Monday, February 4, 2013

The Doctor Will See You Now...

Dear Office Staff at our Pediatrician's Office,

I called to set up a 1 year appointment for Link this morning. This was necessary because you wouldn't let me handle the scheduling during our last office visit like every other freaking professional in the world. You said an appointment couldn't be made at that time because the "calendar isn't set 3 month's in advance yet." Actually, yes it is. February has 28 days this year and starts on a Friday. It will have 28 days for the next two years too if you want to draw it out on your appointment book. Watch out though, in 2016 there will be 29 days but I digress.

I called and you asked if I could "please hold for a moment". Newsflash: 5 minutes is not a moment for anyone and for a parent of small children 300 seconds is an eternity in which a lot can happen. When I made the call J Bean was busy giving a bunch of little people a "hayride" on a tea cart and Link was eating lunch. Five minutes later, I'm still listening to a muzak version of Highway to Hell, J Bean is bored and asking for a list of snacks and entertainment, Link filled a diaper, his food is somehow all over the room and the oven is beeping (silly me, thinking I could eat something at lunch). I proceed to change a diaper with you on speaker. Link jams to the elevator music, I clean up the food, find a WordWorld episode for J Bean to watch, shove a paci in Link's mouth, set him down and pick up the phone again in time to hear the automated voice say my call is important to you... really? Is it? This is when the fire alarm goes off as I left my lunch in the oven too long, pandemonium breaks out as both children begin crying and the security system shouts "FIRE, FIRE, FIRE" along with the ear shattering siren and I finally give up and hang up the phone having accomplished nothing other than raising my blood pressure. Ever try to explain to a 4 year old that everything is OK and there is no fire while a female voice louder than yours shouts "FIRE, FIRE, FIRE" from above and you try to fan smoke away from the smoke detector with a bib? You should try some time, its fun.

Listen, I understand offices get busy, I'm sure you get annoyed at the unwittingly bad timing of us pesky clients, and I have no idea how many other calls you had this morning, but a simple "I'm sorry, but we are swamped and I really don't have time to make an appointment right now" will do. Better yet let your answering system pick it up where I can leave a message, but do not tell me to wait a moment if a moment is going to be longer than... a moment.

I think I'll just show up the day after Link's birthday walk up to the counter and ask you to hold on a moment while I finish a call then 5 minutes later tell you I have an appointment and let you search that for a while. What's the worst that can happen, you can make us hang out in the waiting room with flu victims and my own crying children? That happens about half the time when I have an appointment anyway so who cares? See you then, have a nice day! I hope J Bean doesn't get bored in your office and pull the fire alarm.

Too busy for your BS.


  1. This is what happens when a culture expects someone else (insurance) to pay for healthcare. The patient is no longer the customer. The insurance company is. We do not expect our auto insurance to pay for our oil changes. We do not expect our homeowner's insurance to pay our electric bill. Insurance is for unforseeable catastrophes. We should not be using insurance to pay for the routine forseeable things that all responsible people should be doing and planning for anyway. If people paid on their own for routine checkups, dental cleanings, etc. suddenly the focus shifts back to personalized patient care, the insurance companies hold less sway over the industry as a whole and, believe it or not, the price of healthcare will drop dramatically.

  2. Painful. And I commiserate. I'm also a huge fan of the 2 pm appt. and then you see the doctor at 'round about 3:45.