Friday, February 12, 2010

How NOT to get in to see Dr. Grumpy

Yesterday afternoon.


Mary: "Dr. Grumpy's office, this is Mary."

Mrs. Hag: "Yeah, I have a 4:00 appointment today."

Mary: "Yes... It's 3:55 now. Where are you?"

Mrs. Hag: "I'm leaving my house now. I'll be there in about 30 minutes or so."

Mary: "Uh, we close at 5. Dr. Grumpy has to go to the hospital."

Mrs. Hag: "Bullshit. You can wait for me. I'd have been there sooner, but had a lot of laundry to put away, and lost track of time."

Mary: "No, we can't, but I can reschedule you for..."

Mrs. Hag: "LOOK, BITCH! DIDN'T YOU HEAR ME? I AM ON MY FUCKING WAY AND YOU ARE GOING TO WAIT FOR ME!"

Mary: "Don't speak to me like that."

Mrs. Hag: "I'll talk to you however I want! I'm a paying customer."

Mary: "You..."


Dr. Grumpy reaches over Mary's shoulder, silences the speaker phone, and picks up the receiver.


Dr. Grumpy: "This is Dr. Grumpy."

Mrs. Hag: "Yeah, I'm on my way to my appointment, I'll be there in about half an hour, and your phone bitch is telling me I can't come in today! I need help, and you're going to wait for me!"

Dr. Grumpy: "No, I'm not. Since you weren't here on time, we are leaving."

Mrs. Hag: "Then you damn well better see me tomorrow!"

Dr. Grumpy: "No. You are not coming to see me. Today, tomorrow, or ever. I will not see anyone who treats my staff like this."

Mrs. Hag "WHAT KIND OF ASSHOLE ARE YOU TO TREAT A SUFFERING PERSON LIKE THIS? I'M GOING TO REPORT YOU TO THE MEDICAL BOARD AND POLICE AND CITY AND HOSPITALS AND MY INSURANCE AND..."

Dr. Grumpy: "Have a nice day." (Hangs up)

53 comments:

Chrysalis Angel said...

My hero! I worked for a Dr. that did that once. I had a bear of a woman lashing out at me, and he over heard it. He dismissed her from the practice right then and there. I think I had to pick my jaw up off the floor.

Parchment said...

Ah, the sweet sound of indignant entitlement.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like she needs a shrink more than a Neurologist.

Anonymous said...

Good for you! It's great to hear about someone who insists that staff members be treated respectfully.

TheLittleFlower said...

Thanks for standing up for your staff. People like that should be made aware of their ignorance and huge sense of entitlement that seems to accompany it.

Old MD Girl said...

AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

People can be such turds.

"Phone bitch?" Really? Do they really think that this is going to get them what they want????

Crazy.

Helen said...

Yay!

Where were you when I worked for the government and people threw staplers at me?

The New Grad said...

This happens more often that you'd think in the retail pharmacy world... only I don't have the power of dismissing these people...

Doctor D said...

Grumpy, you are my fricking hero! I should do that more often.

The D-Bag Daily said...

The New Grad - agreed. If only we could dismiss patients...that's the pharmacy world I dream of.

Banshee said...

I want to believe Mrs. Hag was in a lot of pain and that's why she behaved so abominably...but good on you! That name-calling and unreasonably demanding tone is no way to treat anyone!

I hope she DOES try to report you to everyone she listed...especially the police - maybe they'll charge her with assault for verbal abuse :)

Moose said...

Oh, Dr Grumpy, you are a hero. If only more bosses stood up for their employees like that.

Today's Captcha word is "groushlo", which is a polite word for what that flaming psycho is.

Silliyak said...

Ditto all the above, plus if you start going broke because of the loss of this "person's" business, I'll contribute to your recovery fund. Unbelievable, my word verification is azinine

thegooddrlaura said...

You f* with my staff, you f* with me.

It doesn't take long to realize that our co-workers (receptionists, nurses, referral clerks) are what make our lives and practices work. Compassion for patients does not mean allowing patients the right to be @$$holes to the people we care about.

kate said...

Thank you for sticking up for your staff like that! It makes such a huge difference when you know that you work for someone who's on your side.

Kat's Kats said...

Both your and Mary's reality checks have cleared the bank while Mrs. Hag's has bounced so badly her account will be closed.

