Today, I had to take a day off from work. I had to renew my driver’s license. But most importantly, I had an appointment with a new dermatologist. Now anyone who has seen me over the last couple of weeks knows that this was an emergency. So I had an 8:30 a.m. appointment with a new doctor in Columbia. Of course in the traditional “Kia” form, I arrived late. What I did not realize was that I was about to get a stern lesson in the importance of punctuality.
The receptionist immediately informed me, “You are 15 minutes late. I will have to check with the doctor; not sure that you can be seen at this point.” Then she abruptly ran to the back.
Now this would be understandable if there were 10 or even five people in front of me waiting to be seen. There was one elderly gentleman who did not even appear to have a blemish on his face. Besides, judging from his age, he had to be retired. No noticeable scars or abrasions, what’s the rush? Botox.
The enforcer quickly returned with a cracked smile, “You will have to wait an hour.”
As I completed the insurance, privacy and consent forms, Mr. Filler was called to the back. He returned before I could complete the family history checkboxes. Around 9:32 a woman walked into the office complaining about a bill. At 9:45, another woman walked into the office. By 9:46, she was immediately escorted to the back. I wondered if I had arrived 15 minutes earlier would I have been seen by 8:16.
By 10 a.m., I had enough. I walked up to Ms. Happy and asked, “Are you guys going call everyone before me?”
“Oh let me check with the doctor.”
After about four minutes, she returned, “We have to take the patients who are on time. Do you wanna wait? Although you might be having lunch with us,” she giggled.
NO. I did not want to wait anymore. Whatever happened to customer service? As a PR specialist, I have been in the service industry for about seven years. If a potential client is a few minutes late, do I turn him away. NO. I want his business. I understand that he could have gone somewhere else. But he chose me out of the hundreds if not thousands of PR folks in the Maryland area alone. And I fully understand that a thing called, “LIFE” happens. Therefore, I will accommodate him. After all, he is paying me; I am not paying him.