Spotted in the reception area of a doctors’ office:
related: Hard Candy
FILED UNDER: etiquette · hospitals & doctors · most popular notes of 2013
Jan 9, 2013 at 9:17 pm rating: 52
Agreed. Good boundaries are healthy.
Jan 9, 2013 at 9:20 pm rating: 16
Doctor, Doctor, give me the news
I’ve got a bad case of lovin’ you.
You say you won’t see me, but I’m still gonna try
Cuz I’m more important than that other guy!
Jan 10, 2013 at 2:06 am rating: 52
Doctor, doctor, gimme the news… I gotta bad case of killin’ jews.
Jan 10, 2013 at 3:05 am rating: 4
H for Toy
My friend just finished texting me that some woman came into the doctor’s office, insisting that her appointment was at 10:30, when it had actually been scheduled for 9:30. They took her back anyway, and my friend, whose appointment actually was at 10:30, is going to miss her son’s speech therapy, because this woman waltzed in late and insisted on being seen. My doctor has a 15 minutes late rule. If you’re more than 15 minutes late, you have to reschedule.
Jan 10, 2013 at 10:20 am rating: 41
I’ve made that mistake before, and the doctor’s office told me to take a seat and they’d get to me if they could. Reasonable compromise, IMHO. If you’re late, you’re late, and that’s on you.
Jan 10, 2013 at 11:48 am rating: 42
Seven, you’ve also got a bad case of killing the mood.
Jan 10, 2013 at 6:50 pm rating: 16
I think Seven is,well,seven.
Jan 10, 2013 at 8:30 pm rating: 11
H, tell your friend she needs to stand up for herself. Ift might have gone differently if she had stood up and said “Excuse me, I’m here ON TIME for my appointment and I’m going to miss my son’s speech therapy session if I’m delayed. Apparently, this appointment was not important enough for you to be here in a timely fashion. Therefore, it shouldn’t be such a problem for you to wait a while longer, now should it?”
Jan 11, 2013 at 4:48 pm rating: 30
H for Toy
You’re right, Rei, but either she felt bad because the lady really was confused about the time of her appointment, or, more likely, she just didn’t want the confrontation. Though, I agree with Elf. It should be the responsibility of the staff to ask the late patient to either wait or reschedule.
Jan 12, 2013 at 8:52 am rating: 4
What if the doctor’s office scheduled it wrong and it was actually supposed to be for 10:30?
Jan 14, 2013 at 1:21 pm rating: 4
Good luck proving that one! Though if it is, apologies to patients all around and the staff should try to squeeze the “late” patient into the schedule.
Jan 14, 2013 at 3:00 pm rating: 1
Confessions from the Hairdresser
A thunderous round of applause, please?
This is the code by which EVERY BUSINESS SHOULD BE RUN.
Employees should not be expected to tolerate mistreatment simply because they’re in a service role, and bad clients shouldn’t be rewarded for being pushy.
Jan 9, 2013 at 9:19 pm rating: 206
Jan 9, 2013 at 9:45 pm rating: 6
We have a similar sign up at the lodging establishment I work for. I’m curious if this sign is in Texas. Where being a self-important asshole is a full time commitment.
Jan 9, 2013 at 10:51 pm rating: 14
@Rene, I was born and raised in Texas (most of my life was spent in the Houston area), and trust me when I say, Texas has nothing on Portland, Oregon.
Hippies grew into very uptight people, and their offspring even more so!
Jan 10, 2013 at 2:38 am rating: 16
Do you honestly think there aren’t self-important assholes in other states?
Jan 10, 2013 at 10:33 am rating: 11
I agree with the basic point of the sign, and even the need to post a sign, but I could wish for something less snarky in a doctor’s office.
(And if you think Texas and Portland has a lock on self-important assholes, come to Washington DC. It’s our primary industry.)
Jan 10, 2013 at 11:50 am rating: 28
We just moved to DC. I can corroborate on this, this place is Asshole Central.
Jan 10, 2013 at 6:40 pm rating: 10
Assholes are omnipresent.They know no boundaries. The asshole species does not cluster in a specific state, province or city.
If we did ,who would live there?
Jan 10, 2013 at 8:48 pm rating: 20
Ummm….they.I meant they…………..dam…I’ve been outed.
Jan 10, 2013 at 8:51 pm rating: 25
Lol @Jessi, I’m from Portland. Clearly, something is lost in translation. I hear Massachusetts is pretty bad, too.
Jan 10, 2013 at 10:18 pm rating: 3
From living in Boston for the past few years and working at a cafe, I’d say it’s the capital of Assholes. Not only are there terrible drivers, but terrible customers who don’t know the concept of being in line and that we have to keep reminding to get in line and that their lovely hot coffee drinks can only be made in the order that we received…. I wouldn’t be surprised if that note exists in a doctor’s office somewhere in Boston!
Jan 11, 2013 at 4:56 pm rating: 3
@Rene, that must be the case, haha (though we seem to be getting along quite fine)! Don’t get me wrong, Portland has a ton of great people, I just think my expectations do not meet the reality of the place. The politics are quite similar to a lot of Houstonians, though (Houston is actually quite a liberal place), so that’s nice.
What part of Texas are you in? If it’s small town Texas, then I’m deeply sorry.
Jan 12, 2013 at 12:49 am rating: 1
@Jessi, indeed, it is a small town in Texas. To be fair, being in SE Texas, many of our customers are actually from Louisiana. So…yeeaahhhh… LOL. I completely relate to “the idea” that you had of Portland until you got there. I was absolutely entranced by the history of Texas & then was slapped in the face when I moved here.
