Thursday, March 3, 2011

BUSTED!!!

The following message was left on Mary's voicemail at 10:08 this morning:

"Hi, this is Karen Java. I have a 10:00 appointment with Dr. Grumpy, and I'm running late. Traffic is horrible (whispered: grande, please, with whip cream), and I think there's an accident or something (whispered: and a blueberry scone, too). Anyway, it's bumper-to-bumper, so I may be a few minutes late (whispered: Thank you, I have a gift card, here). Sorry. I'll be there as soon as I can."

33 comments:

Watercolor said...

hahaa! Did you play it for her when she arrived? Or just ask her how her scone was?

Grumpy, M.D. said...

She showed up at 10:20, and I refused to see her.

C said...

she could've at least brought you something!

Packer said...

I am on a diet to get ready for an athletic event, suddenly the athletic event does not seem as important as feeding my face. Blueberry Scone, my favorite.

Kim said...

Well wait a minute...to be fair, I was once in a major traffic jam. Huge. It took me 3 hours to go less than 60 miles. HOWEVER, at one point I did pull off onto a smaller road that had a few fast food places and I got something to eat...I was STARVING. There was no other way, though, to get to where I was going without getting back into that traffic jam. So, might it be possible that something similar happened to her?

Anonymous said...

And you just know she didn't tip the barista.

Jennifer Gilbert Settle said...

good for you! i find that the chances of traffic being the real issue are slim to none in most cases.

Anonymous said...

Maybe she stopped to bring you coffee and a scone?

I have certain doctor's that I bring coffee and a treat when I come in! Really, I do! They are good to me and I am return good to them. Just the way I roll, I guess.

Anonymous said...

Was she mad you refussed to see her?

Grumpy, M.D. said...

She wasn't happy.

Anonymous said...

But did you tell her why you wouldnt see her? (ie, that she was busted?)

Grumpy, M.D. said...

I told her she couldn't be seen because she was 20 minutes late, which is the truth.

I will not set my entire day back, with patients who DO show up on time, for one person. I run my practice on time.

I don't care that she stopped for coffee on the way here. But she was 20 minutes late, which is my cut-off for seeing people.

Kim said...

Glad to hear that you run your practice on time. I wish all doctors did. I once waited 3 hours with a fussy 3 year old to see a doctor and I had to travel an hour to get there and an hour back. 5 hours with a fussy 3 year old for a 15 minute appointment.

Not House said...

Good for you for keeping a tight ship, and expecting the same of others.

Anonymous said...

"But you have to see me! This is the last day before my gift card expires!"

Mallory said...

Good for you Dr Grumpy! I once had to wait 3 3/4 hours (after a 1 1/2 hour drive) to see a gastro specialist. I was exhausted and in severe pain, and when I finally stood up to go in, I passed out (thus further delaying the unfortunate people behind me).
What really annoyed me was that at no point were they honest about the wait time - I was initially told 3/4 hours, then "Really sorry, another half hour" (twice) and then they kept saying "just another few minutes". When you've already been waiting 2 hours, you figure they must be about to see you.
If they had been honest at the start, or even after the first hour, I would have gone home, and re-booked for another day.

If I'm ever running late, I ring and ask if they'll still be able to see me, or if I can rebook - sometimes there's someone else early for a later appointment, and they can shuffle things round, but you can't count on it.

Anonymous said...

1441- which pharma do you work for?

Anonymous said...

So...you gonna tell her that in future she must always avoid caffeine for at least 2 hours before a consultation? Just for revenge? Heh heh heh...

pharmacychick said...

you should have added. Next time, bring me a venti mocha lite!

Anonymous said...

I wonder if she sees lots of other doctors who don't run such a tight ship.

For so many of them, it seems that an appointment time is a range and they just see people in the order they arrive. I've shown up to my kids' peadatrician 45 minutes early and got out 10 minutes after our regular appointment time and they didn't notice.

I've shown up 45 minutes late and they didn't notice.

Most of our other docs seem to operate the same way and I wouldn't consider any of them to be high volume clinics - our pediatrician won't even patients with HMO insurance plans.

