is an emergency, they ignore all rules of civil society, and they treat everyone like a moron because they don't understand their intricate scheduling and paperwork system.

If we come late it's a horrible blunder and they start rummaging for the self-flagellation implement with expectations for you to apply at least 12 lashes. If they make you wait an hour and a half for an appointment with only ancient, ripped magazines to read it's par for the course.

We have 5 (one on the way) and no amount of reasoning seems to get through their scheduling heads. Even so, I do make mention of impertinent staff to doctors. Occasionally it makes a difference.

Amy said...

I bet if you leave all the kids out in the waiting room with instructions to see the "nice lady at the desk" if they need anything, the next time she'll fit you in a time more convenient for you!

SherryTex said...

We have tried this before, but since this was for a stress test, bringing all seven and leaving them to wreck havok might have affected the results. (Eigth, and designated assistant babysitter has already started school).

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