Jan 14, 2013 at 7:15 pm rating: 1
Oh, snap! (yes, I followed the flowchart).
Jan 9, 2013 at 9:23 pm rating: 9
H for Toy
Jan 9, 2013 at 9:24 pm rating: 0
Absolutely love this! Of course the special little snowflakes to whom this really applies will still think that the sign doesn’t refer to them…
Jan 9, 2013 at 9:42 pm rating: 64
Jan 10, 2013 at 12:48 am rating: 0
loving “special little snowflakes”! I would give you an A++++++++ if I could.
Jan 10, 2013 at 9:35 am rating: 8
That’s when you have to take a cue from the Simpsons (as I do so often).
“Don’t make me tap the sign.”
Jan 10, 2013 at 11:53 am rating: 28
Around here all the self-important asses are old people. Just a couple days ago I was waiting in line at the deli with my number and two little kids. This old lady, with one number behind me, jumps in and claims her number is my number and she has to be waited on now because she has to, uhhh, get to the dentist (at 5:30 in the evening). The deli clerk made her ask me if it was OK (I just let her, I really shouldn’t have), and then after I said OK, the deli clerk THEN made her thank me. (Yes, this woman didn’t even thank me.)
Jan 10, 2013 at 2:46 pm rating: 47
What is it about elderly women getting in front of others in line? It happens to me at least once per month.
A woman did it to me at M&S, just before Christmas, when the line was almost out the door. I’d been standing there around 20 minutes and was FINALLY near the front. There were probably two dozen people behind me, and she just walked up and got in front of me. I was polite and said, “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but the end of the line is back there” and pointed. She looked BEYOND PISSED OFF at me, and make a sigh and walked back there. At that point, I didn’t feel bad, because I knew she knew what she was doing. She wasn’t that old, either, so I didn’t feel like I was being completely terrible.
It also happens at the fabric store a lot. There is a single line (as indicated by a sign) and 2-3 cutting stations. Very regularly, an elderly woman will walk up and see the single line, but decide she’s going to just walk up to the cutting station, ignoring all of us in line. The women there tend to be nicer than me and ignore it.
Do these women know what they’re doing and think that because they’re old, they shouldn’t have to wait? Or is this genuine confusion? Maybe 1 times out of 10 it seems like genuine confusion, while 9 times of 10, it seems like self-importance! I guess I’ll have to wait until I’m older to determine the answer
Jan 10, 2013 at 6:34 pm rating: 21
If an elderly woman goes behind me to stand in line, I will invite her to go ahead of me. That’s me being courteous and respectful, and giving her the option. If she declines, so be it. If she accepts, so be it.
If I’m in line, and an elderly woman asks me politely if she can go ahead of me, I most likely will let her. That’s courtesy.
However, if I’m in line, and an elderly woman steps in front of me and takes her place without any notice, well, I will politely ask her to see her way to the back of the line. If she gets rude, I will probably say something like, “I respect my elders, but respect is earned. Your rudeness tells me you don’t deserve it at this moment.”
Jan 10, 2013 at 8:11 pm rating: 38
If you’re 21 EVERY ONE is old.
Jan 10, 2013 at 8:55 pm rating: 8
Yeah, and if you’re 50+ everyone not your age or older is “a kid”
What does that have to do with anything again?
Jan 11, 2013 at 12:16 pm rating: 5
I forgot. Memory is the second thing that goes.
What if you’re between 21 and 50? Do you get to be a crusty curmudgeon to everyone? I sure hope so.
Jan 11, 2013 at 12:33 pm rating: 4
Bucky, it’s deliberate. We were standing in line with my MIL to see Harry Potter when she just announced to us, “I’m old, I am going to walk up to the front of the line. He’ll let me go in first.” Then she laughed. I was absolutely horrified and she was so disappointed that my husband and I refused to go along with her. Another time, my husband and I were standing in line at a cafe to place our order and my FIL just walked past everyone to the counter. He tried to laugh it off when my husband said, “Hey dad, there’s a line.” They truly think they’re entitled because they’re older and they think it’s hilarious. :/ My MIL even told me to wait until I got to be her age and I would do it too. Uh, no, no I won’t.
Jan 12, 2013 at 12:56 am rating: 11
Guin, I don’t think I’ll do it, either! At least I hope not
My mother just turned 75 and would never do that. She parks at the back of the parking lot so the “old people” can have the closer spots. I’ve also seen her let women who are younger than her (in their 60′s-70′s), but more feeble, in front of her in line. Hopefully I’m more like her and I’ll think I’m still young at 75!
I should also point out, I see young people doing this at bars, too, so it’s not only the pensioner crowd. Some good looking young girls think they’re top priority and everyone else waiting for a pint should let them through.
Jan 12, 2013 at 8:18 am rating: 5
I wish I could have that last line as a bumper sticker, for those idiots who insist on using cell phones in the car (illegal in my state). Sure! Cross the double-yellow line! Don’t stay in your lane! Obviously you’re the most important person in the world, so I don’t mind if you hit me!
And this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEheh1BH34Q
Jan 9, 2013 at 9:43 pm rating: 7
It’s baffling how incredibly rude and self-centered some people can be. I’ve had rude customer’s literally step right in between me and the customer I was helping out and cut our conversation off mid-sentence because they were “in a hurry”.
Jan 9, 2013 at 10:10 pm rating: 33
H for Toy
It’s amazing how selfish some people can be.
They think of themselves, instead of me!
Jan 10, 2013 at 11:55 am rating: 19
I’ve had that happen, too! I just step over a few steps so I can see my first customer again & completely ignore the cutter.
