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  • Not So Closely Guarded
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  • Check-Up Has Checked Out

    | Australia | Bad Behavior, Employees, Health & Body, Lazy/Unhelpful, Money

    (I am having a check-up at my surgeon’s office. Six months prior, I underwent a medically necessary plastic surgery, and was promised upon choosing this surgeon that all following check-ups were covered in the cost of the surgery. The check-ups literally take five minutes or less – I walk in, they look at the scar, say it looks great, and I walk out. I’m passing back out through reception, and there’s a receptionist who is new and I haven’t seen before.)

    Receptionist: “Okay, so that will be $90.”

    Me: “Oh, sorry, I don’t think that’s right. All of my follow ups are included in what I’ve already paid.”

    Receptionist: *dripping with insincerity* “Oh, sweety. That’s only for the first six months. It’s been a few weeks past that now. You really need to read the fine print, don’t you, honey?”

    Me: “I went through all the paperwork with the admissions nurse before I booked. I was absolutely assured there would be no follow up costs.”

    Receptionist: “$90, sweety. Go home and read your paperwork. It’s there in writing.”

    (Being the pushover that I am, I paid. I went home and sure enough, nothing mentions additional costs after six months. Needless to say, I cancelled all my following appointments.)

    Weathering Bad Comments

    | MN, USA | Bizarre/Silly, Language & Words

    (It’s February and it is well known that I am going to be gone on vacation for a week. The patient in question is an older lady.)

    Patient: *smiling* “It’ll be really nice when you’re gone!”

    Me: *wondering what on earth I ever did to her!* “Uhm… okay?”

    Patient: “You know, how it’ll be nice when you’re gone, then really cruddy when you come back!”

    Me: “Oh, uh, sure. Okay.”

    Patient: *getting flustered* “You know! The weather! It’s like that, nice when you’re gone then gets cold again when you come back!”

    Me: *getting it* “Oh! Yes, probably.”

    (The patient left red-faced and I laughed about it the whole time I was gone!)

    Recipe For Repeated Disaster

    | Lund, Sweden | Employees, Health & Body, Ignoring/Inattentive, Lazy/Unhelpful

    (I call my local health clinic to make an appointment.)

    Me: “Hello. My name is [My Name] and I would like to make an appointment with a gynecologist. I am on [type of birth control pill] and would like to discuss if there are any other options.”

    Receptionist: “All right, I’ll make an appointment for Monday.”

    Me: “Great, what time?”

    Receptionist: “No, it’s not an actual appointment; I just make a note here to [Doctor] to renew your prescription.”

    Me: “No, I’m sorry, perhaps I wasn’t clear. I don’t want to renew my current prescription. I am not happy with the pill I am on; I would like to discuss my options.”

    Receptionist: “Oh. I see. Well, then I have an appointment for Wednesday next week.”

    Me: “All right, that could work. What time is it?”

    Receptionist: “No, it’s not a specific time; it’s a note to [Doctor] to call you during the day to talk to you before she renews your prescription.”

    Me: “But I would like to discuss my options with her. If I can do that over the phone, I’m happy to, but I want to make sure I can have a discussion with her and get advice, not just a new prescription for the same type of birth control pill that makes me experience all these side effects.”

    Receptionist: “Yes, whatever, your appointment is now for Wednesday next week.”

    Me: “…and she will call me and we will be able to have an actual discussion?”

    Receptionist: “Goodbye.”

    (I called another clinic and got excellent service. When I called the first clinic to cancel my “appointment,” the receptionist was just as rude as before and practically hung up on me again. Never going back there!)

    Giving A Speech About The Therapy

    | Germany | Employees, Family & Kids, Health & Body

    (I work as a speech therapist. We get a lot of children with speech impediments, and it often takes several months to fix them. However, the doctor has to prescribe speech therapy. On the prescription it says how many sessions the patient can attend before the doctor has to consult us on the progress. Usually, it is ten sessions, which means the patient comes ten times, and then the doctor gets a report from us on the therapy so he can issue a new prescription. Regularly, a child will get about sixty sessions in total. All of it is covered by the patient’s health insurance. I call a mother to make a new appointment after she missed the last few ones.)

    Me: “Hello, this is [Practice]. I’d like to set up an appointment for your son as you seem to have missed the last one.”

    Mother: “Yeah, I would have called today anyway.”

    (I highly doubt that, because I’ve tried to get a hold of her for almost four weeks.)

    Me: “So first of all, I am sorry to inform you that your regular date is now given to someone else, as you didn’t show up several times without giving notice and I just couldn’t keep it for you any longer because we have a lot of patients waiting. But I do have another free slot, so how about next Tuesday at 1:30?”

    Mother: “No, it can’t be in the afternoon. I have to work till seven.”

    Me: “Okay, let’s see… How about Thursday, at nine?”

    Mother: “Isn’t there anything earlier?”

    Me: “I’m afraid not. This is the only date in the morning I can offer.”

    Mother: “But my son has to go to kindergarten!”

    Me: “I am sure the kindergarten won’t complain if [Boy] misses an hour.”

    Mother: “No way! I pay a lot of money every month! I refuse to let [Boy] miss a WHOLE DAY!”

