Can I rant just a bit? Will you allow me just a few moments to vent my spleen? Isn’t that just the most awful phrase? But it really works in this application.
Okay. So I’m nursing a horrible summer cold. Slight fever, stuffy nose, losing my voice (The Dude is more than a little happy about that), basically I just feel miserable. Yesterday, even though I was feeling really rotten, I dragged myself out of bed, hopped on the lovely South Shore commuter train, and headed into the office for a bit before going to an appointment with my doctor/nutritionist.
I had made this appointment over a month ago, and I didn’t want to have to reschedule. I’ve decided that I want to get on a healthy eating regimen and try to lose some of the excess Eileen that I’ve carrying around for years. Getting an appointment with this doctor is a chore, since she’s only in the office twice a week. And her assistant doesn’t answer e-mails or phone calls when trying to set up a meeting with the good doctor. See where this is going yet?
So I drag myself into her office and tell the receptionist that I’m there to meet with Dr. G. She says great, have a seat, did you fill out the paperwork, blah, blah, blah. Then the doctor’s charming assistant walks around the corner and says, “Eileen, I don’t believe you have an appointment today,” in a very condescending tone. I just looked at her through my Nyquil induced haze. I then informed her that she and I had had several e-mail correspondences and that I did in fact have an appointment. She then says, “Well, I’m going to have to check that,” in her continued haughty tone. About 5 minutes later she walks back to the desk and tells me that I never confirmed the appointment, therefore I’d have to reschedule.
Now, I know I’m getting old and the memory is fading, HOWEVER, I distinctly remember the e-mail trail that transpired between us (once she finally decided to respond to my e-mails). Upon being given the date, I wrote back and said the date and time would work, etc. I then proceeded to put the appointment on my calendar.
Here’s the rub… in a rare moment of organization I decided to clean out my e-mail folder of all the extraneous stuff that I didn’t need anymore. Including the e-mail trail between the doctor’s assistant and myself. So, I have no proof that I sent her the confirmation. ARGHHHHH!
I gently (I really stayed calm during the conversation – must have been the residual Nyquil in my system) suggested to her that perhaps my e-mail response went to her junk folder. No sooner had I gotten the sentence out of my mouth when she barked, “No, that did not happen. You’re going to have to reschedule.” She told me she’d check the doctor’s calendar and be right back. So, I stood there getting pissed and the receptionist looked at me sheepishly. I told the receptionist that I was 99% sure I had confirmed the appointment, and that I’d hauled my cookies all the way to Chicago just for this appointment. She was very kind and suggested that I try to find my e-mail and get back to the assistant with proof. She made it sound like this kind of thing had happened before.
The upshot is, my appointment is now for August 2! But worse than that was the customer service I received. This young woman was just plain rude. Not an ounce of empathy in her body, nor any sense that perhaps she had made an error. I go to this medical practice a lot, and overall I think they are terrific. The last thing I wanted to do was cause a scene. But what the heck has happened to accountability? Or civility? I’m the one who’s going to drop a considerable amount of cash in this office, which in turn is going to pay this young woman’s salary. I’m not looking for someone to kiss my ass, but it sure would be nice if, even for one moment, this woman could get off her high horse and be professional, and dare I say, kind?
Am I asking for too much?
NEWS FLASH! – I went to my office and found the business card confirming the date and time for the appointment, written in the assistant’s own hand! I scanned it and sent an e-mail to the assistant (and cc’ed the doctor). I told her that in fact I did have an appointment and that I did not appreciate her attitude. I did get a nice e-mail back from both the assistant and the doctor. But my appointment is STILL going to be August 2nd. Oh well, at least I know I was right! And that goes a long way with me!