Friday, November 21, 2008


One of the things I've inherited from my dad, besides his love of books, his wide-set blue eyes, and his love of all things related to English history, is the ability to go from 0 to 10 on the righteous indignation scale with customer service types.

I used to beg to go with him anytime he was returning something to a department store or going to pick a car up from a service center. Those were situations I knew would be completely entertaining as I watched him let loose in a tirade when he felt backed into a bureaucratic corner.


"No sir, we can't give you cash back for that item. Store credit only."

"I don't want store credit. I'm returning the ONLY thing I wanted in this store to begin with. I paid cash!!! This is an outrage!!! I run a company. I know this is totally arbitrary. Who's your supervisor? Is he here? I want to speak to him!"


"I'm sorry sir, your car won't be finished until tomorrow."

"Tomorrow?? I called today at 3 and I was specifically told I could pick my car up today at 6. I don't intend to leave without my car. Who's your supervisor? Is he here? I want to speak to him!"

So. My mother's eye doctor's office left a message to call them. This was especially timely because the whites of one of her eyes has turned bright red. The same thing happened a month ago and we took her in for an office visit. The doctor told us it was a broken blood vessel and not to worry. So, now it's happened to the other eye and guess what, I am worried. Long story short, I called the office this morning.

Me: This is KC, returning a call for my mother, AB.
Office lady: Is she a patient?
Me: Yes.
Office lady: Her name?
Me: AB
Office lady: Can you spell that?
Me: xxxx xxxxxxx
Office lady: And, who's her Doctor?
Me: Dr. G.
Office lady: And why are you calling?
Me: I'm returning a call.
Office lady: Umm...and what was it in regards to?
Me: No idea. You called us.
Office lady: And who called you?
Me: I don't know. There was no name. Just a message to call your office.
Office lady: Well, I really can't help you unless you tell me why you're calling.
Me: I'm calling because your office left my mother a message to call your office.
Office lady: Well without knowing what it's in regards to I can't help you.
Me: Okay, then. Maybe someone will call us back when they realize I haven't called them back.
Office lady: Excuse me?
Me: Never mind. I also need an appointment for my mother.
Office lady: Her name?
Me: Still AB
Office lady: Can you spell that?
Me: Still xxxx xxxxxx
Office lady: Which doctor would she like to see?
Me: Still Dr. G.
Office lady: Morning or afternoon?
Me: Any morning except Tuesdays.
Office lady: We have an opening with Dr. G, Tuesday December 2nd at 10am.
Me: Won't work.
Office lady: I thought you said any morning.
Me: Any morning except Tuesday morning.
Office lady: Ohhhhhh. Dr. G is only in this office on Tuesday mornings.
Me: Then I guess she won't be seeing Dr. G.
Office lady: I thought you said she wanted to see Dr. G.
Me: I did. I also said I wanted to talk to whomever left a message at our house.
Office lady: Ma'am. I have no idea who left a message at your house.
Me: So I gather. She'll see anyone who's available. Any morning except Tuesday.
Office lady: I have an opening 3:00 Wednesday, December 3rd, with Dr. X.
Me: 3 in the morning?
Office lady: 3 o'clock pm.
Me: Of course.
Office lady: Will that work?
Me: Sure. Maybe you guys can figure out why you called us between now and then.
Office lady: Excuse me?
Me: Or maybe you'll just call us back if it's something urgent.
Office lady: Excuse me?
Me: December 3rd, Dr. X, 3pm.

Personally, I think I showed great restraint.


Anonymous said...

I've never been able to do that - they all know I'm quickly intimidated. But that's why I have Steve and my oldest daughter - they are great at getting things done and I think they enjoy it as much as you. You go girl!

Ed. Tritschler said...

You have more restrain than I would ever have had. I would be your dad at about the second time maybe third when she asked you why you were calling my reply would be to "ask for the office manager"

shoeaddict said...

I'm SO angry just reading this.

Jenn said...

This is great!! My dad gets the same way...:)
Try making appts. for flu shots for 3 kids with the same doctor...doesn't sound hard, but oh, it must be because of the amount of time that I spent on the phone was just laughable! :)

jimmy said...

If there was a vote, I would vote for this as "Best Blog Entry of 2008."