Jan 10, 2013 at 10:24 pm rating: 7
My mom nearly had a guy kicked out of the country for line-jumping.
She was a US Customs inspector, he was a very entitled Dallas Cowboy with immigration paperwork that still said he was an LA Ram. If he hadn’t tried to line jump repeatedly (and been pushed to the end of the line every time) she’d have let it slide – these things happen. For that matter, if he hadn’t made a point of saying he ought to go first *because* he was a Cowboy she’d never even have noticed the discrepancy.
But he was an ass so she decided to go 100% by the book, and that paper said he was only allowed to work in the country because he was the only one who could do that specific job for that specific team. The Cowboys had to send lawyers out to the airport at 2AM to get it cleared up.
Jan 13, 2013 at 4:50 pm rating: 22
Whilst people being rude is a nightmare, doctors receptionists are some of the most rude people I’ve ever met in my life. I work as a vet receptionist and if I ever spoke to a client in the way I’ve seen them talk to people in the past I’d get sacked. I get people are rude to them a lot but they are to me all the time but that doesn’t make me treat everyone like they are the same as the ones who are rude. So although I agree with there sentiments I get the feeling that doctors probably have a lot more signs up – usually ones that say you can’t see the doctor unless your leg is falling off!
Jan 9, 2013 at 10:20 pm rating: 51
My doctor recently forgot to tick the right box on a lab requisition. The woman at the lab said that my doctor just needed to call the results lab and request the additional test, so I walked into my doctor’s office with a copy of the original req. and explained what needed to be done – a phone call to the results lab. The receptionist was so huffy about having to look up the phone number. “If I have time…” she said, very irritated. I explained that it was somewhat time sensitive (needed to be dealt with sometime that day before the office closed) because they wouldn’t hold onto my blood sample forever. The phone number she needed? Took me sixty seconds to find once I got on my computer at home. Sorry for asking you to do your job, lady.
I appreciate that my doctor does extra stuff for me at the last minute, and I’m always sure to thank the staff. In fact, my whole conversation with the cranky receptionist started with me thanking her for helping me just before Christmas. I love these notes, and I wouldn’t be offended to see them in my clinc.
Jan 10, 2013 at 2:08 am rating: 26
I’m sorry to hear that you have bad experiences with your doctor’s office staff. Outside of the “free” clinic I had to go to while uninsured, I’ve never had a doctor’s receptionist be outright rude to me (although at times you can tell they’re a little frazzled), but I have had other patients that felt they deserved to be seen before me.
Jan 10, 2013 at 2:12 am rating: 10
I recently had to drop off a few samples at my doctor’s office. My doc specifically said to give them to the receptionist and she’d send them to the lab. So, I approached the desk with my darkened, double-bagged, sealed box of samples and explained what I needed. The look that bitch gave me would have soured milk.
I mean, seriously. Why work at a doctor’s office if the concept of dealing with medical products freaks you out so much? Or at the very least, learn to control your facial expressions.
Jan 10, 2013 at 6:15 am rating: 38
The receptionist at my doc’s office walked in while I was finishing getting dressed (no knock) and said, “Hurry up!” (because I had the last appt of the day and she wanted to leave) Seriously, bitch? That’s just the beginning of all the rude and bitchy things she’s done to me. When my doctor gave me a prescription and she forgot to hand it to me, I called to request it called in to the pharmacy and you’d have thought I was asking her to skin a baby. She rolls her eyes and huffs constantly. I have never responded back to her and always try to be polite despite her ugly behavior. If I acted even a little bit like she does at work, I’ve no doubt I’d be unemployed.
Jan 10, 2013 at 7:11 am rating: 33
They are charging me my arm, leg and torso on the mortgage to rewrite the exact same prescription for the allergies. They are super nice though, doctor to receptionist to even nurse waiting for other patients. They make a point of smiling and asking if I need something.
Jan 10, 2013 at 9:39 am rating: 1
That was suppose to be a stand alone comment. Not a reply.
Jan 10, 2013 at 9:58 am rating: 0
My endocrinologist’s receptionist is a total cranky bitch.
When I made my first appointment with him I made it for a Tuesday because at that time it was the day I had off. She told me where I could download the paperwork. I did so, I filled it out, I took it in early and said to her “See you on Tuesday.”
Tuesday comes along and she insists that “The doctor doesn’t see new patients on Tuesdays!”
I pointed out that the e-mail form on the website doesn’t work. She says “We don’t HAVE an e-mail!” Um, then what’s that on your website. (Told the doctor about it, he said “Yes we have an e-mail.” And didn’t know why it wasn’t working.)
Tell her I need an appointment for September, repeatedly because she kept saying “October.” She makes it for October anyway and I said “But the doctor said September.” Right away snaps at me saying I’m the one who said October. Um, no I didn’t.
She’s nice to my mom but horribly rude to me. Granted, it doesn’t help that after being treated badly by her multiple times I finally posted a review of my doctor on Yelp in which I mention she needs to retire because she’s so rude but how awesome my doctor is. To be fair though, I’m not the only one who said so. There’s a number of reviews that say she’s a bitch. So at least I’m not alone in being treated like shit by her.
Jan 10, 2013 at 10:19 am rating: 22
Guys! Get new doctors! Why are you putting up with this kind of treatment?
Jan 10, 2013 at 10:44 am rating: 19
I dropped my doctor because her front office was totally incompetent (double-billing, no follow-up, just plain rude and wrong). I wrote her a letter that stated the reasons why. She wrote back saying she didn’t appreciate her staff being maligned that way.
