It’s Not Monday’s Fault
Whew, yesterday was quite a day at the office. They missed out on some good footage if hidden cameras were not installed.
The phone rang, and the voice on the other end was soft, so soft that I wasn’t sure anyone was on the other end. Not a flag at first, but now I know better.
I retrieved the necessary facts to schedule the appointment, and this is where the fun started.
This person is no doubt what gives Monday a bad rap. Monday is out there just doing their thing, and someone or something like this happens on a Monday, and suddenly it’s Monday’s fault. No doubt this person is out giving grey hairs every day of the week.
The first standard question from all doctor’s offices across the land is “do you have health insurance? or “what is your insurance plan? This is common knowledge unless you’re from another planet.
Me: Do you have health insurance?
Me: Which plan is it?
Nemesis: I don’t know.
Me: Do you have the card handy?
Nemesis: Screams to the husband, who screams back “medicare” that she doesn’t hear, so she screams again. Oh lord.
Me: Already dreading asking for any type of number or, dare I say, secondary insurance. I had to do both while eyeing the scissors in front of me. Oh, the thoughts I was having during the eternity this took.
I survived retrieving the name without incident. However, the birth date did not go as well.
Me: Date of birth?
Nemesis: 9/14/56, no 8/14/56, wait no, 8/15/57. This was followed by one of us laughing, and it wasn’t me.
Me: Slowly picking up scissors. I knew I might need them to get through the email address.
Even though I was having murderous thoughts, I gave the benefit of the doubt that maybe, just maybe, she had a medical condition causing all this confusion. So, I asked the million-dollar question, “do you take any medications?”
Nemesis: No, none.
Me: Ok, back to business. What is your email address? Refer back to the date of the birth question because it was a repeat performance.
Nemesis: Nonsense, complete nonsense.
Me: Scissors in hand. Ok, I’m going to email you an invitation to join our portal. Once you complete the new patient paperwork, I will contact you to set up your appointment.
Nemesis: What’s the name f the doctor again?
Me: Dr. Dodged A Bullet.
Nemesis: Oh, I wanted Dr. First Choice.
Me: I told you she wasn’t taking new patients at this time.
Nemesis: Nevermind, then I wanted to see Dr. First Choice.
Me: Am I clear that you don’t want to make an appointment at all?
Nemesis: Yes, I really wanted the other one.
Me: Under my breath, hopefully, “are you f@%$ing kidding me?” Ok, then, will that be all?
Nemesis: I guess.
Me: So, are we clear that you’re aware you do not have an appointment with anyone in our practice?
Me: Ok, have a nice day. CLICK, CLICK, CLICK! It’s times like this when a phone with a handheld receiver comes in handy.
Enjoy the Ride, with patience riding shotgun!
When did filling in for the Tooth Fairy become part of my job description? Last time I checked my title was Surgical Coordinator/Everything else the office needs. I hung up my tutu years ago when my son lost his final fang.
Well, that changed about 3 weeks ago when someone left a couple of teeth in our waiting room. I’ll take a break while you read that over.
Now, perhaps this would be acceptable in let’s say A DENTISTS OFFICE, but I work for a Podiatrist/Foot & Ankle Surgeon, so an occasional cane, umbrella or jacket are the only things that should land in the lost and found. The jury is still out on how you can leave without your cane, he’s a doctor, not Jesus.
So, I bet you’re wondering what one does in this situation. After the laughter of course.
First, you start reminiscing with your co-worker about the other insanity that as left you speechless at work. Like that time a HUMAN turd was chilling in the hallway, and your office “manger” (trust me, those quotes are necessary) instructed you to call hospital security. Umm, maybe maintenance would be better to handle this matter. That’s only one example for the quotes.
Just the thought of calling Security makes me laugh!
Ok, back to these missing fangs. If you, or anyone you know, have any form of artificial teeth, you know that they have either paid for their dentist’s summer home while putting his or her children through college, so it was imperative that we channel our inner Tooth Fairy to locate the owner. I was already thinking about how much I could get on eBay.
We had to break it down to who was sitting in that area of the waiting room. Next, it was concluded that I would not be the best candidate to make the inquiries since I have no control over my inner 12-year-old boy who finds this entire situation hilarious. Sad, but true. Then the executive decision was made that our office “manager” call all of our morning patients to see if anyone might be missing a thing or two.
Let me just say that listening to someone struggle through these awkward calls provided me with a great deal of entertainment. When I heard a woman had to check her purse, only to come back and say “no, I still have mine,” I knew the decision for me not to be involved was indeed the best decision. It really is the little things.
This story ends with no one claiming the missing fangs that sit on a shelf in our office as a trophy, and me continuing moving forward with the idea of putting them on eBay,
Enjoy the Ride!
I’ve Got The Power
As if working with the public isn’t challenging enough on a daily basis, mix in the hostile climate of the world, a stretch of gloomy weather and an overbooked schedule. Such a joy.
I’m not sure what goes through the minds of some people before calling for a doctor’s appointment, but it’s evident to me after 20 plus years in this field, that plotting is involved. It should be a crime.
What happened to just picking up the phone and making the damn appointment? 1, 2 3
I’m not sure if our office number is written on a bathroom wall promising a good time, but that would at least explain why it rings off the hook.
On one particular day every time I answered whoever it was calling hung-up.
