Friday, July 24, 2009


It was all my phone's fault.

We were expecting to hear back about an appointment we have been waiting for, we had heard that it would probably be the next day between 5:00 and 6:30 pm. When we never heard back we thought that those times were, ultimately, not available. Then, my phone coughed up a message just as I was leaving work. The appointment was on, in a few hours. We were distressed because we had to return this rental car for another, and yada yada it was really inconvienient. We decided to drop by way early and see if I could get in early.

There was a sign on the clinic door to knock and then go and sit in the cafe and wait. We did this. When it finally opened we explained that we were early, that we didn't get the information in a timely fashion (no one's fault) and could we go early cause we had some transportation issues. She spent 10 minutes explaining that she had a busy schedule (there was no one else around) then got on the phone to try and arrange another appointment.

I said:

That's OK, I'll wait till five.

She shook her head and said that she would rearrange the visit. I waited and then she talked to someone who gave her another person to talk too.

I said:

That's OK, I'll wait till five.

She said, 'Sometimes you just have to push back to get what you want.' I said, 'It's going to be 5 before you get off the phone so ..."

I said:

That's OK, I'll wait till five.

She said:

Go and wait in the hallway.

I said:

I need to have this appointment done, I'll wait till five.

She came out later. This is now after almost an hour on the phone, my appointment won't take an hour, an hour that could have been use to simply see me. She said that she had arranged for me to get a phone call about another appointment. It was now less than an hour until 5:00.

I said:

I don't understand what just happened.

Before I got to the car I got a call about rearranging the appointment. I explained what had happened. That I couldn't get heard. That I was where I was supposed to be but had been ushered out of the building by someone without the capacity to listen to me. She said:

I'll call back and get your 5:00 appointment back.

I said:

No, I do not want to be served by someone who will be angry, I don't want to be touched by someone forced to provide a service, I feel vulnerable in these situations and am now saying that I will not take service from her.

She said:

I understand. Listening is kind of the first skill a nurse should learn and the first a nurse should practice.

I said:

Thank you.

So now I've got to rearrange my day tomorrow to be home earlier than I'd planned to have home care.

And I still don't know what happened. But my appointment tomorrow is at 5.


Anonymous said...

Don't you just love it when "professionals" listen to you. It drives me crazy when people let their own agenda get in the way of mine - when I am paying for their time. Lets face it, if there weren't people who needed whatever service they are offering they would be out of a job. I Call that lack of respect for the paying public. Drives me crazy.

FridaWrites said...

Go sit in the hall?! Whoa.

Anonymous said...

As someone who works in the home care program in the states, I apologize on behalf of my coworkers who just don't "get it." There are times when folks just don't even try,and that is just as frustrating to their coworkers as it is to clients. Other times when it seems that even though we all speak the same English language we might as well be speaking in different languages when I see all the ways that communication goes awry and good intentions get twisted into hurtful actions.
And anonymous is right, sometimes the folks who work in human services may not be the smartest or kindest. Please don't always attribute 'their own agenda' or bad intentions into what is sometimes just lack of good training, laziness, or dysfunctional work hierarchies where the staff on the bottom get beaten down regularly.
Generally staff at human service agencies work long hours, get low pay, don't get respect from folks in the worlds of commerce, education, government, OR EVEN their own supervisors and bosses....and if you are not treated respectfully it is hard to always be respectful to others.....

Belinda said...

It's so frustrating that this happened. Is there a supervisor to talk to? This person needs to gain some customer service skills or be in a different job.

I hope that today's appointment went better and you got the care you needed.

BabyMakingJourney said...

Good grief! THat sounds exhausting!! So DID you get that appointment?

Katie said...

What the heck?! They seemed not too smart... Good luck at your 5 oclock appointment... ;)

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