Many, many years ago, I worked as a receptionist in an ophthalmologist's office. Doctor's office receptionist has to be one of the worst jobs in the world. I was always blamed by patients when the doctor was overbooked but I was also constantly under pressure to work in so-called emergencies which weren't emergencies at all. Ninety-nine percent of the patients were nice but it would only take one asshole to ruin my whole day. On top of that, the doctor wasn't a particularly nice guy so that didn't help matters at all.
This is the phone conversation I had with the rude receptionist Monday morning (see post right before this one):
Me: This is Laurie Anderson. I have an appointment at 12:45 p.m. today and I want to be sure that you got my blood work for my cholesterol levels before I come in.
Receptionist: I don't know.
Me: (Hestitation, because I can't believe what I just heard but I SWEAR I wasn't rude...) Would you like me to hold while you check my chart?
Receptionist: We're very busy right now. (No hesitation on her part and she WAS rude.)
Me: Would you like my phone number so you can check and call me back?
Receptionist: We're way too busy right now.
Me: (Trying to maintain my rapidly depleting dignity...) Okay. I guess I'll see you at 12:45. (How's that for a snappy comeback?)
In the meantime, I called the lab to be sure the blood work had been sent over because, the whole purpose of my call was to avoid (a) spending $40 for a useless doctor office visit and (b) leaving work on such a busy day.
My dilemma was whether or not to say something to the doctor or to his office manager when I got there. I decided to clean up any lingering bad karma I might still have from my doctor office receptionist days when I'm sure I was rude to an occasional patient. When I got to the doctor's office, I noticed everyone was being extremely nice to me. It's a very small office and I'm sure they overheard the earlier telephone exchange. The nurse even gave me some Lipitor samples which has never happened to me before.
When I was leaving, the rude girl made a big display out of how busy she was but with big, fake, cheerful exasperation. I wanted to punch her in the neck but I guess all's well that ends well. I sure hope I made some karma points on this one today and I hope that receptionist finds her true calling before someone yanks all her hair out by the roots. Not that I'm still dwelling on this or anything.