Customer service has died. It’s DEAD. Completely. At this point, not even on life support.
If I thought drivers were rude and inconsiderate (read about that here), that’s just the tip of the iceberg compared to the employees in some doctor’s offices.
I used to work in a doctor’s office. One of my family members is an ophthalmologist and I worked front and back office after school and summers during high school and college.
I know this world. I enjoyed greeting patients, doing the initial exam and histories with them, and even filing insurance. As medical offices jobs go, it’s not bad — no contagious diseases to attack me (other than conjunctivitis) nor many screaming and germ spewing children.
What I’m about to disclose really happened. I am quoting verbatim.
[Setting the scene]
I’m entering the orthopedic doc’s office to pick up a new brace because the one they had given me at a previous follow-up appointment to check on the healing status of my broken wrist was too big. It was supposed to be waiting for me at the front desk.
For the previous post detailed how it happened, click here.
I walk up to the reception desk. The receptionist was on her cell phone — her PERSONAL cell phone.
She looked up, glanced at me, IGNORED me, and spoke into (to) her phone: “Did you get the picture I sent you?”
Remember that I’m standing there, patiently even, not a whit of snarky Princess Rosebud demeanor, just watching and listening and thinking to myself, “Right there on the wall is that little plaque that asks us all to…
I’m thinking, who is that sign meant to police? Us? But not her?
She says, “Hold on” to whomever is on the other end and reluctantly and with GREAT attitude swivels in her chair to address me WITH A SNEER worthy of Elvis at his finest:
“Yes?” (Like beeyotch, are you f-ing kidding me?) YES?? Like that is how you address a patient?
I replied, “I’ll wait until you’re off the phone with your personal call.”
WAIT FOR THIS. HOLD ON. WAIT FOR IT. WAIT FOR IT.
You gotta know this is EXACTLY what she said to me.
Are you ready? You won’t believe it.
“I’m not on the phone.”
The hubris, the attitude, the BALLS to completely LIE to my face is magnificent.
Ya gotta applaud the ultimate audacity, insolence — the CHUTZPAH — of absolute pathological DENIAL, right?
I looked at her, speechless for once, wondering if I should GO THERE, or should I control my inner beeyotch and take the high road.
I can’t believe I didn’t totes let her experience the full force of my definitely sarcastic-put-her-in-her-place retort, but I was still flabbergasted by her total lie. Right to my face.
I decided not to lower myself to her level and have a face-to-face argument. Pathological liars are very unsatisfactory combatants.
So… I told her I was there to pick up something that was supposed to be at the front desk.
She looked for it, found it, and shoved it across the counter at me.
OK, that hostility was too much for me to bear.
Let me remind you that I had done NOTHING to engender such extreme ATTITUDE.. I’ve only even been there two times prior to this visit.
I asked to speak to the doctor. The physicians’s assistant came out front; apparently the doctor was in surgery. I explained to him what had transpired and that I hoped that was not the way they wanted their patients to be treated.
What did he say? “Well, maybe she wasn’t on the phone.” Are you KIDDDING ME?
I replied, ‘cos I’m a tenacious little girl, “I heard and saw her speak. I heard what she said to the person on the other end of her cell phone. She said, “Did you get the picture I sent you?” Now that is most clearly NOT a business call, especially since she was on HER PERSONAL CELL PHONE THAT SHE SLIPPED BACK INTO HER HANDBAG WHILE I WAS WATCHING HER.
Like, are you trying to call me a liar??? (That’s what I was thinking. I didn’t say it)
Not a comment, not a response, nada, zippo – just an “Oh.”
Amazing. I’m only going to be going back there one more time in a month for a final x-ray to make sure my wrist is finally healed and I can start a little physical therapy (it doesn’t want to bend very much.)
Will I go back there? NEVER. Will I break another bone somewhere? Probably, but I will steer clear of that particular practice. When there’s that kind of behavior at the front desk, I bet there are deeper problems behind the scenes in the running their practice. Rudeness like that should never occur.
Question: What do you do when you have a bad customer service experience?
- Recognizing the Importance of Customer Service Skills in Healthcare (rasmussen.edu)
- Professional Communication in the Business World (rasmussen.edu)
Gee I wonder how close and personal the receptionist is with the physician’s assistant? Coz, dang. You showed great restraint.
