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)