Thursday, December 13, 2007

Watch your punctuation...

It was the Monday after Thanksgiving and I was tired. In one week we had entertained three different sets of overnight guests, celebrated our twentieth anniversary and celebrated Thanksgiving. I had been working odd hours, going in very early and working from home at night, in order to maximize the amount of time I could spend with our guests. It had been a great week but I was tired. Monday was our final night with guests and we were having a fiesta. Fajitas, nachos, pitchers of margaritas.. and absolutely no turkey!
In the midst of preparation the phone rang... It was the dentist's office calling to find out why my oldest children were not there for an appointment. Oops! In the craziness of the week I had completely forgotten about the appointment. The receptionist tartly remarked that she had called to remind me of the appointment the day before... the last business day before.. which happened to have been the Monday before Thanksgiving.

Oh well. Obviously this was my fault and I apologized profusely and asked to reschedule. Ms. Receptionist was not pleased. She did not like my excuses. She frowned upon my silly desire to have children that could actually chew their dinner that evening. She reminded me that I had signed an agreement to PAY A CANCELLATION FEE if I didn't give 24 hours notice to cancel an appointment. I agreed that I had indeed signed and understood that there would be a fee but I was just going to have to pay it because I was not bringing the children in. She tersely informed me that they would be unable to work my children into the schedule again until December. So I rescheduled the appointment and went back to enjoying the fiesta. Arriba!

Yesterday I received a statement for the cancellation fee. I expected it. I wasn't shocked. I wasn't upset. I understand that in these challenging times a dentist can't afford to just give away appointment slots... blah, blah, blah. However, the statement annoyed the snot out of me. The charges are entered and duly noted as missed appointment fees but at the bottom of the page, in the comment box, Ms. Dentist's Receptionist typed: Mother "forgot" appointment.

Now I know I am being petty... but I was perfectly pleasant to this woman. I admitted my wrong-doing, I apologized, I did not make a fuss about being charged extra. Plus I'm a darn good patient! I'm always on time (with the exception of this one missed appointment.) I never complain when I have to wait. I pay my copay at the time of service. I even bought a fancy electric toothbrush from their office for ten dollars more than I could have gotten it at Costco! But none of that matters. I "forgot". With one little set of quotation marks my integrity was called into question. The comment was superfluous and petty and it pissed me off.

My question to you, dear reader, is this. Am I silly for being offended enough that I don't want to go back to that office again? Obviously I need to bring my children in for the appointment next week but after that I believe I will start looking for a new dentist.


AuthorMomWithDogs said...

I found you through your hysterical comment at Mrs. G's.

I agree, the statement by itself, without the extra note, was sufficient. Anything more is just a guilt ploy and self-righteousness. And both are immature and unnecessary.

I hope you let the dentist and receptionist know the reason for your move.

Family Adventure said...

I think it sounds snarky and unnecessary. But that's just me.


Mrs. G. said...

Um...this would piss me off. We are paying customers, not children. Maybe this chick should not take her "job" so seriously. And I would include her description with quotations in that little line where you write what the check is for. I've had it with twits.

Karen MEG said...

Talk about totally unnecessary quotation marks, especially when you were so good about it all. It's not like you fought about the cancellation fee or anything. I guess it depends on what your dentist is like; if it's a good dentist and your family are generally happy there, then I guess you have to decide how much weight you want to give this annoying twit.
Although it would totally bother me whenever I would be in the office because those things stick with me too.

Leeann said...

It's the quotation marks that take it from a fill in the blank reason to an incredibly offensive comment that calls your integrity into question.

If you really like the office and dentist otherwise, I would be more inclined to take the statement in with me to their appointment and ask what the hell was that all about.

While chewing a mouthful of caramels.


ms-teacher said...

We recently had to switch dentists under a similar situation. We have been going to the same dentist for five years. We have always been very good patients. Somehow in the past two years, we managed to miss a couple of appointments and my dentist was pretty accommodating, or so I thought.

What finally led to our decision was a year ago, he did some type of special X-ray on our middle child without first discussing it with me. This x-ray was not covered by our insurance, so I ended up getting a bill for $200, which I questioned. They agreed to take the charge off. This past summer, I had my daughter call to cancel an appointment for me and the youngest. We were going to be out of town and our appointment was a week away. Daughter was told that I needed to call the office, which I did a couple of days later.

I was told that we were being put on "probation" for a month due to our missed appointments. In reality, I think they were still upset with me because of the flap over the x-ray bill because nothing had ever been said previously about any missed appointments. We have not been back.

ms-teacher said...

You've been tagged. I hope you'll play!

nicrogers said...

Honestly, I think the receptionist had a chip on her shoulder and it would have made me a little ticked as well. I would probably take it up with the dentist or office manager. Tell them that you do not appreciate the way you were talked to or the "comment". Let them that being treated like that is not acceptable and if they intend to treat you that way in the future, you will take your (paying) business elsewhere. I actually left a peds office for the same reason.