Hmm, interesting. I hadn’t thought about that as smoke’s still coming out of my ears! Do you think I should tell the doc? Somehow I think it would just be an annoyance to him.
On Fri, Aug 30, 2013 at 12:54 PM, Enchanted Seashells…Confessions of a Tugbo
There is nothing wrong with speaking to the doc and explaining why you are uncomfortable giving him return business. What he decides to do is up to him.
Well and classily (is that a word?) said. I will remember that for sure and keep you posted on his response. I can just hear him say, “well, there are two sides to every story” and crap like that…
On Fri, Aug 30, 2013 at 1:09 PM, Enchanted Seashells…Confessions of a Tugbo
Once in awhile I get accused of being classy. 😉 Well there is a chance of him saying that but at least you tried.
I will do it!
On Fri, Aug 30, 2013 at 1:32 PM, Enchanted Seashells…Confessions of a Tugbo
Good for you!
On Fri, Aug 30, 2013 at 4:03 PM, Enchanted Seashells…Confessions of a Tugbo
Condolences. I like to light places ablaze. I am normally stuck with complaining to the manager of the establishment and having to listen to some self-appointed complaint ignorer.
OhEmGee, you speak the absolute truth. I’m dumbfounded. Wish you were with me and we could have tag teamed them.
On Fri, Aug 30, 2013 at 1:07 PM, Enchanted Seashells…Confessions of a Tugbo
WOW! When I experience poor customer service, I write a letter. Truly. It’s like my mother freakin’ trademark. I’ll get all upset with something and my mom will say, “Going to write a letter?” Not only does it give me closure on being able to get whatever I experienced off of my chest, I usually hear back from management, thanking me for alerting them. SNAP.
That sounds like something my mom would say LOL. I’ll maybe just print out this here post and send it to the doc. Threaten to expose his office with names and addresses and all that, hahahahaha. Have a very happy and tipsy Labor Day! xo to Ted.
On Fri, Aug 30, 2013 at 1:14 PM, Enchanted Seashells…Confessions of a Tugbo
If it is a situation like this one, with no other factors at play (long lines, cranky customers, computer issues, etc), then I Iet someone in the office know the next time I call to schedule an appointment.
Before it sounds like I am cranky, I do make sure to always call or let a manager know when I get stellar service somewhere as well.
It sounds like you’ve had your share of less than good service too, huh? I will absolutely take your advice, thank you!
I feel your pain.
right now I’m dealig with a corporate srvice our business uses, and i’m impressed that my phone handset has survived the number of times I’ve smacked it against the desk* due to frustration from dealing wtih them
*Not exaggeration or hyperbole.
Wow, what is wrong with people? No social OR business professional communication skills anymore. Have we really lost it all due to FB and Twitter?
On Fri, Aug 30, 2013 at 1:44 PM, Enchanted Seashells…Confessions of a Tugbo
I don’t think it’s social media. I think it’s more a “everyone is a cherished flower who should be put in front of everyone else” mindset.
I bet you could come up with a haiku in case the doc has a short attention span…
On Fri, Aug 30, 2013 at 4:20 PM, Enchanted Seashells…Confessions of a Tugbo
Hey there. Happy weekend to you
The same to you.
On Sat, Aug 31, 2013 at 5:47 PM, Enchanted Seashells…Confessions of a Tugbo
As in the case of a “rosebud”? 🙂
On Fri, Aug 30, 2013 at 2:15 PM, Enchanted Seashells…Confessions of a Tugbo
Ha! And I tried to go out of my way to not go there!
And it was not a poke at you at all.
Kids are special and should be treated as such.But there’s also a whole world of adults who aren’t their kids parents, and don’t hold them in such high regard…
LOL. You are one funny Guapo! Have a lovely and Labor-less day.
On Sat, Aug 31, 2013 at 8:49 PM, Enchanted Seashells…Confessions of a Tugbo
Why have doctor’s offices gotten so bad lately?!?
That IS the question, isn’t it? Altho, my normal doc I go to for asthma and everything else, has an awesome office staff. They even call me to see how I’m feeling, and best of all, they all love to shop so we chat like friends!
