You know what really ruffles my feathers?!

When I am at a doctor’s (usually a specialist’s office), with my children in tow and we receive terrible customer service.  Nothing irks me more than paying basically a fortune to someone who clearly doesn’t seem to have a clue what it’s like to treat people kindly.

Usually my complaint is how late doctors offices are, but not today.  The good news is, they were right on time… sadly, that’s the only good news from our visit.

At this very moment I am fuming.

I’m sitting in a specialist’s office with my three year old and I wish I had a “phone a friend” option like they do on game shows.  I need someone to talk me down and say the right things (for me) in the moments where I feel frazzled.  I know exactly who I’d call in to help me in this very moment too.

I had to book this appointment months in advance and had to literally do hours of preparation for today as well.  Not only did I lug in three bags of stuff for this 3 hour test, but I also had to drop the daughter off with a friend, and drive almost an hour to get here.  Guess what?  This isn’t why I’m upset.

No, I’m upset because of a couple of other reasons… all that could have been avoided with some good old-fashioned customer service. (Is it called “bedside manner” in the medical field?!)

First of all, call my kid by the correct name please.

I get that he’s three and looks two, but he does know his name.  (And he knows when someone isn’t using it.) It really is rude to keep calling him “Henry,” since, guess what, that’s not his name.  Not only have I corrected this doctor no less than six times about his name (in  thirty minute time span), but I also have purposely used his name in conversation as a more subtle approach.

Customer service tip: check the chart and listen.  A friend of mine pointed out that maybe I should use some of this three hours to construct a giant name tag for the son… good call!

Secondly, it’s not a good idea to have someone make an appointment over two months out, and then tell them after they arrive that it’s the wrong type of appointment.

What?!  Can you repeat that please?!  I made this appointment based on notes from lab work that was emailed to me, spoke with a person on the phone who confirmed everything, and then waited over two months before showing up for said appointment.  If something was scheduled incorrectly, I expect someone to notify me during this LONG window of time.

Tip:  don’t tell a frazzled mom she is here for the wrong thing a half hour after her arrival.  Also, if you are going to do this, have a latte in your other hand for her.

Also, while I’m ranting… the preparation for this three hour test required a lot of time and energy.  Maybe, this should have been confirmed better while I was hearing the twenty minute detailed instructions to follow for the appointment prep.  Just saying.

Also, if the doctor would have taken a hot minute to talk about the blood work results on the phone with me, all of this could have been avoided.  (Including this rant.)

Lastly, it’s all about the approach.

I prefer someone talking to me as an equal and not speaking down to me like a toddler.  I now get why kids get so frustrated when they are talked to in this manner.  It’s not fun.  I might not know medical terms, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a brain.

Maybe try smiling, apologizing for being confusing, and ask me questions about what I am understanding.  I need to start bringing my PhD sister to all of these appointments from now on as a form of translator.  (It would also be nice to have her to sit with for the several hours required.)

Basically, today showed me how much I love our pediatrician and other doctors we have seen in the past.

I’ll happily wait a few extra minutes for a doctor who is running late because they are speaking respectfully to other patients over being rushed through everything, and feeling like just a number.

It also shows me that just because someone comes highly recommended that it doesn’t mean they are who is right for your family.

End rant.