Ladybug said...

Did you throw in a "By the way, how was the blueberry scone" as a parting shot?

legalalien said...

Outrageous chutzpah.
I also think she needs an urgent MRI: either she has late onset anencephaly or has severe frontal atrophy for not thinking to delay the -already late- phone call till she was back in her car.

Anonymous said...

Maybe she is one of those people who don't talk on the cell phone while driving. And pulled out of the traffic, got her coffee etc. while calling. The minute or two it takes going through a drive-through wouldn't really make much difference I'd think.

jimbo26 said...

At my surgery in the UK , they have a 10 minute cut-off time .

Alison said...

Do you still bill patients who leave if you keep them waiting for more than a certain time? I once got a no-show charge from a neurologist when I had to leave (after waiting for FOUR hours) to pick up my daughter at school. I wanted to send them a bill for the time I wasted and the half-day my husband took off work to accompany me. The kicker was when I finally got to see the doc the next month, he spent about 5 minutes with me then recommended accupuncture. Sure, I'd be happy to spend thousands not covered by insurance for a "treatment" that only works when you think it does (and sham treatments work just as well). Ugh.

Grumpy, M.D. said...

I don't.

Kat's Kats said...

::rolls eyes:: I always call ten minutes ahead of my scheduled appointment when traffic is going to make me late as well as telling whomever picks up the phone exactly where I am in reference to the office. Since 99.95% of the time I'm having to make a commute of 45 miles (yes, it is worth it!), warn them ahead of time and am rarely over the '15 minute late' policy of my medical team physicians I rarely have to reschedule.

When I do, I'm always polite and let them know if I need to call them back on that or can do it then. If I'm driving, I use an earpiece or as my husband calls it, the "Uhura" method. If someone else is driving I can access my Life aka my little black book aka my organizer aka my backup brain then and there.

So far as my physicians being late, I never seem to have the trouble other patients do waiting. I don't worry if it's more than an hour unless I'm in a time crunch. Then I'll ask a staff person about timing and let them know about my time situation as well as the fact that I've come in from out of town if they don't already know that. They're all pretty good about letting me know if it's not going to happen.

It probably doesn't hurt that I see most of them at least four times a year if not more frequently. Well, except for the orthopod, unless something happens I won't have to see him for ten years!! WHOOT!!

C said...

mean.. just because she was getting coffee doesn't mean there wasn't a big traffic jam...but you know your patients better than we do.

The Bus Driver said...

well, just the fact it was whispered, lets you know she was in line at starbucks. NOT driving... at the time.

I have been running late for some appointments, and i do what Kat's Kats does by calling and letting them know where i am in relation to the office. The last appointment i was running late for, i ended up hitting all green lights and made it there, with just a minute to spare.

As a general rule, i typically try to arrive 15 to 20 mins early to check in, and allow the staff time to get my information etc.

Anonymous said...

Good for you Dr G, that was rude.

I do have one doctor that is always running REALLY late (like 1-2 hours) and I just call right before I would normally leave and ask how far behind they are. Then they tell me what time to actually show up. He says insurance only allows him so much time per patient and he likes to take more time if needed.

The Mother said...

Her latte is obviously more important than your time.

Tee said...

Thank you, Dr. Grumpy! Everybody has unavoidable delays on occasion but I get so irritated when I'm stuck waiting at a doctor's office because somebody else didn't show up on time! My PCP is always running behind schedule... usually around 45 minutes late... but I never complain because he spends a tremendous amount of time with all of his patients. Other doctors though? No. I don't want to wait for several hours just to have a doctor rush me through a 7 minute appointment!

Anonymous said...

I think that is a really, really good rule. I had a doctor who ran NO less than 45 mins late at every one of my, my BF's and my friends appts. He was cute and gave me what ever I wanted (during my druggie days) I dealth with the delays. The longest I was ever delayed was 3 hours cause they "couldn't find my file" when I got into the room my doc was complaining that he wanted to leave and because of me he was running late. I got pissed and said blame your GD staff!! I was here at 1pm. Boy was he mad, never happened again!!

 
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