I shake my head and drop trough

It has been a while since I posted about Raving Fan service. Maybe too long. Today was good in that it provided me reason to shake my head. Shaking in disbelief? Yes. Shaking in “tell me I didn’t just hear that”. Yes. Shaking in “I got something in my ear”? Yes.

Here’s my shaking story: I’ve been home-medicating a sinus cough all week. After a couple idle threats and a plea or two (all from Deb and FD), I called my 25-year+ doctor to schedule an appointment – it was 12:45 p.m. I got the ever-pleasant phone recorder saying “our office hours are…we take lunch from 12:00-1:00”. I hung up thinking I really needed to run a business like that – don’t take phone calls over lunch. I called back after 1pm and a young lady answered. I asked to see “Jack” for a coughing aliment (I really don’t like to see anyone else but Jack).

Jack isn’t in until the 9th”, the lady said. 

“OK, I don’t have calendar in front of me, but isn’t that Monday?”

“Well, yes”.

“Then can I schedule an appointment with Jack on Monday if he has an opening?”. 

“No, he doesn’t have an opening”.

“OK, can you tell me when he does have an opening?”

“the 12th”

“would that be Thursday, since I still don’t have a calendar with me?”


“that won’t work; the cough won’t wait – is there someone else I can get in to see before then”.

“Yes, we have an opening today at 3:00”

By now I was playing a game with this lousy-trained customer service girl. Our one line, answer-only-questions-with-short-responses game went on for several more minutes. I finally got an agreeable appointment for Friday at 11:20 a.m.:

“What is your name and date of birth?”

“Tim May, xx-xx and a bit older than you -xx”

“What was that date again? Oh OK, ha”

“Is your insurance still the same?”

“No, I just got new insurance 2 days ago”

“Tell me the insurance and group number”

“I don’t know the group number darling, we just got it 2 days ago”

So I gave my cross-my-heart-and-hope-not-to-die-before-I-get-into-see-the-doctor promise that if I didn’t have the new insurance information, my out-of-pocket payment would be good as it always has been for Jack and the last 25+ years of paying him. But I did have to ask who I was seeing….

I walked in to the doctor office at 11:10 this morning. There was not another ailing soul in the waiting room. I approached the window and told the young lady there, who I was.

“OK Mr. May, please look over this and correct any information as needed” as she handed me a computer printout of my patient profile.

“Everything is correct except the insurance…we got new insurance just a couple days ago, but I brought in a temporary insurance card” 

The other 3 ladies and 1 guy all stopped whatever it was they weren’t doing and looked at me like I carried the swine flu in on a well-oiled dolly cart.

“Can I keep this card?”

“Well no, you can photocopy it.  I’m gonna need it if I have to fill a prescription today”

“Oh, yeah probably, ha!”

I had already realized I was dealing with the telephone appointment lady….

“Have a seat, we’ll be with you in a minute”

So I have my seat- alone in the waiting room – and start reading a Texas Highways travel magazine. Less than 5 minutes into my reading, I hear the appointment lady/greeter voice asking me a question through the sliding glass window: “ahhmmm, Sir? What was your name again?”

I look around – no one has come in unannounced or unbeknownst during my read…”Ma’am, my name is Tim May (as I stood up). You and I just spoke. I have the temporary insurance card you photocopied. I also went over my printout profile with you…Tim May!”

“Oh yeah, ha! Sorry!”

As I’m getting ready to walk out of the office, thinking today is not a good day to deal with the medical profession, here comes the nurse to take me from the waiting room to my exam room. “Timothy?”

“Thank you, somebody remembers my name”.

I do the weigh-in – this big ol’ boy needs to drop a few pounds – I told the nurse I was wearing 16 pounds of coins, money clip, shoes, clothing, and contact lenses…and then we went into a dirty exam room. I stood there waiting for her to rip off the old exam table paper and roll out the new. “Lord help me”.

My blood pressure was normal. Heart rate – normal. “Emily, will be in to see you in a minute”.

“Hello Mr. May, my name is Emily. I am Dr. Jack’s PA. What seems to be troubling you today – a cough I see. Ummm, blood pressure is good, heart rate is good – when are you going to get a colonoscopy?”

“Maybe at a time when my cough gets better”

“OK then, let’s check out that cough”

We get through the rest of the exam – breathe in, breathe out…mouth open, say “ahhh”…are you wearing 2 shirts?…sinus problems – oh my yes…let’s look at the ears?…I can’t see the ear canal of your left ear…we’ll get that cleaned out…are you on medication?…why haven’t you been in to see us in the last 2 years?…how ’bout them Cowboys? – you get the rapid-fire jest of it, right?

I ask Emily for sample nasal allergy sprays and a rump cocktail. She smiles real big and says “you have been a patient here before”.

One nurse comes in and washes my ear wax into a cup. I shake my head.

Then another nurse comes in with a needle: “lower your pants – I will give the shot in left left hip”. I shake my butt…

“Since when?” I asked.  “Don’t you give it in the top of the left butt cheek anymore?”

“No, in the left hip”

“OK, now you get to see my Halloween pumpkin-color undershorts…”

I can only shake my head knowing what all has transpired to get to this point of Dr. Feelgood. She gave me the shot in the left hip – I didn’t know the top of my left butt cheek is the same as my left hip…until today.

She’s done with the shot, she leaves, I pull up trough, gather my own chart and folder, and walk to the pay desk. After a brief wait on another paying customer, the lady asks “did you get blood work today”

“I think my chart when read, will show I got a rump cocktail. And if that rump cocktail drew blood, then yes, I did have blood work done today”

She looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language (or maybe that I was now wearing soiled pumpkin-colored undershorts or something). The payment lady actually had to read the chart to tell me “that will just be the $40 co-pay for today”

So I settled my bill with Dr. Jack’s office. As I gather up my paperwork from the counter, the office phone rang. “Don’t answer that, we’re at lunch!” the payment lady said.

I turned and looked at everyone in the office, and then to the office clock. It said 11:57. They looked at me…I grinned, shook my head, and walked out. As I was leaving, the appointment/greeter lady asked the payment lady “do you want me to lock the door behind him?”

Customer service at one of it’s finest. I can’t wait to talk to Jack next time I’m in to see him (better get that colonoscopy scheduled don’t cha know)…he will join me in shaking his head in disbelief…but hey, my cough is going away, my left ear can hear again without shaking my finger in it, and my left hip will be tender for a day or so from the rump cocktail in the top of my left butt cheek.

Does anyone now want to hear how I dealt with my FlexPlan administrator today?

6 thoughts on “I shake my head and drop trough

  1. I think when they interview doctor’s office staff, they look for the really difficult people. I don’t generally have good luck with my doctors office personnel either, but my experiences have never been this colorful. =)


  2. Now that is funny stuff! I was so afraid you were going to write the long-overdue obit for the University of Kansas football team. God love ’em! I certainly enjoyed your doctor’s office journey much, much more.

    And … if you don’t get the appointment for your colonoscopy made THIS week, I will. I swear I will, Timothy Wayne. I made the appointment for your eldest OFB and, fyi, I threatened your elder OFB, as well.

    Just do it, already! :o) bec


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