On Fri, Aug 30, 2013 at 5:03 PM, Enchanted Seashells…Confessions of a Tugbo
Sure agree with you and did a blog post a couple of years ago about customer service and was a good rant. I sure agree with you and there was no reason for her attitude and lying. So far have been lucky with my Dr and the nurses when I go there.
With jobs so hard to come by, you’d think people would be more appreciative of what they have.
On Sat, Aug 31, 2013 at 12:31 AM, Enchanted Seashells…Confessions of a Tugbo
You sure would think so!
Glad you didn’t let it go. I hate it when a receptionist like that looks at a customer/patient as though they were bothering the person. I mean… it’s your job!!!!! I have some similar stories, and you are so right …. it kind of represents everything. So, I too, took myself elsewhere.
I know, right? My very existence was SUCH an imposition to her. It was ludicrous. Like you said, taking your business someplace else is a solution.
On Sat, Aug 31, 2013 at 4:58 PM, Enchanted Seashells…Confessions of a Tugbo
Final night of our Maine trip, checking into a hotel near the airport: check in goes fine, get the key card to unlock the door, head to the room, open the door, and then start bringing stuff from the car into the room and then notice the smell of smoke, ask the queen if she can smell it (knowing the answer is yes, because if I can smell it her 10x more sensitive nose will definitely smell it), walk back to the front desk to let them know the room smells like smoke, and the person behind the counter say, “That’s a non-smoking room.” I know, that’s what we asked for, that’s what you said you were giving us, but it smells like smoke. “That’s impossible. One of our regulars just had that room for four days, and he doesn’t smoke.” I. Was. Flabbergasted. … so you are calling me a liar then? They refused to give me a different room. Refused to even come out from behind their desk and test the veracity of my claim. They didn’t care…
Luckily!!! I had booked the room with hotels.com, gave them a call, told them what happened, they attempted to call the hotel to get it sorted out, the hotel didn’t answer their call, they canceled my reservation and refunded my money. So – hotels.com = good customer service still; the hotel near the airport = non-existent customer service.
WOW. Just WOW. Remind me never to go to that hotel! But hotels.com thank you for letting me know about them. PS Who checks for bedbugs? I won’t even bring my stuff in until hub checks thoroughly. PS How did you NOT lose your temper???? And with a little one, too. Geez.
On Tue, Sep 3, 2013 at 2:35 PM, Enchanted Seashells…Confessions of a Tugbo
I was too shocked to lose my tempter. I couldn’t believe her response and ambivalence… It seemed too surreal. We’ve had that happen before, where we smell smoke, and it’s never been a problem for them to give us a different room… and it’s not exactly like this place was booked up (we were the only car in the parking lot at the time).
Bed bugs… *shudder* We don’t have a specific it’s my job or her job, but one of us will look at some point before we get in.
So strange to be in a customer service job and have bad customer service. Shouldn’t that be a prerequisite?
On Tue, Sep 3, 2013 at 3:22 PM, Enchanted Seashells…Confessions of a Tugbo
You’d think so… but, that sounds dangerously close to common sense, and we buried that long ago. I don’t think we are even supposed to mention it anymore.
I am crazed by the attitude that I’ve done something horrible by EXPECTING to be treated properly! Hubris.
On Tue, Sep 3, 2013 at 3:48 PM, Enchanted Seashells…Confessions of a Tugbo
The queen is too. Since she worked in a customer service field she always expects to be treated like she treated her customers. I always expect the worst from people so I can be pleasantly surprised when they exceed my expectations.
I see your angle…
On Tue, Sep 3, 2013 at 3:57 PM, Enchanted Seashells…Confessions of a Tugbo
This is what comes from never allowing children to experience the pitfalls of real life. In my opinion, these children were abused by their parents who had no idea how to raise children. Did their parents prepare them for the real world? No! You showed a great deal of restraint Rosebud.
Thank you! Actually my PT is in the same office as the ortho, and she was there and extremely nice…so I’ll chalk it up to maybe a bad day and give her the benefit of the doubt. Everyone has a bad day now and again, right?
On Wed, Sep 4, 2013 at 10:49 AM, Enchanted Seashells…Confessions of a Tugbo