Friday, September 9, 2011

Things I don't understand

Today is a rain day. More like a flood day. Which is why it's 10:15 a.m. on a Friday during the school year and I am blogging. We have had some intense rain in these parts, so much so that some rather serious flooding has occurred in parts of our county and canceled school. I don't believe I've ever seen something like this in my lifetime of living here. Fortunately, most people are safe and it mostly appears to be blocked roadways that are creating the biggest hassle.

I also happen to have a regular doctor's appointment today with my OB. It was scheduled for 4:30. The receptionist in my doctor's office suggested the time a month ago when we made the appointment.

Which is why now I am a bit miffed. Matt got a voicemail a few minutes ago saying that my doctor's office had been trying to reach me and my appointment was canceled. Really? They'd been trying to reach me, so they left my husband a voicemail on his cell phone? With no direct line to my doctor's office (a fun piece of HMO bureaucracy) I called the generic number and then pressed about 20 buttons only to be put on hold several times.

When I finally reached a human, she said, "Oh, we're not canceling your appointment. Why would we cancel your appointment?"

I don't know, you tell me. You called me!

Several more holds later, a woman named Michelle came to the phone and told me that she tried calling me on my home number (note, we do not have a home number) and my cell phone and my work phone and I never picked up. So she left Matt a message.

I said, "Could you please leave me a message on my cell phone in the future?"

Michelle said, "I'm sorry we can't leave voicemails."

I said, "You left my husband a voicemail."

Michelle said, "That's because we couldn't reach you."

Oh. My. God.

Then Michelle said, "Your doctor doesn't schedule appointments for 4:30, it's too late for her, so we need to change it."

Please note that none of this has to do with rain or flooding. This has to do with my doctor's normal schedule, at least according to Michelle. Funny that I got an email a few days ago reminding me of today's 4:30 appointment and telling me that if I need to change my appointment I'm responsible for doing so well in advance of the appointment.

I did not have a chance to say, "That would have been useful information a month ago when the receptionist booked me for 4:30." But I digress.

Turns out they want me to come in earlier in the day. Can do! I have the day off, and so does my husband, after all.

Then once we set the new time for today Michelle said, "Why weren't you picking up your phone? You need to pick up your phone." At this point she was yelling at me, and I am not exaggerating. This went on for longer than would ever be appropriate.

Finally I had a chance to say, "Normally I am not near a phone during the day, but if you leave me a voicemail I will get it immediately" [thanks to the wonders of Google Voice and the fact that all my voicemails go straight to email that I can access anywhere!]

Michelle said, "We can't leave voicemails."

Oh. My. God.

I said, "Could you please put a special notation on my account that I would really, really like for you to leave voicemails on my cell phone, otherwise I may not get your message?"

In order to get rid of me, Michelle said, "OK!" with the most obvious sarcasm I have ever heard.

I had a list of five questions to ask my doctor at today's appointment, but I definitely know what I will need to address first. This (and this) is why people hate HMOs. Good thing (so far) I like my doctor.

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