Thursday, 6 December 2007

Smile please

I don't think I can match the jobsworth of the week award over at Katy's, but I had very brief dealings with a pair of prime examples this morning.
I had an early appointment at the dental hygienist, and was hurtling towards town (within the speed limit, obviously) when I got caught up in a rare snarl of traffic. I know the dentist makes you pay if you miss your allotted session, so two minutes late I rang from my handsfree to reassure them that I was on my way, and that I'd be with them in just two more minutes.
I could feel the receptionist winding herself up beyond the call of duty to say "you are late and...", so before she was able to complete her little piece of spiteful daily joy I cut her off with "I'll be with you before you put down the phone."
I parked (first time ever) right outside the surgery, leapt into the rain and into the building before she could say "but".
I announced my arrival to a different woman. "Oh", she said, checking the screen, "you're late...." (all of 4 minutes behind for a twenty minute slot), "I don't know if..."
Are they on commission for latecomers and no-shows? Deep breath, girl. "I rang", I said, "just a moment ago."
"Oh. I don't know if you can still....."
"It's a 20minute slot, and there is NO-ONE ELSE IN THE WAITING ROOM".
She sees the look on my face.
"Take a seat".
Five minutes later, now nine minutes late, the hygienist comes down looking for me... "Why didn't they send you up?" she asks.
Sometimes the look works better than words.

I love that image of the chattering clockwork teeth; it reminds me of one of my favourite items in my parent's joke shop.


Eurodog said...

Why is it that receptionists feel so important and look down on us.
Recently I had an appointment with a consultant and a similar thing happened. I said to her "Your secretary was not being very helpful". She replied:"She is not a secretary, she is a mere receptionist".

KAZ said...

I suppose we shouldn't be surprised that people who are attracted to work for a dentist have sadistic tendencies.
Joke shop sounds fascinating. I used to love the ones in Blackpool when I was a kid.