I sent a copy of all the correspondence to the appropriate medical authorities (HIPAA is serious business, y’all). Let’s just say her practice suffered before she got with the program and hired a professional staff instead of her relatives.
Respect and consideration should never be unilateral.
Jan 10, 2013 at 11:56 am rating: 38
Because between insurance woes and a dearth of doctors in the area, sometimes you put up with a doctor’s rude staff because you have no other choice. Or it could be that they really, really like that doctor and are willing to put up with a lot.
Jan 10, 2013 at 11:57 am rating: 15
As a medical receptionist, we are not all like this. But yes, I do get compliments to my doctor that his receptionist is “the best and nicest doctor’s receptionist they’ve ever met.” In all humility. But, in their defense, if you had to put up with what we put up with everyday, all day and took all the crap we take, you probably wouldn’t be a cupcake yourself.
And as many of you seem to not know, transferring your records to another doctor is NOT illegal. It’s called dropping a patient from your practice, and it usually happens from either patients not complying with their treatments, or from not paying their bills. But it’s not illegal if you want to send them away for being a jerk. If a store can refuse service, why not a doctor’s office (unless it’s a medical emergency, which they did make an exception for).
Jan 10, 2013 at 7:46 pm rating: 16
I told my doctor that his receptionist was rude and unprofessional. A few weeks later he fired her because of all the complaints. If you don’t tell the doctor, they cannot fix it! Send an anonymous email if you’d like. Just please tell them!
Jan 11, 2013 at 12:36 am rating: 8
like everything, there’s exceptions though!
i took in an injured/starved cat i found to the vet once. told them I had found it on the side of the road gave them my contact details and all and figured i might pay for it’s fees, no harm done.
later that night i got a call from the vet receptionist i had handed the cat over, basically accusing me of starving and injuring that cat and threatening to call the spca on me?! the same lady i had TOLD that I had found it?
needless to say, i told her all that again and that i was willing to pay for it’s care and take it in.
but never going back to that vet!
she thought the cat was a grown up too and it was very much a younger one, he’s tripppled in size since i found him.
Jan 11, 2013 at 6:43 am rating: 7
To be fair, I volunteer for the humane society, and you’d be amazed how many “found animal” stories we get. We scan their implanted ID chip, and find the vet, who confirms the owner is the person who turned the animal in.
It’s not just animals who have been neglected either, people just can’t seem to admit they are unable to keep the animal.
So every such claim has some amount of skepticism attached to me.
What I can’t understand, if she thought the cat was yours, and thought you’d abused/neglected it, why she didn’t go straight to the authorities, rather than call you.
Jan 11, 2013 at 8:55 am rating: 14
Well, they might be embarrassed. For some people, I imagine it feels shameful to admit to somebody that while they may love their animal, they no longer have the ability to care for it. If the animal wasn’t abused, I don’t see the harm such a lie since they’re doing the right thing in the end.
I can also understand being skeptical of somebody’s story when they drop off a potentially abused animal, but the receptionist has no business calling up the person and outright accusing them of something she had no evidence for.
Jan 11, 2013 at 1:29 pm rating: 6
Jami, at first I thought you wrote “and said to her “See you NEXT Tuesday.” and I thought you were going somewhere totally different with your comment.
where I thought you were going doesn’t seem like it would be too far off, though…
Jan 11, 2013 at 3:56 pm rating: 7
@Bex, I thought the same thing, haha!
Jan 12, 2013 at 1:02 am rating: 0
what do you want to bet this is at a pain clinic?
Jan 9, 2013 at 10:36 pm rating: 18
I’d bet anything it’s a pain clinic. I used to work as a receptionist in one, and the patients were the worst.
Jan 9, 2013 at 11:10 pm rating: 5
Could it be that the patients were having a hard time because they were in pain? I went to an orthopedist for severe back pain and his staff made four scheduling errors in three weeks. On my fourth appearance at his office in mid-afternoon, having taken no water, food or pain medication since midnight, I was told that my appointment had been scheduled that morning. Of course, it had not and, after their prior errors, I had called the day before to confirm the date and time. I asked to be fit in and the nice receptionist said that she would ask the doctor. She came back and told me that he did not have time to see me and that I would have to reschedule. I told her that I needed cab fare to get home because my ride (for the fourth time in three weeks) that I was required to have due to the procedure, was running errands and would return in two hours. I had no way to get in touch with him or get home. I was hungry, thirsty and in pain, in a freestanding physicians’ building where I couldn’t get any food. She went to get the office manager who proceeded to tell me three progressive lies about the doctor being too busy to talk to me, the doctor having left the office and she couldn’t contact him and the doctor being on an airplane so she couldn’t contact him. This was all within fifteen minutes of the time that the first receptionist had asked him to fit me in. I walked into the waiting room and told the full room (I thought the doctor was on a flight!) that they should all find another doctor who had a professional staff because anyone who would hire such incompetent people could not be trusted to work on their spines.
One patient followed me downstairs where I had gone to sit, in the cold, on a stone bench, and told me that he had come in for appointment that day and been told that he couldn’t see the doctor because his insurance had not yet paid for his previous treatment. So, they couldn’t have called him that morning?
I found another doctor and wrote bad reviews on every site that I could find. No one should be treated the way I was and to treat sick people like that is unconscionable.
Jan 13, 2013 at 7:55 pm rating: 13
@Carrie Maybe Lovely bit of empathy there.. glad I never wen to your clinic..
Jan 9, 2013 at 11:16 pm rating: 16
i wish my clinic had that sign. it would have saved me from mentally strangling various patients.
