Please allow me this indulgence.
I’ve mentioned a couple of times that I work for an optometric practice. My job is to make the various appointments for the patients and keep the doctor’s schedules flowing properly. I sit beside another young lady who checks each patient in when they come in for an appointment. We take turns answering the phones.
The calls that we take are not always for appointments. We also get other calls — are my glasses/contact lenses/paperwork/records ready to be picked up? Why aren’t you open on Mondays (or Sundays or every night of the week until 8:00) Why can’t I have an appointment at 8:30 at night? (My favorite is the person who calls and says “yeah, you called me? — I can’t tell you how much we hate Caller ID) We are the first people to speak with them. We try to help as many people as we can and will always try to find out the answers for each person. Most people are understanding and are thankful that we tried to help. However, there are some patients that call with a chip on their shoulder, who has decided before the phone is even picked up or has been greeted at the desk that they are right and we, by God, are wrong so they are entitled to take out their displeasure on us. In spite of our attempts to help, we have had people swear and cuss at us, telling us how incompetent, ignorant, stupid we are — miraculously, they are the most friendly people when the person that does have the answers appears. Suddenly, everything is kittens and puppies and rainbows!!
I wonder how many of these folks have ever had a relative work in a position such as ours? Or possibly as a waitress or waiter or at a check out in a grocery store. Mean people unleash their venom at people that they know can’t say anything back. As far as I am concerned, they are truly cowards. These cowards don’t seem to realize that we are people with feelings doing the best we can with what we have — and that they are people without any manners or patience or grace. I will ask you to do this — the next time that you are standing in line at a grocery store and thinking black thoughts for whatever reason, please give a kind thought to your check out person. There’s no way to tell how many people have dumped on them today — please try to not add to it. Thank you!!