Thursday, November 29, 2007

There's One in Every Bunch

OK- I must begin with a formal apology to my one and only faithful reader. I am sorry for my blogging lameness as of late! After leaving work, it has been harder for me to find time for this kind of nonsence. I think we have a good schedule going now though- so I should be able to fulfill your mandatory weekly update request.

On Monday Ross finally got to see what he has been waiting for since I was pregnant with Emma. He was finally able to witness a real-live ultrasound that lasted more than 2 minutes. It was really quite fun. It is not good that we had to wait until I was 29 weeks along to do this- but things are finally all in order, and we can pretend like we are a normal couple with normal coverage for the next 10 weeks. Everything looks good- we are right on schedule.

Now that all that boring stuff is out of the way, let me preface the real reason for this post by saying that 2 of my biggest pet-peeves in life are people who are rude to receptionists, and receptionists who are rude to other people. Now, let me also say that these were things that bothered me greatly before I ever became a receptionist. The last seven months as a receptionist have only served to prove to me the justice of choosing those things as pet-peeves. I had my fair share of people being awfully rude to me because someone else in the company had upset them in some way. It is never fair to make a poor little secretary pay for the misdeeds of someone else in the company! That being said- it is even more inappropriate for receptionists to be rude to clients and customers that call or come to their area. It is the job of secretaries to be the face of an establishment. They are first thing a client hears or sees, and as such, should be obliging and welcoming and ready to go out of their way, and their game of computer solitaire to help said client. The other reason that it is so important for a receptionist to be warm and endearing- or at least one or two levels above rude and dispelling- is that (and remember this is coming from a girl who was told by no less than 4 people when putting in her notice that she was "The most kind and professional receptionist this company has seen in at least 5 years!" and who accomplished that feat while spending no less than 2 hours a day surfing the internet and reading), the job is not that hard. It is fairly easy and mundane. Honestly- if you can't handle the stress of a job whose main requirement is to be nice and transfer calls in an accuarate and appealing manner- then a job as a secretary is probably the wrong fit for you!

OK- the reason for that outburst lies in the fact that we were very badly treated by one receptionist at my doctor's office. My CNM had planned for an ultrasound and a glucose test (yuck) for the same day. She did this because after drinking the orange sugar drink of doom, I have to wait an hour before they can draw my blood and get the glucose results back. Heather (my awesome CNM) decided to have me take the drink, get my ultrasound in the hour wait, and then get my blood drawn and have an appointment. Because I am having another C-Section, Heather, as a CNM, wont be able to perform the actual surgery- but she will be there as an assisting nurse, and she will most likely be the one to sew me up. She decided to have me do this one appointment with the doctor who will be doing the actual delivery so that we could get somewhat accquainted with each other before he cuts me open. Ross and I thought this was a great plan, and were happy to do as she had directed.

When we showed up at the desk, Nasty Old Secretary Lady took my name and said that my appointment wasn't until 10:40 and that, "We aren't going to let you in early just because you came early." I explained what was happening, and showed her my little ticket thing telling us when our appointment was. She then said, "Well, we don't do ultrasounds here- we send you over to the hospital most of the time- we only do them here on Mondays." I tried to stay nice as I reminded her that it was Monday, but I would be happy to go over to the hospital if that was where I was really supposed to go- I just didn't want to walk all the way over there when I was fairly certain I was supposed to get it done there. Finally another secretary stepped in and offered to call over to the hospital so that I didn't have to waddle myself on over there and then back if Nasty was wrong. As she was dialing, she looked up the office ultrsound schedule on the computer of Mrs. Lady, and found that there was indeed a 9:30 appointment for A. Goodman. She hung up the phone before the hospital answered, apologized for the misunderstanding, and went to get my orange vomit inducing fluid of death. When she came back with said muck she told me to drink it in the next 5 minutes wihtout throwing it up and to let her know when I was finished, and that in the mean time, she would let the radiology lady know that I was there. She apologized again for the mix-up and said that, "Whoever was in charge of placing all the appointment files up here must have just left one out last night." Nasty Old Lady replied to her that she had been the culprit but added on to the end, "They shouldn't have me do it any more if I keep messing it up like that."