Jan 9, 2013 at 11:46 pm rating: 4
Medical personnel are getting nastier these days. I’m a nurse and I am aware of rude people from working in the hospital. In the doctor’s office? Come on. That sign, shows the chip on the shoulders of the office staff and most probably the physician as well. I kind of think the threat to discuss your medical records with another doctor being their choice is just that, a threat. A lawyer would have a field day with that. Just sayin’ I have never had any real issues at the doctors office, but a lawyer would have a field day with a threatening posting like that, if there was any problem with the medical record.
Jan 10, 2013 at 12:30 am rating: 26
I didn’t read that as them threatening to talk about medical records with another doctor, I read it as a threat to refuse to continue treating the patient (thereby necessitating a transfer of medical records to another doctor).
Jan 10, 2013 at 12:58 am rating: 58
Belinda, the fact that you’re a nurse lacking the skill of basic reading comprehension kind of makes me worry about your patients…
Jan 10, 2013 at 1:15 am rating: 59
Hey – the note is doing them a favor. Up here, most doctor’s charge to send off a copy of your records to another physician. Mine are sitting in a storage unit somewhere because the doctor closed up shop, and I couldn’t afford the $150 to get them forwarded to a new clinc.
Jan 10, 2013 at 2:10 am rating: 4
I think it was excessively snarky, but the sentiment behind the sign isn’t a bad one.
I am normally opposed to PANs as there are so many better ways to communicate. But there is a time and a place for them. A posted policy notice addressing rudeness and lateness and consequences of is perfectly reasonable.
Jan 10, 2013 at 12:00 pm rating: 3
Actually that’s how I read the note too that they will not treat rude patients. However that’s one unnecessarily convoluted way to say that. Belinda’s comment makes me think that it’s an attempt at covert threat by mentioning the medical records. Hey remember before being rude to us that we have your all personal information right here!
Jan 10, 2013 at 12:59 pm rating: 4
Wish we had a similar sign when I worked the front desk at an emergency animal clinic, we had a couple of clients, a really mean, nasty older couple, who came in one night to buy dog food right after two seriously injured animals were admitted. When I told these people that they would have to wait about 10 to 15 minutes while I gathered vital information about the injured pets to relay to the doctor and staff in the back they threw a fit. The woman stood glaring at me while I was trying to speak to a tech about the injured patients and kept saying things like “That’s stupid, why do they need to know THAT?!” And they came in AFTER the two emergencies! They could see the very upset owners of the injured pets sitting in the waiting room and yet all they cared about was that they couldn’t get their dog food RIGHT NOW. Every time I think about these people my blood boils.
Jan 10, 2013 at 2:57 am rating: 26
Terrifying. If I saw that in my doctor’s office, I’d be looking for a new doctor, stat!
Jan 10, 2013 at 8:11 am rating: 21
Right, Les. We’ve gone fourteen comments before someone points out that medical providers are businesses themselves. Would you see such a sign at a restaurant, a bank, or a clothing store? Not for long.
Jan 10, 2013 at 8:37 am rating: 13
Yes, you would. And do, all the time. Particularly in areas with heavy tourist traffic.
Although I do agree that people put up with way too much rudeness in the doctor’s office. It’s really not that hard to find another doctor.
Jan 10, 2013 at 10:42 am rating: 9
If I saw this sign at my doctor’s office I’d wonder what the story was behind it. You know that there’s got to a doozy of a customer story behind this one! But that’s also because I’ve good experiences at my doctor’s office. If I was being treated poorly there – like if it felt the entire staff had chips on their shoulders and me being a patient there was an imposition – then I’d take it very differently.
Jan 10, 2013 at 12:03 pm rating: 6
Different strokes. If I saw a sign like that, I’d think I was in the right place.
Jan 11, 2013 at 10:50 am rating: 25
My mother did have an encounter with the receptionist at my pediatrician’s office. I was transferring colleges over the winter break (do not recommend btw) and needed to produce proof of vaccination, which had to be signed by the doctor. Since it was over the winter break, time was very tight. She gave my mother a very hard time about, and my mother was like, look, we’ve been going here since he opened his practice, he went to school with my brother-in-law, just get him to sign it. Luckily the doctor happened by and signed it right there immediately.
On the flip side, that same brother in law (my uncle) is a dentist and he’s gotten to the point where he isn’t trying to grow his practice anymore. Now whenever any clients are rude to him he immediately “fires” them. Their money is no longer worth putting up with them for him.
Jan 10, 2013 at 9:26 am rating: 1
I love how teenagers still have to go to the pediatrician. Nothing like me and my huge 17 year old son, who is more like a man than a kid, sitting across from mommies and their toddlers.
Jan 10, 2013 at 9:46 am rating: 13
17-year-olds are not required to see a pediatrician. They are ALLOWED to see a pediatrician. If you feel uncomfortable taking your son there, it’s your own fault for not taking him to a general physician.
Jan 10, 2013 at 10:48 am rating: 9
At the ER they have to go to the pediatrician. Jerk.
Jan 10, 2013 at 11:48 am rating: 16
@pooham and Confused – I went to the same pediatrician’s office for my entire childhood. They had a policy that patients could stay with them until 21 years old. And, as I was comfortable with the doctor and didn’t want to go through the hassle of finding somebody new and get used to them, I procrastinated on finding a new Primary Care Doctor until I was 20.
Jan 10, 2013 at 12:52 pm rating: 7
I was in a similar situation. I needed a medical clearance form for work in college. I submitted it weeks in advance, and was told it would be ready in 2 weeks.
