Tuesday, September 16, 2008

An Ode To Dental Receptionists

Here is something I just will never understand:

A 'TUDE from a receptionist at a medical office (in this case a dentist).

First of all, you're a minimum wage, usually non-specialist person. You probably don't even have a 2 year "technical assistant" degree. I'm not trying to be overly snobby about this, it's just the fact of the matter that if you are a specialist that can't be replaced by a trained monkey, perhaps you deserve to be snotty. If you're a glorified phone bank, you shouldn't think you're blessed and important. You're not smarter than me, nor more special, so your 'tude only serves to alienate and piss me off.

So I call, because I've chipped a tooth, and it's kinda sharp and I'd really like to get it cared for before it gets worse and I end up with a gaping hole and possibly pain. I explain that I would be a new patient but I do understand that my emergency is not a major one. I neither "bleed" nor "lead" in the triage world. But I am forming my first impressions here. I have called this office because the other one I called kept sending me to voice mail, not something that makes me warm and fuzzy about how I'll be treated as a regular patient, there, either. I'm shopping around. There are lots of dentists in my neighborhood, many of whom probably need a new car. That is what I have, essentially, in dental care in my mouth, by the way, which needs to be cared for. I have put it off. I've been a bad patient. So I do need some expedited care, yes, but I still deserve to be treated with courtesy. Customer service is SERVICE to a customer. A receptionist is a customer service agent.

Newsflash, lady: Your patients pay your salary, essentially. It's not that you're doing me a big, massive favor. I'm going to pay for my services. A lot of money, eventually. I'm trying to get in sooner, rather than later, but I actually don't expect miracles completely (although if you could perform one and get me in immediately, I'd probably worship you.) And I am NOT an idiot, although your tone seems to imply you think I am one. Simply because I cannot bend my life to fit the one tiny slot you have available this week.

The chick on the phone had to snottily explain to me, when I told her that the only time she had available I actually had to WORK (shocking that I should have a committment to my job, I know) that she "had to have a chair available to put me in."

Really? I'm new here, yes, but I thought perhaps you could perform the dental care while I floated on a sea of contentment awash in gentle waves of light. Cocooned in light and goodness and forever peaceful. I'm shocked that you actually need a place to put my ass, but now, because you were bitchy and unhelpful, that ass is going to be in some OTHER dentist's chair. And that receptionist was actually a human being, who didn't have a GOD complex. And I imagine she understands that new patients keep her in paychecks, too.

By the way. We do have power back at home. And yes, I have chipped a tooth. But I should survive it. It's just, as the post above shows, rather annoying.