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    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!)

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

    Someone Needs Some Brain Surgery

    | Chicago, IL, USA | Employees, Health & Body, Ignoring/Inattentive, Lazy/Unhelpful

    (I had a morning appointment where the doctor scheduled a surgery for a month later. At the time, he requested that I make my post-op appointment on my way out, so that I would be on his schedule and get the time I wanted. Later in the day, I noticed that the receptionist scheduled the appointment for two weeks PRIOR to my surgery, so I called in.)

    Receptionist: “[Doctor]’s office. How can I help you?”

    Me: “Hi! I was in earlier today and [Doctor] recommended a surgery. We’ve scheduled that for date], and he asked that I also schedule my post-op for two weeks after [date]. But, I just checked my appointment card, and you’ve scheduled me for two weeks BEFORE my surgery.”

    Receptionist: “Well, ma’am, I see here that you are scheduled for a post-op appointment on [date]. That is two weeks after your surgery.”

    Me: “No, I’m sorry, but it’s two weeks BEFORE. My surgery is [date next month].”

    Receptionist: “No, I have you here for surgery today. You had surgery this morning.”

    Me: “No, I didn’t. I think I would remember a major surgery requiring general anesthesia…”

    Receptionist: “My records say you had surgery today.”

    Me: “Well, your records are wrong. Can you please update them and reschedule my post-op appointment to [date in six weeks].”

    Receptionist: “No, your records say your surgery was today, so your post-op must be in two weeks.”

    Me: “Can I talk to the nurse?”

    The Boss And His Web Of Lies

    | Sydney, NSW, Australia | Bosses & Owners, Extra Stupid, Pets & Animals

    (I’m at work and find a spider in my clinic room. I gently nudge the spider onto a piece of paper and walk outside to release it on a tree. My boss sees me come back in.)

    Boss: “Why did you let the spider go? I would have smashed it with my hand.”

    Me: “You shouldn’t kill spiders because they’re your friends. They eat all the flies and mosquitoes that you hate.”

    Boss: “Nope. I say smash first and clean up later.”

    (My boss walks away and comes back.)

    Boss: “Say… HOW do spiders catch flies and mosquitoes?”

    (I’m not sure whether this is a trick question but my boss honestly looks puzzled.)

    Me: “They… build… a… web.”

    Boss: “Oh, is that it? No, I mean HOW do spiders CATCH those flying insects?”

    Me: “Spiders build a web which traps the insects when they fly into it.”

    Boss: “Right. No, I knew that.”

    (My boss walked away looking a tad embarrassed. I’m not sure how he finished primary school science, especially as he was always boasting about how intelligent he was.)

    Bigotry Is A Bitter Pill To Swallow

    | Seattle, WA, USA | Bigotry, Employees, Health & Body

    (I am at a health clinic trying to get some care. I am a transgender man, so this sometimes proves aggravating.)

    Nurse: “So, what are you here for again?”

    Me: “I need to be on the pill or get an IUD.”

    Nurse: *after giving me the side-eye* “Um, no.”

    Me: “I get that I don’t look like a woman, but I assure you I can still get pregnant.”

    Nurse: “Yeah, I’m going to have to go ask the doctor what to do here.”

    Me: “Really?”

    (I sit for the next 20 minutes as they ‘sort it out.’)

    Nurse: “I talked to the doctor, and he’s not comfortable treating you at all.”

    (Turned out they didn’t want to give me contraception at all. I ended up going to the local Planned Parenthood who were more than happy to serve a transgender man, and had cheaper, more abundant, options anyway. I still had to pay for that crap doctor’s appointment, too.)


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