We call in 2 weeks, not ready. 3 weeks, not ready. 4 weeks, not ready. And then I need it for work. So I go back to the doctor and politely refuse to leave until the receptionist filled it in. Turns out, they’d lost the paperwork and it was still sitting there blank after a month passed.
They gave ME attitude about it.
Jan 10, 2013 at 1:58 pm rating: 10
H for Toy
I agree, pooham. I took my 5 year old to the ped’s office the other day, and had to smile when I saw a young man who drove himself to the doctor’s office.
Jan 10, 2013 at 2:43 pm rating: 10
H for Toy
Oh, God… I just said “young man” like I’m my grandmother!
Jan 10, 2013 at 4:47 pm rating: 23
Well, at least that’s a handy way to know when it’s time to switch Dr.’s offices. I wouldn’t want to have my health in the hands of people who met me with blatant hostility before word one.
Jan 10, 2013 at 9:29 am rating: 15
I’m a bit confused as I don’t see what was rude or abrasive in the notes.
In the first part they said “If you are rude to us we reserve the right to refuse you as a customer”. In the second note I understood it to say “If you choose to disrespect our patients who have been here waiting you will have to explain to them why you feel entitled to do so”.
Am I missing something here?
Jan 10, 2013 at 9:51 am rating: 57
Jan 10, 2013 at 10:48 am rating: 6
And what, exactly, is Confused missing? Because that’s how I read those signs also. And anyone whining about how they’re rude or whatever has justified their whining by saying that doctor staff are frequently rude also. Well, sure, of course they are, but that doesn’t change the fact that many patients are as well. Sometimes, doctors and their staff really aren’t the ones to blame.
Jan 10, 2013 at 12:03 pm rating: 9
I don’t think you’re missing anything, but I have a similar sign up at my place of employment, therefor understand where the clinic’s frustration is coming from. Hell, WE’VE had to call the cops.
Jan 10, 2013 at 10:38 pm rating: 4
People are just angry that not every person working in a service job is completely subservient to them. Having worked in a doctor’s office behind the windows, I think this is 100% acceptable.
Jan 11, 2013 at 10:09 am rating: 16
Sometimes my customers are so bad that I just stand there & think to myself “Blowjob…the only thing that will make this customer happy is a blowjob.”
Jan 11, 2013 at 10:32 am rating: 14
I would never be rude to the staff at a doctor’s office.
However, I can understand why some people are.
It has become frequent practice for doctors offices to give you, say, a 2PM appointment, and not see you until 7PM. My mother has a doctor who does this on a regular basis, and the doc is a specialist (of which he is the only one in the area) so she has no choice but to see him.
Doctors should keep appointments. Making someone wait until 7PM when their appointment is at 2 is absolutely ridiculous! At the very least they can call her and say “We are running behind today, would you mind coming in at XX?”
Sorry for ranting, but this is something that really peeves me off, seeing my poor mother have to wait in a boring waiting room for five hours because they can’t get their scheduling right.
Jan 10, 2013 at 11:01 am rating: 29
Amen. One thing I love about my dentist is that when my cleaning is at 3, I am in the chair at 3.
Jan 10, 2013 at 11:32 am rating: 6
I’ve been there Zorin. In the small town I used to live in the doctor would always double book. You could expect to wait at least two hours for your scheduled appointment, which you had to arrive 15 minutes early to in order to keep.
Jan 10, 2013 at 4:36 pm rating: 9
Sometimes (let me emphasize this: SOME. TIMES.) it is not the doctor’s fault or choice to be so behind. Let’s say a regular visit takes 30min. A doctor might schedule one appointment at 9AM and the next at 9:40AM. If the 9AM patient has a million questions and/or was 10 minutes late, the 9:40 patient may not be seen until 9:45. It can snowball very quickly.
That being said, if this happens every time you are in the office and others have similar experiences, you just have a double booking doctor and those should be smacked upside the head. They need to either trim their patient number or bring in another doctor.
Jan 11, 2013 at 12:59 am rating: 11
Uh, it is NEVER a doctor office’s choice to transfer medical records. That is a felony if they are not authorized by the patient.
Jan 10, 2013 at 12:37 pm rating: 5
Well, you might notice that there’s nothing in that note that says they’ll do it without the patient’s authorization. The note says they’ll “discuss” it. Perhaps that means discussing it with the patient.
Jan 10, 2013 at 1:11 pm rating: 13
Yeah, it’s not worded well, but the note just means that the office will forward your medical records to your new doctor of choice, because you won’t be allowed to be seen by their office anymore.
Jan 10, 2013 at 1:40 pm rating: 20
I bite my tongue in public but when it comes to dealing with my internet provider, cable, etc ‘customer service representative’ on the phone, I admit I generally lose my patience. Being nice hasn’t led to any significant improvements in the ‘service’.
It should not be a requirement that you heavily medicate before attempting to deal with them, but it’s my recommendation.
Jan 10, 2013 at 12:46 pm rating: 2
I get upset with those customer service reps as well. I think they’re poorly trained. Most of them don’t seem to know how to really listen to callers. It’s very frustrating to say the same thing five time.
Jan 12, 2013 at 12:35 am rating: 1
As someone who spent a LONG time in customer service (10 years total), people who lose their patience are a huge part of why we were so stressed out and would occasionally get flustered ourselves. I always tried to give the best customer service I could (which given my QA scores was certainly excellent), but if you call in with a complicated problem, something that is your own damn fault, or are just being a jerk, it makes it hard for us to do our jobs. Most of us try very hard to be patient and not let it get to us, but if you make no attempt at politeness, it makes it that much harder for us to pretend to give a flying F*#$ about your problem. And sometimes, that exactly what even the best customer service is, a rep pretending they care. Try to be nice to customer service reps. They have a difficult, thankless job dealing with people that think the sun shines out of their arse.