Ok, at first this was a welcomed break from listening to whining voices, but that quickly changed.
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, I heard a voice on the other end that left me speechless. Not an easy thing to do.
Me: Good afternoon, Dr. Blank’s office how can I help you?
The Voice: I’ve been calling and hanging up to get your attention. I need an appointment because my doctor, who I love dearly, is retiring. How long has this doctor been in practice? Does he know what he’s doing? My doctor was the chief of her department. I can’t believe she’ leaving me. He never came up for air, and I was paralyzed by the first sentence.
Me: Gave him a salute with my middle finger and stopped listening. Thank goodness facetime is not available on landlines.
The Voice: I’m having pain on the ball of my foot. I’m walking on rocks. It’s been going on for a year or so now, and I can’t take it anymore. Do you have anything tomorrow around 11:15? No, no you did not.
Me: No. Friday is the doctor’s surgery day. Our first available appointment is the week of July 23rd. Would you like to make an appointment? Please hang up; please hang up.
The Voice: JULY 23rd???!!!! I’m a cripple now. I need an appointment now. I can’t wait until July 23rd. No sir, you’ do not have a disability, you’re just an ass.
Me: Well, sir, you’ve had this problem for over a year, but if it’s suddenly urgent, there may be other physicians in the area with more availability. Pleading in my head for him to take the bait.
The Voice: I want to see this doctor. Why do I have to wait? Had to bite my tongue on this loaded question.
Me: The doctor is going on vacation which limits our schedule, and that is the first available for a new patient. Not that you deserve an explanation.
The Voice: He’s taking a month of vacation? You, sir, are the equivalent to period cramps.
Me: No, it’s a week. Do you want July 23rd or not? Feel free to add whatever expletives you feel appropriate.
The Voice: I guess. Is there a cancellation list? Finally, I can lower my finger and smile.
Me: Oh, yes and patients do cancel so there is always a chance you’ll get a call. Bawhahahahahahahahahaha! NEVER EVER WILL YOU GET A CALL BECAUSE I HAVE THE POWER you complete and utter ASS.
The Voice: Oh great, let’s make the appointment. Hahahahahaha!
Me: Name …
Avoid the POTHOLES and Enjoy the Ride!
Life With An Extra Side of Flavor
Weekly Writing Challenge: Characters
This week’s writing challenge: Tell us about a character in your life.
Where the heck do I even begin with this challenge? My dilemma isn’t a lack of material, it’s narrowing down the list. I’m not sure if it’s my overly curious nature or keen listening skills, but my path is always crossing crazy. Never a dull moment that’s for sure.
For this piece I decided to share the likes of Kathy MacDonald, a coworker from my very first “real” job. You haven’t experienced characters of the real world until you work for the Federal Government in Center City Philadelphia, at a meer 18 years old. This was similar to dropping a lamb off into the center of the jungle.
I’m not certain of Kathy’s age at the time, considering 30 year olds appear ancient when you’re 18, but if I were to guess, I would place her around 60 at the time. She had white cotton candy shaped hair, large glasses with over exaggerated features. Her cleavage doubled as a clutch purse and her voice was that of a well seasoned smoker, however Kathy never smoked. Kathy’s wardrobe consisted of nothing from the current decade and everything from the closet of a retired 60’s go-go girl, complete with colored plastic beads & baubles to match any shade on the color spectrum. She stepped right off of a Far Side calendar and planted herself in the desk behind mine.
My first day of employment was 6/14/1982, better known as Flag Day. I will never again forget this fact due to Kathy MacDonald, who was dressed as a human american flag in honor of the holiday. As if the red,white & blue ensemble weren’t enough, it was accessorized with flag earrings, a red sparkly headband, all sorts of red, white & blue plastic beads and bangles with blue socks that donned stars and of course, white sandals. I was in awe!
She introduced herself just as she headed out the door at lunch time to partake in the festivities over at Independence Hall. I had never met anyone who celebrated Flag Day with such enthusiasm in my life. To be honest, at 18 I probably had no idea there was a holiday called Flag Day. I quickly learned that ALL holidays were celebrated equally in true Kathy fashion.
Kathy always had a story that my 18-year-old ears had no business hearing, but I couldn’t help but be completely absorbed in her tales. One day she called me over to her desk to discuss the discomfort she was having with her “girdle”. I patiently listened how this “girdle” was pinching her skin, yet she didn’t feel it was doing its job. I had NO IDEA what a girdle was up until this point…I was just coming out of diapers for god sakes! She proceeded to raise her dress to reveal this torturous device that spanned from her neck to the middle of her thighs. It was covered in metal zippers with these elastic ribbons that held up her stockings. It’s really a shame that cell phone cameras weren’t around in 1982.
As you can imagine the girdle sighting stayed with me for quite some time. My mother tried to reassure me that it was only an undergarment, but I probably should have undergone some sort of therapy at the time. To this day I have questions about those zippers. Not to mention this went down in the freaking office!
I have certainly witnessed a large cast of characters over the years, most that left Kathy appearing almost normal. Looking back on Kathy’s character, I must say she certainly lived life with a little spice adding flavor wherever she traveled. She certainly made it easy for me to go to work every day…I never could risk missing an event.
The world can be amazing when you’re slightly strange, so be yourself and Enjoy the Ride!
You must be logged in to post a comment.