Saturday, January 31, 2004

I had this belief that since I was on short-term disability, I would quickly organize my stuff and get so many things done around the house that it would look like a miracle. Well, that hasn't happened yet, because I feel like I am always running after details. Blood-sucking details half the time. After the diagnosis confirmation, you my friends sent me a flood of really great emails, and many of you have not even received replies yet. I am really sorry about that and have a policy of replying to every email unless it seems like a "capper" email where the other person is happy with my reply and has nothing more to say for the time being. What happens when it takes me a long time to reply is that sometimes the person who sent the very nice email sends me another one a few days later, apologizing for being so insensitive in the first one (the very nice one).

Details. Um, they were able to clarify what blood tests they wanted, and yesterday the nice guy at the lab took five vials. While sitting in the lab, I had to first call the clinic, and the person who answered said I should talk to their lab person and sent me to someone's voice mail box. I hung up on that and called back. This time there was a different person on the line and I had a bit of a run-in with her. I know these people are busy and probably overworked, so I quickly said what I needed: clarification of tests requested, and a diagnosis code. Then to give her a sense of where I was on the diagnosis-testing-treatment timeline, I started to say "I was diagnosed on the 28th and my name is---" but she interrupted me and asked me what my name was. I am the king of irritability, and I did not like being interrupted, so I began: "I was diagnosed on the 28th and--" and was interrupted again. We repeated this a few more times until I asked to speak to her supervisor. Lo and behold the director of the clinic (the medical doctor and researcher, the big shot) comes on the line and apologizes for his staff and quickly gives me the diagnosis code and clarification of tests requested.

The way I look at it is that she was talking to some guy who she can assume is suffering from some freaky disease, and who for some reason wants to say something about how recently he was diagnosed before giving his name. Once you realize that the person, the patient, the Victim, the freak, me, your customer, is insistent on that (and since he is being very polite and never raises his voice), why not just let him say it? Am I the jerk here? I don't treat my customers this way. How about you, readers, do you like being bullied on the phone? Or do you give in, because it is quicker? Or do you, like me, dig in your heels like I do, to try to make a change?
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