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    Very Bad Reception, Part 7

    | Adelaide, SA, Australia | Bad Behavior, Criminal/Illegal, Employees, Family & Kids, Health & Body

    (I am 16, and have a condition that I’m currently getting treated with ultra-violet light. I have to stand in a light box. On this day, I finish up and go to reception to pay my bill. There is no one there. I ring the bell, and end up waiting about 10 minutes. No one comes to the desk. I call my mum.)

    Me: “Mum, I’ve been standing at reception in the doctor’s office for 10 minutes, and no one is here. No other patients, no one. I don’t know what to do. Could you please drive past on your way home and pay the bill for me? If I stay any longer, I’ll miss my bus to work.”

    (My mother reported this next part of the story to me.)

    Mum: “Hi, I’m here to pay the bill for [My Name]. She was here earlier today and no one was around when she left.”

    Receptionist #1: “Oh, HER. We’ve been talking about that disgraceful girl all day. You should be ashamed.”

    Mum: “Excuse me?!”

    Receptionist #2: “Fancy running out without paying. She claims there was no one here? What a load of rubbish. I hope you are proud, raising such an irresponsible girl.”

    Mum: “I’m here to pay her bill. Now, how would I know to do that if she hadn’t have called me, upset, worried that she couldn’t pay?”

    Receptionists: “Um…”

    Mum: “That’s right. I’m here because, after waiting here for 10 minutes to pay, she called me, upset because she was going to miss her bus to work. I’m here because she did the only thing she could do. Would you like to rethink your accusations?”

    (The receptionists went about the rest of the transaction in an angry silence. What they didn’t know is that my mother was friends with one of the casual staff at the surgery. We found out later that the receptionists had gone out for lunch and forgotten I was there. The big speech about me doing a runner was so that the doctors wouldn’t know they’d left the desk unattended. Nothing says guilt like an aggressive overreaction!)

    Very Bad Reception, Part 6
    Very Bad Reception, Part 5
    Very Bad Reception, Part 4

    No Cause For Concern Is A Cause For Concern

    | CA, USA | Employees, Health & Body, Ignoring/Inattentive

    (My gynaecologist works at a clinic where reviews generally say they love the doctors, but don’t like the rest of the staff. I am having an ultrasound in response to menstrual irregularities.)

    Me: “Are you allowed to tell me what you find, or do I have to speak to the doctor?”

    Tech: “If there’s no problem, I tell the patient, but if I find a problem, I leave it to the doctor to let the patient know.”

    (Then proceeds to give me no information whatsoever, making the implication quite obvious!)

    Me: “So can I talk to the doctor?”

    Tech: “He’s out today. You’ll need to talk to the receptionist.”

    (I go see the receptionist.)

    Receptionist: “The doctor is out today, so he’ll probably call you.”

    Me: “Probably?!”

    (Two days later, with no calls from the clinic, I decide to call and get onto the doctor’s assistant.)

    Assistant: “The doctor is out all week, You’ve got an appointment next week. Can you wait till then?”

    Me: “Of course I can wait, but I have abnormal bleeding. It could be nothing, or it could be cancer, or it could be anything in between, and it’s stressful to not know.”

    Assistant: “Let me see if I can talk to one of the other doctors, and I’ll call you back”.

    (The assistant calls back a little later.)

    Assistant: “So, they did find something, but it’s really nothing to be concerned about. They’ll have to do further testing to know if it’s cancer or not. That’s all they can tell you till you see the doctor.”

    (I tell my husband about this exchange.)

    My Husband: “Wait, so – nothing major, maybe cancer?!”

    Me: “Yep! I don’t think I’ll get anything intelligent out of them until I actually have the doctor in front of me. Forget this. I’m just going to enjoy the weekend and see what happens.”

    (Four days later, at the doctor’s, I fill the doctor in on the events.)

    Me: “… and funnily enough, I didn’t find these statements reassuring!”

    Doctor: “No; it’s not. Okay, let me go see that ultrasound before we go any further.”

    (No, it wasn’t cancer, and they could have told me that on the spot!)

    Taking A Pregnant Pause On Menopause

    | SK, Canada | Bad Behavior, Employees, Health & Body

    (I am 29. I am at the doctor to have a pregnancy test, as I have previously had a false positive on a store-bought test and want to be absolutely sure this time. My regular doctor has unexpectedly been called away due to a family emergency, so I get sent to a doctor I’ve never seen at this clinic before.)

    Doctor: “What symptoms have you been having?”

