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How hard is it to do things right? October 23, 2008

Posted by Judy in Musings.

Really, how hard can it be?  Apparently harder than we think.  DH and I are always running into all sorts of problems with people who are supposed to provide customer service.  (I contemplated titleing this post “stupid people bug me”, or “customer service is dead”,  or “the incompetence epidemic”!)

Yesterday, we took DD to the hospital to get her hearing checked.  Pretty much the entire experience was fraught with encountering less-than-helpful people.  The pedi gave us a script and said we didn’t need an appointment, we could just show up.  So we get to the hospital (which is about 35-40 minutes away) and put our names on a check in and are told to have a seat.  About 15 minutes later, the elderly volunteer stands up and says, “who’s next?”  We all just look at each other and shrug.  She says “would you be so kind as to step up?”  We are all still sitting there, since we didn’t know who was next.  So I politely speak up and say, “don’t you have our names on a list?”  (What’s the point of the list if you aren’t going to use it, seriously!)  So she goes over and reads the list, and we discover that we are next.  So she says, “you’re next,” but fails to tell us exactly where to go.  Happily, the registration lady waved us over.  She was great!  Funny, helpful, thorough . . . too bad the rest of the people weren’t like her!

She sends us over to the cardiac area (not sure why the infants have their hearing screened in the cardiac area!) to check in there.  The lady at the window is obviously on a personal call and says to the caller, “just a sec,” leaves the phone to her ear and proceeds to “attend” to us.  I’m thinking she should have ended the call, but that’s just me.  She asks if we have an appointment, and I say, “no, we were told we didn’t need one.”  She snaps, “well, you need an appointment, we only do screens on Thursdays. ”  (It was Wednesday.)  I explained we’d come from a small distance and would appreciate being seen today.  “Well, let me see if there is anyone that can help you.  Have a seat.”  I loved how she made it seem like it was my fault that we were there on the wrong day.

After a few minutes, she calls me back up and says, “You’re in luck, there is someone that can do it.  But normally we don’t do this, you REALLY need an appointment.  Here, fill this out.”  (Again, blaming me.)  Oh, did I mention that she was sucking on a sucker the whole time.  She’d say a sentence, slurp the sucker, another sentence, another slurp.  I’m thinking, “really, is that necessary?”  I had so many unkind things to say, but I just took the clipboard and sat down.  I was so proud of myself for saying absolutely nothing=)

AFter several minutes, a CNA comes down and says, “is she asleep?”  DD’s eyes were wide open, so, no.  She snaps, “Well, she needs to be asleep, that’s the whole point!”  (As if it were our fault that we didn’t know DD needed to be asleep.)  DD was pretty fidgety, so I didn’t see sleep happening anytime soon.  So I figure I’ll give her a potttytunity and then hope she’ll sleep.  DH tells the CNA that we’ll take her to the bathroom and be right back.  I wisked her away and encountered the crummy changing table while DH dealt with, “what? she’s too young to use the bathroom, that’s crazy!”  (For those of you who agree with the CNA, check out my EC post.)

Anyway, we eventually got her asleep after about 20-30 minutes and the CNA comes back.  Previously, she had said that the room would need to be dark and quiet, just keep that in mind.  She’s setting up and asked DD’s birthdate.  Then she says, “the doctor ordered this so soon?  We don’t usually REDO the test till one month.”  I explained that she hadn’t ever had the test done, as she was born at home.  She says, “well, technically, I”m not even supposed to be doing this.  The outpatient tests aren’t done until the babies are one month old.”  Merrily, she did the test anyway.  But, in the middle of the test, her companion phone rings, and she answers it, full voiced.  Oh, did I mention the lights were still on?  Whatever happened to needing a dark and quiet room?  I also noticed that the lead on DD’s back wasn’t fully attached . … ahhh, the sloppiness kills me.

So she passed the test, which wasn’t surprising, I know she can hear!  I’m wishing we wouldn’t have wasted an entire afternoon having to meet people who IMHO don’t do their jobs very well.  I’m thinking our nice pedi will get a bit of an earful next time.  I intend to be nice, since she really is a nice pedi, but I want to make sure she knows she gave us bad info so that she doesn’t pass the bad info on to another unsuspecting couple!!


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