I don't know about the rest of you, but I actually pause when someone asks me about my profession. Each and every time I'll wage a cerebral war with myself on the pros/cons of telling this complete stranger about what I do, because 75% of the time the next words will be, "So I have this dog...".

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Mrs. Argumentative, part 2

I try to go out of my way for many of my good clients. Nothing unreasonable of course, I won't step out of a surgery just to talk about yesterday's football game. But occasionally I'll let my staff interrupt me in an appointment, or I'll squeeze one of them in over my lunch hour even when it's not an emergency. The good clients are given that status for many different reasons as you can probably expect, one of them being that they know when they are putting me out, but are noticeably appreciative and they don't abuse my generosity.

As you can probably guess, Mrs. Argumentative is NOT one of my "good" clients. Even if I was somehow able to put aside her hatefulness, impatience, noncompliance, and overall annoyance to all other things living, her phone call yesterday immediately rejected her from ever achieving that status.

She called while I was in the middle of a very sick appointment and demanded to talk to me. She refused to hang up the phone and was ok with sitting on hold as long as it took. Her reason was simple, she didn't have time to call me later, and she didn't want to sit around waiting for me to return my messages. She explicitly said, "I'm just as busy as he is!".

Her question? She couldn't remember whether she was supposed to come in for her recheck appointment before or after finishing the medications. And she had to hear the answer from me, not my staff.


It didn't take me long to decide which I'd rather do, talk to Mrs. Argumentative or finish with the vomiting patient in my exam room. After all, she made the choice herself. She DID say she'd sit on hold as long as it took.

I think she hung up after 20 minutes.

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