    Me: “I’ve missed my last two periods, but other than that I haven’t noticed anything unusual. My husband and I haven’t been using any birth control, though.”

    Doctor: “Uh-huh. And why didn’t you just buy a test kit from the drugstore?”

    Me: “I’ve had false positives on those before, so I decided to just come straight here this time and find out for sure.”

    Doctor: *snotty tone* “You do know that when you reach a certain age, you stop menstruating, right? It’s called menopause.”

    Me: *shocked by his tone* “Pardon?”

    Doctor: “MENOPAUSE. Your periods stop. It means you’re too old to bear children.”

    Me: “I— well, I don’t think I should be concerned about that just yet. Can I please just get the pregnancy test?”

    Doctor: “It can happen anytime after 40. You’re what, about 45, 46?”

    Me: “I’m 29!”

    Doctor: *rolls his eyes* “I don’t have time for that female vanity crap. I’d say you’re 45 if you’re a day.”

    Me: “I’m telling the truth. I’m 29. They have my date of birth on my patient file here.”

    Doctor: *looks at my file* “Well, you obviously gave them a false date of birth. I won’t report you, though. I know it can be hard to come to terms with aging, especially for women, but you really need to learn to deal with it.”

    Me: “I swear to you, that is my correct date of birth. I have my driver’s license here. I had to show it to the receptionist when I switched to this clinic.”

    (I pull out my wallet and hand the doctor my driver’s license.)

    Doctor: “Wow, this is pretty good! I had a friend in university who used to make fake IDs that were about as good as this.” *suddenly turns serious* “Now please, stop wasting time trying to tell me you’re younger than you are.”

    Me: *close to tears by this point* “Could you please just do the test now?”

    Doctor: “It would be pointless. My advice is to ask the receptionist for some pamphlets on menopause, make an appointment with a gynecologist, and look into getting some counseling for this complex you have about getting older. I have other patients to attend to.”

    (I left, but not before letting the receptionist know what happened and scheduling an appointment for the following week with my regular doctor. When I went in for the second appointment, I found out that I was indeed pregnant. Six months later I was in the waiting room of the clinic while my husband got checked out for a sinus infection, when who should appear but the rude doctor! He saw my heavily pregnant self, recognized me, and proceeded to berate me about having children ‘at such an advanced age’ and told me that my child would almost certainly have a developmental disability or be stillborn!)

    Drawing Blood And Laughter

    | MN, USA | Coworkers, Health & Body, Rude & Risque

    (I am working as a phlebotomist for a well known blood bank. We are having a very busy day at a local church. My donor is a very nice man in his 80s and at the bed next to me is a brand new employee working with a notoriously oblivious on-the-job trainer.)

    Trainer: “Yeah, we work with 16 gauge needles here. Personally I find them easy to work with but some people prefer working with bigger needles and some prefer working with smaller ones. All depends what feels better in your hands.”

    Me: *turns to my donor* “Sir, please forgive me for this but: THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID!”

    Donor: “Honey, if you hadn’t said it I would have.”

    Dentists Need To Cut Their Teeth

    | TX, USA | Employees, Family & Kids, Health & Body

    (My son is 14 months old. We currently live in an area that doesn’t place much emphasis on dental hygiene, so it’s common for people of all ages to be missing a lot of teeth.)

    Dentist: “Okay, I see that he was in here when he was ten months and he had eight teeth. Has he had any accidents or falls that’s affected his teeth? Does he have any new teeth?”

    Me: *laughs* “Oh, yeah. He’s pretty much doubled his teeth since last time. But there’s been no issue with falling. We ensure that his teeth are well taken care of.”

    (The dentist puts toothpaste on a toothbrush which causes my son to suddenly lean forward on my lap and scream.)

    Son: “Teeth!”

    Dentist: *visibly shaken* “He, uh, speaks?”

    Me: “He’s knows a few words, yes.”

    (My son at this point is alternating between screaming “teeth!” and opening his mouth wide. The dentist takes one look at my son’s 16 teeth and visibly pales.)

    Dentist: “Good God! Look at those teeth! He has so many teeth!” *he checks my son’s chart again* “14 months?! How many teeth does he have?!”

    Me: “16. Like I said, he doubled them. Don’t worry. He knows that biting is strictly prohibited.”

    (After much coaxing I finally get the dentist to put the toothbrush in my son’s mouth. About 15 seconds into it my son clamps down around the tooth brush which causes the dentist to immediately snatch his hand back.)

    Dentist: *warily eyeing my child* “He… uh… he can keep that. I’ll just, uh, see you in three months.”

    (We found another dentist.)

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