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Think the definition of appointment needs to be redefined...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

So today was the day I dread every six months. Both of my boys are on ADHD medication and require bi-yearly check-ups to make sure the medication is not causing adverse effects, is working properly and so on. We have to monitor closely to make sure that the boys are not losing weight due to appetite suppression, sleeping regularly (or as regular as can be expected from hyperactive children), not having emotional side effects that require some type of remedy. It's all quite a pain. Since the medication is a Class "whatever" narcotic we have paperwork that is required to be filled out, blah blah blah.

So back to the dread. Why is it that when you schedule an appointment at a doctor's office the time is merely suggestive? I arrive on time, as I do for everything. I sign in, and I wait for my name (or child's in this case). I wait, and wait. I watch other people called back ahead of me, who arrived later than I did. I go to the desk to see if I have been forgotten. I get the standard issue response, "No, we are just running a little behind today. It's been a crazy day." So I ask you, is EVERY day that crazy in a doctor's office? And who exactly educated these people? A little behind? A little behind is 15 minutes. 20-30 minutes tops. An hour behind is not a little. This happens every time I take the boys for regularly scheduled visits.

Now, if they are ill and I call, and the office says "Come on in and we will work you in", I expect to wait, and wait and wait some more. Even with sick little ones, you are prepared. However, when I schedule weeks in advance, I do expect the courtesy of prompt service. Is that really too much to ask for? I don't expect that I should be taken back at the exact appointment time, but within 10-15 minutes does seem reasonable to me. I know there are exceptions, there always are, but it seems to me that doctor's offices do not place much value on our time. And really, who when healthy, wants to be sitting in a room full of sick people?

So, I ask, really why is it that appointments are merely suggestions? It's not just doctor's offices when you think about it. You schedule appointments for your children to get their pictures taken. That is almost always a NIGHTMARE. You go to get your nails/feet done, you wait. You go for a haircut and your hairdresser is running late. However, if you arrive LATE, even the fifteen minutes to any of the aforementioned "appointments", you are often told you will have to reschedule. REALLY?

Why have we, the consumer of services gotten so used to the constant "We are running behind" line that we allow our time to be trivialized. Our time is not important? The whole appointment time, and the blatant disregard for my time being valued, when I pay for services, really chaps my hide!

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