I used to be a people person. People have ruined that for me.
In all honestly I do consider myself a very kind person, or at least I try to be. That being said, I have worked with people for the last 10 years. Yup. 10 years of being a human punching bag. The dumping ground for other people’s blame. The scapegoat to their lack of planning. On the receiving end of venting sessions that have nothing to do with me. The highly underpaid therapist. The shoulder to cry on. I swear I’m not bitter.
I work in the medical field and completely understand that anything to do with doctors and illness is scary. I’m not unsympathetic to that fact. However, it does not give someone the excuse to be a total dick. ESPECIALLY when you are needing something from the receptionist. Listen very carefully….. you will get much further if you are nice. What’s the saying? You get more bee’s with honey than vinegar? Its true.
Another little tip for you. Your lack of planning does not make it an emergency. Let that sink in for a second. Yes, it sucks you forgot and you need it tomorrow but your apt isn’t till the end of the year. Guess what? There’s nothing I can do. I can not reschedule other people who have been waiting 6 months because you forgot. Flip that around and imagine you’ve been waiting 6 months and I had to reschedule you out another few months. Imagine its due to someone not keeping track of things and it could have been prevented had they thought ahead. You’d be mad right? So please don’t get mad at the receptionist for not being a magician.
Another thing the receptionist can’t do… make a doctor magically appear to work on a day that isn’t their day. They are people too (shocking I know). They get vacation time and sick time just like the rest of us. You think you’re mad they had to reschedule because their sick? Imagine the receptionist who had to call 27 people just as mad and rude as you were. We don’t like it. It’s not fun to have to reschedule sick people. Especially when we have nowhere to put them.
Guess what else is NOT in our control? How many patients we can fit in the schedule. We only have so many spots open for people because the doctors can only see so many people in a day. They can’t be in two places at once. While you may view it as a “quick check”, on our end to make sure everything is done right, we have to do everything for a normal check. Which means it’s not quick. Again you would be mad if your apt was late due to someone getting added in last-minute when you’ve been waiting for your apt.
Something we’ve learned working as a receptionist: Common sense is not very common. Its true common sense goes out the window when you are scared. But here are things that are never-changing and should be remembered. If it’s an emergency there is a room for that. Your doctor’s office is not equipped for emergencies. Yes yes yes I know you’ve had a bad experience at the hospital and would rather die than go back there. Well that is your other option. If it comes down to it and its a real emergency you’d go to the emergency room. If it’s not a real emergency it can wait until we have an apt to see the doctor. Lucky for some there are areas where they have “urgent” cares. Not quite an emergency but needs to be treated that day. Go there. They can help you. They are also medical professionals!
We know you are scared. We know you have questions, that you want answers to whatever is ailing you. We hear it every day and you know what else we hear every day? The answers to the same questions over and over again. Kind of like in school when you are learning something so you go over the same information over and over again. So forgive me for being a little annoyed when the conversation goes like this:
Patient: is there a nurse or doctor I can talk to?
Receptionist: They are currently with a patient at the moment is there something I can help you with?
P: you probably wouldn’t know you’re just the receptionist. Can you take a message?
R: of course. While we are on the phone why don’t we make a follow up? Yes I can get you scheduled for 2020.
Never ever have this conversation with us. Its truly offensive. Unless you are a doctor or Nobel Peace prize winner you are also just something. After this conversation you are just a pain the ass. Yes we are a receptionist but that is an extremely hard and trying job. We are exhausted at the end of a the day and while we are here with the patients best interest at heart its super hard to want the best for an ass hole.
The link below was the inspiration for getting things off my chest. He’s way more brutally honest than I could be for fear of losing my job.