I was fortunate enough to also have an employer stand up for me against an Evile Customer who seemed to think that I should take back a book that we didn't carry because otherwise she would take her business elsewhere. I offered to get My Boss, which produced a smug smile from Evile Customer. I told My Boss what had happened, her eyes narrowed, and she came stalking out; which produced an even larger smug smile from Evile Customer.

Then My Boss listened calmed to Evile Customer tell her all about the situation and Mean Salesperson. Evile Customer admonished My Boss by saying that if Evile Customer wasn't satisfied she would take her business elsewhere (and tell her friends as well). My Boss looked her in the eye and said,

"Good. We don't want your kind of business. In fact, I want you to leave our store right now and I do not want to see you here ever again. You are not welcome here." One of the best places I ever worked.

Queen of Crafts, Current Events, and Such. said...

Humans are really just tamed apes

Flavius said...

Oh dear God. This is why I believe every citizen of the US must be required to work a minimum of a year in customer service so they can understand there's a person on the other side.

Bravo, Dr. Grumpy. Bravo.

-Flavius

Anonymous said...

Mary deserves extra chocolate for having to deal with that hag.

Chris said...

PHONE BITCH? Whoa. Bravo to you, Dr. Grumpy for standing up for your staff. I'm a legal secretary, and was being verbally abused by a client over the phone one day - the attorney stood up, walked over and took the phone from me, and said, "Our attorney/client relationship is now terminated. You may come to the office any time and pick up your file." There's nothing better than a good boss!

Anonymous said...

Dr. Grumpy, I think I'm developing a crush on you. Will you please come work at my hospital?

student dr. blaze said...

You rock, Dr. Grumpy! :-)

Anonymous said...

Sad part is that people only behave like that because it has helped them get what they want in the past.

This is why hospital nuses burn out so often.

ERP said...

Holy crap. What was he suffering from? Percocet withdrawl?

minimedic said...

HIPPA will forever prevent from telling us, but what exactly was she "suffering" from? I see that it did not prevent her from completing a household chore...

Sick people don't bitch!

Kipper said...

During my brief high school career in fast food, I had one manager (only one) who stood up for me when he caught customers sexually harassing the underage hottie at the counter. He's still my hero.

Suburban Princess said...

It is incredible how people treat others these days! I always get great appointments simply because I bring treats for the staff who help me! And I am nice to them!

Anonymous said...

One of the most important things I've learned in 37 years is that secretaries, receptionists and assistants run the world. You want to get somewhere, be nice to them! I learned this early, and you know what? My mail always arrives at my desk, my copies always get made on time, I never run out of office supplies and I'm first in line when there's some kind of delay whenever I show up to any appointment, because I know who has the real power. Good women are as often in front of good men as behind them - good for you for hiring and retaining the right kind of staff and treating them properly.

Mop said...

I'm surprised you actually run on time. My appointments are never on time ever.

Grumpy, M.D. said...

I'm a fanatic for being on time. Likely should be on medication for it...

Miss Kismet said...

Anonymous 11:31 has it right - never piss off the front office staff!

I wish I could say these kinds of people don't exist in the world, but I worked for 4 years in national student loan collections and can verify they exist.

My guess is Mrs. Hag is seeking a huge monthly amount of , Soma, and Benzos for her migraines/back pain/undiagnosed psychological suffering and can't figure out why her old doctor dropped her.

Grumpy, M.D. said...

Minimedic- she was new to my practice. I'd never seen her before, so I have no idea what was wrong with her.

Miss Kismet said...

Oops, can't use carrot tags in comments! That should read "My guess is Mrs. Hag is seeking a huge monthly amount of [insert high-dose painkiller here], Soma, and Benzos for her migraines/back pain/undiagnosed psychological suffering and can't figure out why her old doctor dropped her.

Lilorfnannie said...

That warms my heart, what you did Dr. Grumpy. Gives me back some faith in humanity :-)

Celeste said...

Aaaaaaaand now we know why she was looking to find a new doctor. Good luck with that, Mrs. Hag!

Dr. Woof-Woof said...

This sounds so familiar... As a veterinarian, I worked in a 24hr ER / critical care facility... Apparently people with sick animals don't realize that animal ERs triage just like their human counterparts... and even when we would remind people that "your dog with a cough / torn toenail / ear infection isn't as critical as the dog that was just hit by car and is currently receiving CPR" they would yell, scream, and curse at our office staff - receptionists and techs got the brunt of the nastiness. What I hated most? When they yelled at everyone up front, harrassed the tech, and then were SWEET as honey to me when I walked in the room. I actually said to one lady (who was complaining to me about my staff and their lack of compassion) "Excuse me, but do you not realize that I have heard you yelling at my staff from the moment you walked through the door? Being nice to me does NOT make up for the horrible way you have treated my employees." Funny thing was she had nothing to say to that...

