Thursday, February 7, 2013

People These Days

I think most of you know by now that I reside in the general area of California's capitol, so I'll relate the following phone conversation with the real places mentioned.

Me: Veterinary Hospital, this is Redgirl!

Her: Hi. I just brought my dog home from surgery today, and we didn't think she'd need any pain medication, but now she's hurting and we probably need it now.

Uh huh. When we want to give you pain meds, you should probably accept, especially after surgery. That's when we cut into the body, you know....

Me: Okay, and which doctor did you see?

Her: Dr. Binton.

Ah, not one of our docs. Yet again, I feel like I have been punk'd. For me, this is the feeling when someone calls us and acts as if they're our client. This confuses me until, at some point in the conversation, they mention something that clues me in on the following scenario: they've called their vet and hear our name mentioned on the answering machine for emergencies. Then I get to explain that we can't give them pain medication, look up records left on their doctors' desks, or clarify what their doctor proscribed to a pharmacist. 

We are there for one reason. Something horrible has happened, and you need your pet seen. We are specialty and we are open for you to come in. That's it.I don't have access to the entire database for all the hospitals in the regional area. No, we are not an answering service. Yes, I'm real person. 

Me: Which hospital was the surgery done at?

Her: Sacramento.


Me: I'm sorry, which hospital?

Her: Elk Grove.

What? What's going on here? You are providing no information whatsoever. You are just naming cities. This is not helpful. Try again. But not by naming random cities. Try to answer the question.

Me: The hospital

Her: Oh. Ummm.... Elk Grove (Aaaaaahhhh) and Florin. That one.

Me: I see. Well, (commence explaining why I can't provide random people with services if we haven't seen their pet and random medication on their say-so).

This was laughably frustrating because I suppose it didn't really matter what hospital she had the surgery done at, we couldn't just proscribe medication without an exam.

What gets me annoyed --and I've touched on this before-- is when the following occurs in some flavor or other:
Oh no, really. Go ahead. I'll wait. 

Them: Can you give me your address?

Me: It's 702--

Them: WAIT!! I need to find something to write with!!

Really? There was nothing else you needed. You called solely to ask for a piece of information including numbers and the alphabet. I find it hard to believe that it was when I said the "2" that you realized, surprisingly, that you wouldn't be able to retain the info. The human brain can retain around 7 pieces of discrete information. This is why telephone numbers are seven digits long.

I blame the digital age. No one has to practice remembering telephone numbers any more. They just hit "call Mom" in their phones.

I guess it all dials (haha...dials) down to a public service announcement.

I understand if you're stressed when you call me. If you don't have that excuse, don't be an idiot.


Carolyn said...

Now now now, Redgirl! You know that some peoples pets are their family, and they are not in the best of wits when something unpleasant has happened to Fifi or Fido!

redgirl said...

I know you are right, which is why I meant to include a brief disclaimer about people who are truly stressed out. But when someone calls with a non-emergency, or even when I worked at the hotel, I would get calls purely for informational purposes, and then get asked to wait. Psh.