Sunday, November 7, 2010

Grumpy, reversed

Obviously, I can only tell the story from the office side of patient interactions. But weirdness goes both ways, as my reader Webhill recently wrote me:

I was at home last week, when my phone rang.

Webhill: "Hello?"

Miss Hyper: "Hi! I'm calling from Dr. Nutstaff's office to remind you of your appointment tomorrow."

Webhill: "Huh? I don't have an appointment with Dr. Nutstaff tomorrow. It's on Thursday.".

Miss Hyper: "Oh, yeah. Whenever it is. I'm calling about it."

Webhill: "Okay, what about it?"

Miss Hyper: "I'm calling to remind you about it."

Me: "Okay... Anything else?"

Miss Hyper: "Nope! See you tomorrow!"

Webhill: "I don't have an appointment tomorrow!"

Miss Hyper: "I was just saying that. You know what I mean. When did you say you're appointment is?"

Webhill: "Thursday at 11:30."

Miss Hyper: "Yes, whenever it is. I just wanted to call and remind you."

Webhill: "Thank you for reminding me."

Miss Hyper: "You're welcome. Have a nice day."


Mr Mobius said...

Maybe you should consider recording Mary's calls. You never known what gems Mary may be hiding.

instant student said...

Maybe they forgot to put him in the appointment book and were trying to find out what appointment they gave him?

Erin said...

This reminds me of a story a retail pharmacist friend told me yesterday. One of their "special" patients called to ask what her home number was. She couldn't remember it, but knew the pharmacy would know it since it called her to tell her that her prescriptions were ready.


Anonymous said...

My favorite is how she changes from Miss Hyper to Miss Perky towards the end of the conversation...

Grumpy, M.D. said...

Crapanoli! I can't believe I did that. Okay, I fixed it.

watercolordaisy said...

LOL! LOVE IT!! I keep the little cards because my phone is notorious for changing my appointment times around on me. (syncing to too many different computers I'm told... seems like it should be able to do that... anywho...) Arrived for a 2pm appointment to be told I was late and my appointment had been at 11am. I pulled out the card that had 2pm written on it in pen in their handwriting. They still argued with me. My doc overheard it and came out, didn't even look at the card and took me back herself. lol. The next time I went there was a new receptionist, but I didn't ask what happened.... haha

Bibliotekaren said...

Aack, the ubiquitous "Heathers" in doc offices. I know docs are getting squeezed in the system, but I seriously wonder where they get these gals? And, I wonder if a couple bucks more an hour could get one who could actually converse.

The Evil Receptionist said...

Judging strictly from what I know, I gotta give her a pass on this one. I'm the one in our office who makes those calls, and after awhile, you can sometimes lose your mind and forget what the hell you're doing.

Having said that, however, there are those of us who have the above problem with every single call they make.

Kate said...

Some offices try to take shortcuts and may just make a list of patients to call with upcoming appointments, without times/days, and maybe even mixing in those with next day appointments with ones the day after. Or, maybe its patient privacy as they don't want to check the forms to see whose phone they can leave info on, and whose they can't? I have got quite a few calls that leave a message to remind me of my upcoming appointment, not saying the doctor's specialty or time/date, just Dr. X's office calling to remind me of an upcoming appointment, and to call their number back if I had questions. This was quite over the top though!

webhill said...

FWIW, to clarify... since I am friendly with Dr. Nutstaff outside of the office, I emailed him and let him know about the phone call, and he advised me that the person making these calls *regularly* drives him insane, but that the person has been there forever, and is of a certain age, and he can't bring himself to get rid of her, so he just keeps having other staff re-train her and hopes for the best.

The timing of this post is amusing me, because I actually have an appointment with Dr. Nutstaff this morning. I'm going to have to show him this blog post.

The Mother said...

Docs often forget how important their staff are to the patient experience.

Or lack of it, if they come in on the wrong day.

jen said...

"Aack, the ubiquitous "Heathers" in doc offices. I know docs are getting squeezed in the system, but I seriously wonder where they get these gals? And, I wonder if a couple bucks more an hour could get one who could actually converse."
Well, in one case I know of (my dad's doc, who shares office space and staff with another doc), the unreliable (borderline useless) office staff person is the other doc's granddaughter. Other doc knows she's useless, but is trying to make her earn her way. Dad's doc is putting up with it because it's otherwise a good partnership.

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