On the Consequences of Being Late

I was late.

For the first time in over 20 years I was late.

I was late by 9 minutes for my dental appointment.  My fault, I’d written down 3.30 as opposed to 3.15.  I thought I was early.  I’m always early.

You’ll have to get another appointment the receptionist said.

Running through my head was the thought ”I’ve sat uncomplaining in this waiting room and only ever been taken on time 2 or 3 times in over 20 years, sometimes waiting 30 minutes  beyond my appointment time…and now I have to get another appointment!”

My wrath was building.

Assuming that my dentist is running on time (don’t mock – miracles do happen) then surely the person who had the appointment after mine has just been taken.  Logically, I could take their appointment with no detriment to whoever was next on the list.  I knew it wasn’t even worth discussing.  The face before me had “Rools is rools!” written all over it.

I focussed on a spot on the wall and chanted a calming mantra.

The receptionist then asked “The note on the appointment says REVIEW, what to you want to see the dentist about?”  I ran off a list of things that had happened since my examination sometime near the end of last year.

“You can only have the appointment for one thing.” she said.

My wrath began to bubble up once more.  Calm…

“Given the number of bits and pieces I think need looked at – it might be better to make the appointment for an examination.” I suggested.

She flicked through some notes.

“Can’t” she said, “it’s not long enough since your last examination.”

“Aaaaaarrrggghhhh!”

“You don’t do geocaching by any chance?”

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10 thoughts on “On the Consequences of Being Late”

  1. She’s a robot….. not a machine, but a living, breathing robot. Some employers like them…. folks that don’t have a working brain are cheap and compliant. They tend to produce clones (called “kids”, not children), and if you live long enough you’ll run into them everywhere you go.

    Funny experience from the 80s: Client (my husband) to bank teller, “I need this $100 bill in all $1 dollar bills”.
    Teller asks, “How many is that?”. She was NOT joking.
    Robots don’t joke, they just forge ahead on the hard drive they were given.

    Didn’t help you a lot, did I? ;o)

  2. 😆

    I guess that’s you Florene (lurking under Anonymous).

    She was young and inexperienced and had obviously been given strict instructions how to do things. I’m not angry at her but at the system in place. I’ll bet the dentist doesn’t even realise what’s happening. I just managed to push all the wrong buttons at one time. Me and the dentist have known each other a long time so when I see him in 2 weeks time he’ll end up in stitches laughing and hopefully sort it out so it can’t happen again.

    1. Oh… good! Hopefully, the inexperienced one will develop judgment skills along with actual experience.

      Glad your dentist has a sense of humor….. most medical folks do, but only certain patients bring it out. I’ve no doubt you’re one of them. You help bring a bit of sunshine into what can be dreary days.

      1. I’ve no doubt that after some years she will achieve great wisdom. Didn’t work for me, but I have supreme faith in the ability of others. 😀

        He usually laughs at my pain…I think that is what is taken for humour in a dentist. 😉

  3. LOL, Ken!

    At our local doctors’ surgery they have a weird system of appointments…

    I rang them to try to get an audience with my GP and was asked if I wanted a pre-bookable appointment… I asked what one of those was and was told that it’s an appointment that is booked in advance. “Ah, as opposed to post-bookable, I suppose?, I asked, with more than a hint of sarcasm.

    “Oh, no, we don’t do those any more with our new system. Your only other option is to just turn up and wait” was the serious reply.

    I went for the second option.

    Ten minutes later and I was there at the counter, being asked if I had an appointment. “No, I’m going to wait.”

    “I’ll have to book you in, then.”

    “Ah, so this is a pre-bookable non-appointment then!”

    “Eh?”

    “You want to book me in in advance of an appointment that I don’t have.”

    “Er… well… yes.”

    Duly booked in, I asked “So roughly how long do you think I’ll have to wait?”

    “He has a cancellation in about 20 minutes.”

    “Right, I’ll have that slot, please book me an appointment for it.”

    “I can’t, you’re already booked in, the computer won’t let me book you in again.”

    “You’re joking!”

    “No. Now then, what’s the nature of your visit?”

    “Well, I think I’m dying!”

    “WHAT? NOW? HERE?”

    “Yes, I lost the will to live about three minutes ago and I think I’ll die of despair before I take up my un-bookable non-appointment.”

    She wasn’t amused.

    1. Superb story Stef 😆 – I think I’ll let you write the blog so I can go off on holiday. A great improvement on my rants 😀 .

        1. It’s a puzzle. The more groups I alienate…the more people read the blog. So…I have a cunning plan. I’m going after the masochists next. 😀

  4. “I’ve no doubt that after some years she will achieve great wisdom.” Don’t count on it. I have had the rare pleasure of writing lesson material on Customer Service – for teachers wishing to impart these arcane skills to others. Occasionally I would need to come up with an example of how not to do things, which can be harder than you think, However, a few moments contemplating how my doctor’s reception functioned unfailingly provided a good illustration.

    1. The clever solution to the above would have been for her to say “Just a minute I’ll check to see if we can squeeze you in.” then nip out to the backroom, have a cup of tea and a biccie, come back and say “I’m really sorry unfortunately we can’t fit you in today.”

      Job done.

      I think they’ve tried really hard and they get to maintain their rigid “rools”. Everyone’s happy.

      Remind me never to go to your doctor’s MrP.

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