A Lack Of Respect

Oh the joy of Caller ID.  I could feel the beginning of a knot forming in my stomach as I picked up the phone.  It was University Hospital.  The caller was advising me of the need to reschedule an appointment I had made a month ago.  This first appointment had been made with the doctor’s office.  This call was from the scheduling office.  It isn’t the scheduling clerk’s fault that you need to rework your calendar or that you now need to wait another couple of weeks.  The scheduling clerk is just a voice over the phone.  You can make a new appointment or not, express your frustrations or remain silent, or you may choose to fight or just roll over.  The scheduling clerk doesn’t care.  She gets paid no matter what you do.  You made the mistake of believing that either you or your time would be respected.  They aren’t.

I have had two of these calls so far this month.  One of the appointments was for a dietitian.  The new appointment may/may not be virtual.  The scheduling clerk said that it had to be virtual but the email confirmation shows it to be in office.  There is no reason to worry about this today.  University Hospital may be calling me any day now to reschedule this again.  We have until October 8th.

The other rescheduled appointment is more serious, a second opinion.  You contact a specialist, whether it is an oncologist, a cardiologist, or for example, a pulmonologist, at the behest of your medical team, your family, or both.  You do not schedule an appointment with a nephrologist for three weeks from this Wednesday because you have nothing better to do.  And once you schedule that appointment, You Wait.  Rescheduling that appointment, bouncing it back another couple of weeks, ignores your health issues and concerns.  It is as if no one cares.  I am always surprised by this lack of respect.  I wouldn’t operate my business this way, even if I could.

Yesterday’s appointment was with the eye doctor.  OK, he is an O.D. with an office in the mall, but I have been going to him for years and he does a good job.  I responded to his email reminder last month and scheduled my annual visit.  I’ve received numerous reminders about this appointment including THREE this week.  I was there on time.  He wasn’t.  Turns out he doesn’t work on Thursdays.  With all of those emails you might have thought that he might have mentioned that I would be seeing his associate.  I guess I didn’t need/deserve to know that.  The associate performed the exam and after flipping lenses to ask whether Option 1 or Option 2 was clearer, changed my eyeglass prescription.  I don’t know if I am going to get new glasses or wait until I can get another eye exam.  Either way, I won’t be going back.

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The client had a secret.  She had not been vaccinated.  She didn’t actually say that she had been, but she intentionally gave the impression that she had.  And now she was sitting, less than three feet from me, without a mask.  I am, of course, fully vaccinated.  I plan to get my booster next month.  The good news is that her indifference and lack of respect for others could make me sick, but probably won’t result in a hospital stay or worse.  What’s funny is that though I am at risk from COVID due to my age and health history, she is actually at a much higher risk than me due to her multiple comorbidities.  There is no reason to confront her.  She’s done “research”.  I’m OK having unvaccinated people in my office.  We maintain a safe distance of about six feet and we stay masked.   No big deal.  It is the selfishness and lack of honesty that irks me.  All future contact with her will be strictly by phone.

I used to believe that respect was a given.  Now I realize that in certain areas we must demand it.



Picture – I Respect The Webster Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary – David L Cunix