Thursday, September 1, 2011

A dentist's office rant and poll

I just went to the dentist's office for my regular six-month check-up, filled out some paperwork that needed to updated, read a copy of Redbook from cover to cover, played around on the internet on my phone, counted the ceiling tiles, mentally rearranged the furniture and added a couple of plants and more side tables, rehearsed every swear word I've ever heard, invented some new ones and finally, after forty-five minutes, got up, walked back over to the reception desk with steam coming out of my ears and nostrils, and informed the receptionist that there were places I had to be, things I needed to be doing and a LIFE I NEEDED TO BE LIVING, and re-scheduled for next Thursday at 1:00.

I'm tempted to show up at 1:45 and innocently say, "What? You mean I'm late? Like you were last week? Oh, sorry. It sucks when people frack around with your schedule, doesn't it?"

I understand that doctors and dentists and optometrists in all their many permutations have emergencies that throw off their schedules. Don't we all? Sometimes something as mundane as a slow freight train can make you ten minutes late for an appointment and send you screeching into the parking lot with your hair on fire. I understand those things.

But if a doctor's office is running more than fifteen minutes behind schedule, the front desk people need to start making some calls (that's one of the reasons we have to give them our home and mobile phone numbers, right?) instead of just casually allowing hapless patients to trail in and then sit there, cooling their heels. It's just bad form. It says, "I am a doctor and my time is more important than your time because, well, I am a doctor and I care nothing for you and your substandard master's degree from an inferior university or the child you have to pick up at school or the fact that you were due back at work for a meeting - SIT STILL AND KEEP QUIET, humble peasant. I will see you when I see you."

It also says that, emergencies barred, patients are being scheduled too close together. And that the office is run inefficiently. And it makes me really mad.

What do you do when you're kept waiting? Comment here on on Facebook, either one. Answer any or all. No fair telling me that I'm a grouchy old bat: I already know.

1. How long a wait do you feel is too long?

2. Do you sit there fuming in silence or do you inform the receptionist that you can't wait?

3. Have you ever considered biting your dentist on the thumb to revenge yourself?

4. If your doctor's office is one of the ones with the sign that reads "Appointments canceled less than 24 hours in advance will be billed our regular fee," have you ever considered billing them for your time for making you wait longer than fifteen minutes?

1 comment:

Jessica Nunemaker said...

Ugh. I hate waiting. I mean, I HATE WAITING.

It's just mean. It's mean to expect others to wait forever and it's mean to act like my time isn't worth anything. I feel like charging them for my time.

I DO tell them I can't wait. I decide what seems reasonable and then? I tell them I will leave and we can reschedule.

P.S. I <3 your blog. I'd love to feature you on little Indiana! I'm sending you an email about it. :)