    Me: “Our session is about forty minutes. Can’t you just bring him to kindergarten after that?”

    Mother: If he doesn’t get there in time, he won’t go there at all. I’d have to bring him here first and then go get him and bring him to kindergarten. Do you know how tedious that is?

    Me: “I am sorry, but these two dates are the only ones available. Plus, [Boy] hasn’t been here in a month. It is really important to keep his appointments regularly. Otherwise, I’ll have to start from scratch every time and we won’t make progress.”

    Mother: “That’s ridiculous! We’ve been here six times, so there’s only four sessions left anyway until we’re done. No need to overreact like this!”

    Me: “I’m sorry for the misunderstanding. The ‘ten’ on the prescription refers to the amount of sessions we can give before the doctor wants to see how it is going. We will definitely need some more than these first ten sessions to correct his impediment.”

    Mother: “WHAT! This is not what the doctor told me! He told me it is ten sessions and then we’re good. You’re scamming me!”

    Me: “Again, I am really sorry, but I doubt the doctor really told you that ten were enough. It takes some time.”

    Mother: “Speaking of it, you took this test with my son and now it says my son can’t speak properly at all. I can’t believe it! [Boy] IS NOT DUMB! He talks just fine; he just mixes k and t sometimes. Just tell him how to say it right. It won’t take that long.”

    Me: “But that’s not how it works. Sorry. Imagine someone told you from now on you’ll have to replace, let’s say, every R with a W. Do you really think you’d get used to the new rules that quick? Plus, [Boy] can’t even hear the difference between these two phones.”

    Mother: “So what? When he gets to school he will eventually get it.”

    Me: “Speaking from experience, children with speech impediments have a lot of problems learning to read and write. They often have to repeat the first year. So, actually, it is better to treat it now because later it will be more difficult and take longer to make progress.”

    Mother: “I don’t believe you. My son is not stupid! You just want to make money off him! I will talk to his doctor again!”

    Me: “If you want to talk about how long it takes, he won’t tell you-”

    Mother: “THIS IS NONE OF YOU F****** BUSINESS!

    (She continues to rant a few more minutes, then calms down a bit.)

    Mother: “So, we will be there next week at [the old, no longer available date].”

    Me: “If you can’t bring him to either of the two dates I offered you, there’s nothing else I can do for you. Your old, regular date was given to another patient.”

    Mother: “This is outrageous! It was OUR date! I quit!”

    Me: “Yes, it was reserved specifically for your son, but you didn’t show up four times in a row, and didn’t bother to tell us, so I sat there and waited for you. And you hung up on me every time I called you. You may remember the first session when you signed our conditions?”

    Mother: “Yeah, so what about it?”

    Me: “You agreed to privately pay every session you missed without telling us beforehand. So that’s about 230€ you owe us. I’ll send you the bill in the mail.”

    (Suddenly, Thursday, nine o’clock was good enough for her, and she actually showed up. She acted like nothing happened. I’m curious if she will keep her appointments from now on.)

    Very Bad Reception, Part 9

    | Sweden | Employees, Health & Body, Ignoring/Inattentive, Lazy/Unhelpful

    (I’ve just turned 18 years old. After living for a while with a friend, I very suddenly suffer an allergic reaction to her pets. My face is so swollen I can barely see or talk properly, but I can at least breathe. Since it is relatively close to where I am, I go straight to my usual doctor’s office, not trusting myself to articulate properly on the phone.)

    Receptionist: “Yes, can I help you with something?”

    Me: “I don’t have an appointment, but I really need to see a doctor. Is it possible that I might schedule an appointment later today?”

    Receptionist: “Why do you need a doctor?”

    (She should barely be able to see my eyes. I seriously look like a talking marshmallow. I stare at her.)

    Me: “I’m having an allergic reaction.”

    Receptionist: “I’m sorry, but you can’t book an appointment in the reception. I suggest you go home and take it easy and come back tomorrow after making an appointment.”

    Me: “But I really need help now. Do you know of any other place close by that have drop-in or can take emergency cases?”

    Receptionist: *producing a card* “You can call this number if you want. They offer advice for free.”

    Me: “… and how exactly will that help me with my allergic reaction? I don’t need to talk. I need help.”

    Receptionist: “I’m sorry, but I can’t help you. I don’t know of any place that would take you in without an appointment.”

    (Dejected, I head for the elevators, close to tears because I don’t know what to do and I’m frightened. I push the button, but as I stand there waiting, a doctor passing me by stops and stares.)

    Doctor: “Excuse me, but have you received help yet?”

    Me: “No, the receptionist said it’s impossible for me to get help without an appointment. I got this number…” *I hold up the card*

    (The doctor stares at me as if she can’t quite comprehend the words I’m saying. Then she stares at the receptionist, and then at the card in my hand.)

    Doctor: “It’s okay, sweetie. I’ve got some time before my next patient. I can take you in right now and we’ll get you some medicine. If your face swells up like that, it can be really dangerous. I’ll talk to the receptionist later.”

    (She took me by the hand and led me away. It took her less than ten minutes to get me diagnosed and get me meds. After I did some research later, I found there were at least three drop-in clinics close by!)

    Very Bad Reception, Part 8
    Very Bad Reception, Part 7
    Very Bad Reception, Part 6

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