Marco said...

The science of medicine always interested me, and going to med school was the path not taken. Instead, I went into basic science, as the one thing that drove me away from medicine was having to work with the public. Kudos to all of you who do it. I know that plenty of patients are great, and that it feels good to make a difference in people's lives, but fools like these can clearly make it frustrating.

Anonymous said...

My Doc's office has a sign "The abuse of staff will NOT be tolerated, treatment will be discontinued immediately". It's sad that is was necessary but nice that the Doctors will defend the staff like that. Makes me more willing to go there knowing that is how they treat their staff.

outre said...

Why are people so stupid to think that they can mistreat the staff... The only time I got nasty on the phone w/ an office staff was when I caught her in a lie. ('I sent in the pre-auth request yesterday'.. Um, no, you didnt. I checked with CareCore)

My brain cells are so baffled at the stupidity they are attempting seppuku, but getting angry when they realize there aren't bowels to disembowel.

Clearly not 'suffering' enough. Put this incident in her records... and if it gets forwarded to a new doctor.. MUHAHAH! >:D

Anonymous said...

Depending on what state you are in, it is actually a FELONY to harass a healthcare professional. And swearing is considered harassment in most of those states. We use it often when patients are being 'beasts' and we want them to play nice or leave. We actually have booted patients from the pharmacy (and I work for a large chain...)

Vincent said...

I usually ask people like her to do me TWO favors:

1) Go somewhere else and
2) Pick someone I don't like.

Doc Vinny,
Family Medicine

Doris said...

I cannot believe a grown person would behave this way. I applaud your turning this oaf away and supporting Mary. You done good.

Maha said...

Phone bitch?? Really? If Mary could reach into the phone and strangle the bitch on the other side, I'd say it would be well deserved. Hugs to Mary for having to deal with that assclown. And Dr. Grumpy, you just rock.

Anonymous said...

I'm always very nice to the doctors and their staff. I spent 4 years going to military clinics and I did.not want to have them call my husbands command but I'm repeatedly amazed at how much I can get almost anything I want when I am nice.

Too bad the jerks haven't figured that out.

Anonymous said...

The New Grad, maybe you should come to our pharmacy. If a customer had something smart to say to the staff, the manager/pharmacist would come out, and loud enough for the entire store to hear, say "If you don't like it? F--k off!!" Since the closest pharmacy is >1hr away, we have incredibly well behaved customers. It was his policy that the front counter staff didn't get paid enough to deal with that sort of crap, so he did.

Anonymous said...

why is "have a nice day" the last thing americans say to people who have been arseholes to them? not really a suitable put down. 'F..k off, moron' might have more impact.

The Evil Receptionist. said...

Holy crap, a new patient did that? Makes me wonder how long her previous doc put up with that crap.

Thanks for sticking up for your staff. Oh, and for being on time. That makes Mary's job that much easier, I'm sure.

Phone Bitch Wannabe said...

My career goal has always been to become a "phone bitch." Can you get the training at a one semester course at the local community college?

Chrysalis Angel said...

I laughed at that, "Phone Bitch Wannabe." That would be a good title for a blog.

River said...

Well done, Dr Grumpy! You don't need patients like her.

RxKerBer said...

I don't put up with that crap either. Big chain or not....me and my staff WILL be treated like human beings. Just 2 days ago, I had a patient call me a bitch under his breath as our convo ended (ie. he hadn't hung up quite yet). He had called no less than 6 times in the day to see if his refil was okd. We weren't receiving the fax and the damn office kept transferring me to voice mail. When I got the ok verbally (finally), I called him back to let him know. And I said "By the way, you might want to make sure the phone is completely disconnected the next time you want to call someone a name. I heard what you said and I will not be sworn at or called names." When he picked up his rx, he actually apologized. Some people just need their bad behavior pointed out to them.

Some are fully aware of their jerkiness and don't care.So, for more abusive situations, I do tell people not to come back.

Frantic Pharmacist said...

You da man, Dr. Grumpy. One of the worst things is to have an encounter like that and not have your employer or supervisor back you up. They are too worried about 'customer service' and the bottom line so they hang their employees out to dry.

Rachel said...

Way to go Dr. G :)!!!!

 
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