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It's a good thing I like her

Yesterday I had a 6:15 doctor's appointment down in Newtown.  It's a forty-five minute to one hour drive (across Waterbury at rush hour), but I really, really like my doctor and I've been going there since I was sixteen.  It's hard to establish a relationship like that from scratch these days.  When I got there, the lot was empty, the office was dark, and the door was locked.  I left them a message (only slightly snarky, because I didn't know who had screwed up) and went to visit mom after her surgery.  So it wasn't a wasted trip.

This afternoon I called them back.  Oh - they left me a message back in May telling me that the office would be closed that day and I would need to reschedule.  Uh huh.  Where did you call?

They called my old number in Middletown.  The number that hasn't been mine since September of 2006.  Helpful, wot?

And you just know that the lady who has the number now was thinking "wow - that's gonna suck."

I love all the doctors in that practice, but their front end staff just BLOWS.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 16th, 2010 11:17 pm (UTC)
A person once left a message on my machine which turned out to be a wrong number. I called them back and let them KNOW that it was a wrong number and that their message had not reached the intended recipient.

Not that they were particularly grateful or anything...people just tend to sound confused and all 'are you SURE this isn't the right number?' (LIKE I DON'T KNOW MY OWN DAMN PHONE NUMBER) but it's only basic decency, if a number or identifier is left, to call the message-leaver back and let them know that they got it wrong, so that they can try again and get the message to the RIGHT person.

Though it's the doctor's office that's in the wrong, the person who received the message but didn't do anything about it wasn't very thoughtful either. Unless the doc office didn't leave a number, I guess, but it's not like you can't check your last caller ID and so on.
Jun. 17th, 2010 02:19 pm (UTC)
Let's turn it on our head and give the current lady at the number a break...maybe she DID call them back. She wouldn't know the name&identifying info of the patient -- and if the front-end staff is that bad, they probably won't spend the energy to do a reverse lookup to find the patient from the old phone#.

But still..she may not have callerID like I don't. And if she's on a tight budget, she might hesitate to return a long-distance call like I think this one would be.

What boggles my mind is that the staff didn't call a second time when Eloise didn't call to reschedule!! Even if they'd gotten the right answering machine -- those are so prone to accidental deletion!
Jun. 17th, 2010 03:05 pm (UTC)
I don't have caller ID either...but anyone can press *69.

There's no point in debating as both sides are based on total supposition. We're calling her a 'lady', even, and we have no idea if the number belongs to a woman at all, or even a residence.

It's just that in my experience, people who get a message left by someone who called the wrong number don't make *any* effort to try to see that the right person DOES get the message. They hear the message, shrug, and delete it without any thought as to how missing that call might screw up a person's life. That is just a general observation I have found to be true almost any time the issue comes up. Actually, I've never even HEARD of someone trying to get a message to the right person except in my own case, and on Frasier, though in that case it was Frasier's fault that the message went wrong in the first place, so he was kind of obliged.

I just don't think people even think to TRY to call back when they've received a message not meant for them, even if the only think it would take was a little time.
Jun. 17th, 2010 03:43 pm (UTC)
Well, it is a "lady." I was curious and googled my old number - Karen ******. Although that isn't necessarily so - if you google my *current* phone number you get a long term care organization. Our wrong numbers are awful - they leave lots and lots of information that we shouldn't have and say "call us." On the rare occasions they leave a phone number and I've tried to call back, I've ended up in a computer system that I couldn't break out of to get to a human. Very frustrating. The only good part of Bob being home for the last year was that he's intercepted a bunch of these calls in person and gotten our number out of their computer system.

You're right - most people don't take the time, and I've never had an appointment call of any sort call back. They figure they've done their bit, and now the onus is on you.

The part that irks me is that they've been calling me at the new number since September of 2006, so that line about "this is the number we have on file" is just butt-covering bovine excrement. You screwed up - just admit it, apologize, and get me a new appointment. Oh - and purge the old records, perhaps?

Ah... technology.
Jun. 17th, 2010 04:09 pm (UTC)
The one wrong message I got was someone saying they were answering my ad about the apartment I had for rent.

This CLEARLY was a mistake, as I do not own an apartment or a house or any kind of dwelling and certainly would not able able to rent one out. I called back to let the lady know right away...I figured she might have competition for the apartment and would need to know immediately that she got the wrong number...and she argued with me, like I'd forgotten I had an apartment for rent or something. Why do they always argue when you tell them they called the wrong number? I get people insisting that it MUST be the right number because this was the number they were given. I am the sole resident at the dwelling where this phone line exists...there's no way there is a mistake on MY part.

But I'd always call back if someone left a wrong number message, if I could find a way to do so, even though it would probably usually end up in similar irritating results and no kind of 'thank you' whatsoever. It's just the right thing to do. Sometimes it's not possible, but when it is...

I think there is a 'wrong number' scam going on right now, though...here anyway. I had three wrong numbers in two days and each one of the people INSISTED that I was wrong, that they DID have the right number, because it was the number they were given. One wanted me to give them a reference for Tom Cochran. (I don't know anyone named Tom, nor would anyone be asking ME for a reference.) One wanted me to tell my mother to give them back the gas money they'd given/lent her. (My mother has never taken gas money from anyone in her entire life.) I can't remember what the other one wanted but he kept asking me if I was SURE I wasn't the person he was asking for.

Argh. People USED to just say 'Oh, sorry!' and hang up when you said 'Sorry, you have the wrong number.' What happened to those days?

Yeah, your doc office sounds like its full of lazy and/or careless people who figure it's no skin off THEIR nose if you don't get your appt.

Edited at 2010-06-17 04:11 pm (UTC)
Jun. 17th, 2010 03:07 pm (UTC)
PS: That last doesn't boggle my mind at all. I don't know any doctor's office who calls again to confirm that a message was received. My various doctors never have. (Dentist, family doc, specialist...then folks like masseuse, hairdressers...they all just leave the message and write it off.)
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )