Let it be noted that, here in Krinkeland, we choose doctors, particularly surgeons and other specialists, based on their experience and skill... not necessarily on their bedside manner, convenient location, or other attributes. We definitely do not choose them for the aptitude and friendliness of their office staff. Hence, I bring you today's bizarre client/scheduler exchange:
The setup: I called the office last week to schedule a little procedure Ben needs (no big deal... more on that at a later date.) After listening for 15 minutes to a recorded loop telling me how important my call was and that it would be answered by the next available associate, I got tired of waiting, felt decidedly unimportant, and chose the option to leave a message. On the message, I detailed the spelling of our name, my son's name and birthdate, the procedure I was calling to schedule, our preference for a hospital location, basically everything short of his blood type and favorite flavor of Jello. I was just thinking this morning that no one from the doctor's office had returned my call, when, soon enough, the phone rang.
Dingbat: "Hi, this is So-and-So from the Such-and-Such office. What'd you call for?"
Me: "I wanted to schedule for my son--"
Dingbat: "Hold on while I get the book." (Really? There's still a "book?" We have this thing called a computer here at home.) Puts me on hold long enough for me to walk downstairs, wash an entire sink full of dishes, put the cushions back on the couches, walk back upstairs, quiet the ornery baby and put her back to bed, and sort a pile of dirty laundry.
Dingbat: "Let me just confirm your address (reads it to me,) telephone number (reads it to me,) and insurance (reads it to me.)"
Dingbat: "Hold on." Back on hold for a couple minutes.
Dingbat: "Where did you want to have the surgery?"
Me: name hospital
Dingbat: waits in silence, apparently didn't hear me
Me: name hospital again
Dingbat: "OK, hold on."
Dingbat: back on phone with me but talking to someone named Patty in the background... eventually talks to me, "The next date the doctor has is December 14; then he's gone."
Me: Stifling irritated laugh, "We'll take it."
Dingbat: "Hold on."
Dingbat: Gives brief instructions for time to arrive, etc. and tells me she'll send details in the mail. "Thanks for waiting." hangs up
According to the time stamp on the phone, the call lasted 13 minutes. According to the time stamp on my brain, it was much longer. Now, she never did ask a few key questions, such as what kind of surgery I was calling to schedule. We could be in for an interesting trip.