Saturday, April 17, 2010

My Readers Write

Karen, who says she works for a California neurologist, sent this in. It makes me glad to know other neurology offices have as much fun as we do.

Karen: "House of Brains, can I help you?"

Mystery Caller: "You called me."

Karen: "Okay, what's your name?."

Mystery Caller: "I'm John."

Karen: "And... a last name, please?"

Mystery Caller: "Bozo."

Karen: "Okay, what can I do for you?"

Mystery Caller: "YOU called ME!"

Karen: "I'm sorry, I didn't personally call, but will try to help. Was a message left?"

Mystery Caller: "Yes."

Karen: "Who left the message? What did it say?"

Mystery Caller: "I don't know. I didn't listen to it. I just saw your number on the caller ID."

Karen: "Why don't you listen to it, then let me know who called and I'll connect you to them."

Mystery Caller: "Can't you help me?" (This is a loaded question, huh?)

Karen: "Hang on... Mr. Bozo, you aren't in our system. I don't think you're one of our patients."

Mystery Caller: "I'm not. My girlfriend is."

Karen: "Okay, what's her name?"

Mystery Caller: "Cindy Datingabozo."

Karen: "All right. But privacy regulations require that I confirm we have permission to speak to you. Can you hold while I check our records?"

Mystery Caller: "This is stupid! I could have listened to the message in less time than it's taking you to figure this out."



instant student said...

Well, he got a point there...

Anonymous said...

yes it is. yes you could have.

thegooddrlaura said...

I don't know how our receptionists do it without sneaking a sip out of a flask of whiskey after every other call.

WarmSocks said...

When I burst into laughter and exclaim, "You've got to be kidding!" my kids no longer ask what's so funny or who I'm talking to. Now they glance at one another, roll their eyes, and say, "She must be looking at Grumpy's site again."

I seriously hope that I never do anything blogworthy to any of my doctors.

Anonymous said...

Neurologists, Veterinarians, OBGYNs, Physical Therapists, the list is unending. We all get these calls. I'm surprised that the top of my head hasn't actually blown off.

Pharmd Biker said...

when i feel a call is going down this road, i usually do the following;

1- open desk drawer
2- take out duct tape
3- wrap head with duct tape
4- pray my head doesn't explode, if it does, the pieces are easier to find.


quixote said...

(Pharmd Biker: "the pieces are easier to find." I should have thought of that myself. I'm going to use that method from now on.)

These posts leave me feeling, "Nah. Couldn't be. Grumpy's making it up." And then I think, "But how?" Who in their right minds could even imagine this stuff? So it must all be true....

/*reaches for duct tape*/

Melanie said...

This is I have called putting the patient in "time-out" I simply ask them to hold, and do something mindless like check my email, fax something, ... maybe I will ask my co-worker if she left a message for said patient. Then I get back on the phone and tell him that I couldn't figure it out that I could take a message or he can listen to the previously left message :)

Loki said...

For one brief, shining moment I worked as the receptionist at a hospital billing office. Well, actually for a very stress-filled year. I was answering three lines, getting angry patients, confused patients, and even, occasionally nice patients.

Eventually I left that job for another position and was rewarded with a much lower stress level.

In boot camp.

Marco said...

'House of Brains', I like that. Sort of calling a chiropractor's office 'the Crack House'

Chrysalis said...

That has got to be the best comment! I busted out laughing at PharmBiker's comment. I loved that!

Anonymous said...

Makes me wonder if it's something about the specialty of neurology that attracts oddball patients: perhaps the patients' neural issues making them statistically more likely to do and say irrational things?

Li'l Azathoth said...

"Just tell me- is she pregnant, or isn't she?"

Kimbra Kasch said...

Okay, I was thinking that you get strange calls from people who aren't feeling well and can't think 'cuz their head hurts . . . or something. But a boyfriend...????

I don't get that one at all.

terri c said...

LOVE the name "Datingabozo." That's been my name a few times.

Michelle Roger said...

As a neuropsychologist all my patients had a nice dose of crazy on top of their medical issues. But family members take it to a whole new level. Sometimes our receptionist and I used to discuss creating a new hospital protocol where we put a couple of drops of haloperidol in their coffee about 20 mins before I had to talk to them.

Anonymous said...

oh my gosh! this happens in the veterinary field LEAST once a day!

Moose said...

Just for the tape-the-head folks, from an old skool rock-n-roll techie:

Instead of duct tape use gaffer's tape [aka "gaff tape"]. It costs a lot more than duct tape but it holds together much better, it can withstand a lot more abuse. Best of all, you can peel it off when you're done and it doesn't leave that nasty sticky stuff behind.

So if you want to try more to keep the pieces together, and then to be able to use them again later for another brain, zombies, stew, a zombie named stu, whatever, trust Moose and get yourself some gaff tape.

Ari said...

Ok, I'll be the one to say it: I had a flash of sympathy for the guy. If I look at my phone and see a missed unknown call + voicemail, I'm far more likely to simply call back the number than to waste the minute or so it takes to get to the &%*$ message on my crappy voicemail ("please enter your passowrd, followed by have 3 new messages...message saved...messaged saved, "hi, this is bill, just calling to say hi, perhaps I'll blah blah blah...").

In this guy's case, that was obviously the wrong call, but *he* couldn't have known that when he called back. He just assumed that he'd get more immediate, relevant info from touching base with his caller than fudging through voicemail. Moreover, his comment at the end kinda reflects the fact that *he* realized he'd made the wrong decision.

I don't think I'd have hung up, but I certainly can imagine being in his shoes.

Anonymous said...

I've learned over the years that a good bout of hold time for a recalcitrant phone-caller helps a lot. Three or four minutes of hold takes the fight right out of 'em.

Loren Pechtel said...

I think you guys have it wrong--I think this was a fishing expedition.

Locations of visitors to this page