Jan 12, 2013 at 10:50 am rating: 10
+100 respect points to doctors who stick up for their coworkers while sticking it to entitled douchebags. I hear a whole lot of Jerky Doctor stories from my roommate who is a nurse, so it is awesome to see an Awesome Doctor story for a change.
Jan 10, 2013 at 1:17 pm rating: 11
Having read through the messages I’ve just realised a big difference between people who pay to see their doctor and those that don’t. I’m based in the UK so my experience is based on my experience with NHS doctors receptionists. I don’t think I’ve ever met a pleasant one. I said in a previous post that I’m vet receptionist (I’m sure there are some horrible ones out there) but I’m always friendly. Now my clients pay for there services and some have a right moan about that and all sorts of other things but I grin and bare it as it’s part of the job. I don’t know if doctors receptionists feel because we don’t pay we aren’t worth their respect – I’m sure they wouldn’t accept the same treatment in return – but we pay our taxes and national insurance so we do pay for our right to see a GP and not to be talked to like crap because or their issues. I’d love to meet a nice doctor receptionist in my area, because I’d gladly change doctors
Jan 10, 2013 at 2:31 pm rating: 5
I don’t think it’s that simple, Ethel. I live in the UK as well, and I’ve never come across an NHS receptionist or nurse that’s been rude or mean to me. My mum has to see our local nurse on a regular basis due to her blood pressure, and each time she goes in the receptionist and the nurse always ask how she’s doing, how I’m doing, how was her latest holiday, etc.
It’s not just the local surgery either. I had to go to a specialist paediatrician every six months until I was 18 due to my ADHD. Again, it was NHS. Absolutely wonderful staff, both the doctors and the front-line staff.
Jan 10, 2013 at 3:21 pm rating: 8
Technically, you pay to see your doctor in the UK! You just do so indirectly. No medical care is ever free; somebody always pays.
Jan 10, 2013 at 3:53 pm rating: 8
Ethel, I’m an American who has been in England for quite some time. I actually have found the receptionists at my GP’s office to be out of their way friendly towards me. I was shocked. They probably deal with ten times the number of patients per day that a medical receptionist at a doctor’s office in the US does, but their attitude is so much better. They’re never in too much of a hurry to speak with me and never seem to be in a bad mood. The doctors have been fantastic as well.
Anyone who criticises the NHS really needs to try going to doctors in various countries and see how they’re treated in different places. I’ve been in the US, Canada and Singapore, and the NHS is the best system I’ve experienced. In the US, you may get fantastic care at a better facility if you go in for surgery, but that’s only if you can afford it. The NHS may have its flaws, but it’s a great service that gets the job done.
Jan 10, 2013 at 6:52 pm rating: 14
I’ve been treated by the NHS for over 40 years and the ONLY receptionists that have been nice to me were the ones who knew my mum in some capacity. GP receptionists are, in my experience, rude, aggressive, full of their own power, and unable to carry out a pleasant interaction. I’ve been misinformed about test appointments, test results, been kept waiting while they left the desk to make tea for themselves, and when I once complained about a practice nurse, was told “Oh yes, we’ve have quite a few complaints about her” and nothing more was said/done. It’s no f-ing wonder receptions here are more glassed-in than betting shops – I wouldn’t assault anyone, but I can imagine other patients would be tempted.
Jan 12, 2013 at 11:33 am rating: 4
We’ve actually left a medical practice because of the rude staff — and wrote a letter to the doctor letting them know exactly why we’d left. Unfortunately, our doctor was only an associate in the practice and didn’t have firing power, or he told us — when he called us to apologize — that he’d have cleared out the lot of them because he’d gotten so many complaints, and departures, from his patients.
So politeness is definitely a two-way street. But SO MANY service employees have abuse heaped on them when it is absolutely uncalled for that I firmly believe that every business should have the right to refuse service to rude customers. Unfortunately, all too often being rude and demanding works, which is why so many people do it, I suspect.
Jan 10, 2013 at 5:53 pm rating: 9
It actually isn’t their *choice* to handle and transfer medical records. There’s usually a legal obligation. Here’s to hoping someone files a complaint with the state’s licensing board.
Jan 10, 2013 at 6:38 pm rating: 2
Not sure why people are so up in arms about this.. IF you are rude, then they’re not interested in putting up with your bad attitude. If you are NOT rude, then none of this applies to you and you don’t need to worry about it! I work in the service industry and would weep for joy if we were allowed to put this kind of sign out.
Jan 10, 2013 at 9:14 pm rating: 29
This. If you’re not rude and you don’t expect the doctors to drop everything they’re doing just because you’re in a hurry to get to that pilates session or whatever the fuck is so immensely important that it overshadows everyone else’s need to see the doctor – why would you even bat an eye at that sign?
I thought rude people were universally disliked.
Jan 10, 2013 at 10:45 pm rating: 15
Because they are rude to you whether you are rude to them or not. I’m never rude to someone, it’s not in my nature but It doesn’t stop them talking to me like I’m a piece of dog poo on their shoe. Like I said earlier in the thread, if I spoke to my clients like that I’d be without a job. Even those who think their general health check with their animal is more important that the poor animal that has just been hit by a car, I have to be polite. I don’t see that with doctors receptionists or hospital staff. Just because some people are absolute idiots, and I’ve met my fair share doesn’t mean everyone is and they should treat everyone the same.