After I choked the orange goo of glucoseness down 3 minutes later, I took the bottle up to the desk to let them know I was finished. Lucky for me- the only secretary not busy with other tasks was my good friend Nasty Old Secretary Lady. I let her know I was done and ready for the ultrasound. She said "Well, your appointment was for 9:30 and now it is 9:41- promptness is really important here- we are very busy. I'll see if she can still fit you in" and then walked off in a huff. I was a little put out with that little lecture since I had gotten there 5 minutes early only to be harassed by her for something that she later admitted to be her fault. If I had followed her freindly advice, I would have still been walking around the hospital begging someone to take a picture of my baby!

Now, cut to the end of my fantastic appointment (that part is not sarcastic- it really was fun to see her in there!) As we were leaving, Dr. Baxter told us to make an appointment for 3 weeks later. I stepped up to Mrs. Nasty (who we saw playing solitaire) to make the return appointment. She asked when, and then said, "OK- Dr. Baxter has an opening for 10:00 on the. . ." but I cut her off and told her I was seeing Heather. Nasty asked why I had seen Baxter that day, and I explained that I was having a C-section and Heather had wanted me to meet Dr. Baxter once before the day. Nasty then said "Well, you aren't allowed to see two doctors at the same time, and you can't just get a c-section because you are afraid of labor." I was shocked- she was being condescending and rude and way too personal and grumpy for someone who was currently busy with a solitaire game. While saying in my head, "Listen you old hag- first of all I am not afraid of labor- I actually have some medical reasons for having a C-Section. I had a C-section with my first baby (also for medical reasons) which makes for some inherent risks in natural delivery the next time around, my baby is breech, and my cervix is small enough that any delivery I do try has an 80% chance of resorting to a massive epesiotomy or an emergency C-Section after hours of hard delivery. Second of all- yes- I CAN have a c-section even if I didn't have a medical reason to- it is my body and my baby and my choice!!!", I said in person, "Well, I would like to continue seeing Heather until the delivery date, and she knows this. She and Dr. Baxter have things all arranged. When is a good time to meet with Heather in 3 weeks?" Nasty responded, "I have been instructed not to let patients see any doctor they want just to get a more convenient appointment. You have to choose one." I said, "I have- please set an appointment with Heather." She did so- rather grudgingly, and we were on our way.

We spent the whole walk to the car talking about how astounded we were at her behavior when we realized that we had left Emma's bottle in the examination room where they drew my blood. Ross ran back in to get it while I got Emma all strapped up in her seat. He came back just laughing and shaking his head. Apparently, when he asked Nasty Lady to get the bottle from exam room 10 (the door was locked from the outside, or he would have just run back himself) she said that she would go and try to find it as soon as she was finished with what she was working on (her solitaire game) and then pretended to answer the phone that hadn't rung. Ross said he knew there was no one there because not only had it not rung, but she answered with, "Hello." when every other time the phone was answered (Nasty Old Secretary Lady included) they said, "Orem Community Obstetrics, how can I help you." One of the other pleasant secretaries then stepped up, asked which room, and came back with it in about 30 seconds.

Whatever happened to customer service?
OK- a little update is needed here. Today I got a voicemail on my phone from my doctor's office asking me to call them back as soon as possible. I assumed that it had something to do with my glucose test since I had problems with gestational diabetes when I was pregnant with Emma. When I called them back I was surprised to find that Laurie- one of the nurses at the office, was calling to apologize for the bad treatment I had received from Nasty Old Secretary Lady. I was a little surprised at this because although I had considered reporting her, I had not actually done it yet. Laurie told me that she had been turned in by two of the other secretaries. Laurie apologized profusely, and made sure that I knew this was not acceptable behavior for anyone in that office. She also wanted me to confirm the name of dear old Nasty so that the complaints from her co-workers could be confirmed by the party involved. This was the only way for Nasty to be confronted by management and for her actions to be corrected. I was happy to do so. Then, as a thank-you for my cooperation, and as a peace offering for how we had been treated, she said that she was putting 2 movie tickets in my file for us to enjoy as a couple before the baby is born. I just wantd everyone to know that I really like my doctor's office, and I was really happy to know that this kind of behavior was not appalling to only me. My faith is entirely restored in that office, and I would be more than happy to refer any of my friends there.


Tracie said...

I am also a loyal reader. :) Please update, it gives me something to do at work.

I am absolutely incredulous at the behavior of Nasty. She should be fired straight off.

I think I would put in a personal complaint about her behavior so other people are not harassed.

Anyway, I'm glad you got to see your baby!

Heidi Ferguson said...

Wow, I was shocked to hear about that secretary. I can't believe anyone who is supposedly 'professional' would ever say something like that.