Jan 17, 2013 at 6:30 pm rating: 4
I have a chronic medical condition, so I have to go to the doctor’s office 4-5 times a year, minimum. One time a nurse signed me up for a flu vaccine in the waiting room, and then a doctor walked over to me a few minutes later, announced my medical condition loudly, and gave me a stern lecture about how I absolutely needed the vaccine because I was at greater risk. Again, this was AFTER I had already agreed to get the vaccine, so I am not sure why that exchange happened.
Another time, a nurse walked into multiple patients’ rooms and very loudly asked them personal medical questions with the doors open.
One receptionist refused to let me have a copy of my lab work before seeing the doctors because patients might “get upset” without everything be explained first. I get lab work many times a year and I can decipher a freakin’ reference range. I just stared at her and then said, “Give it to me.”
Jan 10, 2013 at 11:57 pm rating: 12
Holy cow. You might want to report them to whatever medical board is available in your area. Encourage others to do the same.
Jan 11, 2013 at 1:03 am rating: 8
Doctors consistently rank among the worst customer service providers of any industry. (Along with Airlines and Cable Companies.)
When you provide bad service, (excessive wait times, inconstant billing and answers, a holier than thou attitude), it’s unreasonable to expect your customers to grin and bear it.
Most people don’t get rude until civility fails. (This isn’t always true, but is mostly true in my 20+ years of customer service experience.) If you don’t want people to be rude to your employees, stop pissing them off.
Schedule appropriately. I’m not saying ever customer needs to be seen at their scheduled time “on the dot”. But you need to build in buffer periods so that if you’re running behind, the damage is limited.
Two, there’s the old joke, What’s the difference between a Dr. and God? God doesn’t think he’s a doctor. I won’t accept attitude from my doctor (which is a good policy for everyone; if you don’t like how your doctor treats you, you won’t be completely honest with them). I certainly won’t accept it from his support staff.
Given the expense of health care, we as consumers have every right to demand our needs be met.
None of this excuses the vast minority who are jerks from beginning to end. But if the practice has enough “rudeness” to the staff to warrant the sign, I’d bet the farm that it’s caused by the rudeness and inconsiderateness of the doc and staff.
Jan 11, 2013 at 8:39 am rating: 10
Or try out “One Medical Group” if they’re open in your city yet. Huge customer service focus and on-time (on the dot!) appointments. They have a membership fee but it’s worth it if you go to the doctor regularly.
Jan 12, 2013 at 10:34 pm rating: 0
Am I the only one who noticed the errant apostrophe?
In any case, I’m the patient who quietly checks in ON TIME and with an appointment, so this message wouldn’t apply to me. However, I would consider discussing the transfer of my records if I saw such a snarky message at my doctor’s office.
Jan 11, 2013 at 8:52 am rating: 5
Is anybody else freaking out about how on Earth current docs in the US are going to handle the influx of new patients when Obama’s healthcare plan goes into effect? What are we going to be dealing with, do you think? Can doctors refuse to treat patients with that type of health plan? Will we all be channeled into dealing with one or two over worked, cranky, hassled, and distracted physicians? I’m really worried about this because I haven’t had insurance for a couple of years and will need to sign up for “Obamacare,” but how the hell is our current overly taxed medical system going to handle so many new patients? Yikes. I mean, even WITH the highest end insurance I couldn’t ever get a GP to spend more than about five minutes talking to me and received sub-par medical care across the board. I don’t see things getting better under the new system.
Jan 11, 2013 at 9:44 am rating: 2
It’ll be interesting! I can see a bunch of different scenarios happening, depending on the doctor’s office in question and the area served. In any case, I think it’s reasonable to expect everyone’s wait time to go up.
Jan 11, 2013 at 10:31 am rating: 2
Attitudes like this are how an ER ends up fill of people without Emergencies. Perhaps this doctor is different, but, for example, my doctor (and my wife/child, who have a different doctor) requires 2 to 4 weeks advance notice to schedule an appointment unless you’re basically dead. If you simply have severe headaches/nausea/congestion/whatever, the only choice is the ER, since chances are in 4 weeks the condition will have either turned into pneumonia/whatever or it will have cured itself.
I remember having both ears so blocked with wax not only couldn’t I hear, but I had to throw myself against walls to move since I could no longer balance myself. I was lucky to get an emergency appointment for that at the doctor. 3 days later.
Jan 11, 2013 at 11:20 pm rating: 8
My doctor’s office consistently refuses to communicate with my insurance company, ignores my pharmacy’s calls, says they’ll call in my prescriptions and then doesn’t, lies to me, and charges me for things I shouldn’t be charged for. I don’t know how to get them to do their job without being rude.
I work in food service and love the idea of refusing to serve someone because they’re rude. But the stakes are higher in medicine. We’re not talking about sandwiches. When my doctor’s office doesn’t process the paperwork they’re supposed to, they can seriously fuck up my body. And if you tell me I’m just going to have to go without my medication for a week, yeah, I’m going to be rude to you.
Jan 12, 2013 at 6:11 pm rating: 8
Just as an aside, why don’t patients have more control over their medical records? Why are they still under doctors’ control?
Jan 15, 2013 at 5:48 am rating: 13
I can’t stand to hear doctors complain. I have showed up for an appointment AT OPENING TIME and had to wait 20 minutes or more.
I don’t buy that it’s “all those bad patients throwing the schedule off”.
Jan 18, 2013 at 6:23 am rating: 11
I don’t know about your doctor, but I know mine would give priority to emergency patients (because I would refer them to him, I’m a nurse) – your doctor might have just slept in, but there could easily be another explanation.
Jan 18, 2013 at 9:53 am rating: 1
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