Tuesday, May 19, 2009

My life is like a party

It's Tuesday, after the Victoria Day long weekend. With Ottawa, I basically had a 5-day weekend (shazzam!) and so I went to work today fairly relaxed and optimistic. The buses didn't take forever, and I strolled in on time. Then I looked into the system and saw that only Henry had patients today, except for a couple of the random doctor's patients at the end of the day. So I was like, score, easy day. But things turned ugly. Allow me to complain.

Moving appointments
So he's booked like crazy (I have experienced quadruple-booked) and then oh hey guess what, I'm told we have to moved a bunch of patients to different times because he has to do a C-section. (Random - why Caesarean section? How is this related to Caesar? Did he come up with the idea of ripping fetuses from the womb?) Anyway, Henry is the only boi-o in the office who can deal with Chinese-speaking patients, so naturally dealing with his patients is not really a walk in the park. On the phone, I get a lot of "Wai... wai... WAI.... WAI?!?!?" Which apparently means "hello" because they have no idea what I'm saying. But I thought they were saying "why" so I would just keep explaining, baffled. And then realize we were not speaking the same language. So today, I had to move all these people, some of them urgent, some of them not. The urgent ones I think worked out, but there were a couple I had to move a MONTH later. They were just like, let's-talk-about-birth-control type appointments, but I would be super annoyed if I were those patients. Luckily those ones I only could leave a message. Bahaha.

Assertive patients
It's really an oxymoron. Why can't they just sit there quietly? Okay, that's harsh, considering Henry is consistently late, at least by half an hour. And today, around 4 pm, people were backed up two hours. And it's cruel to make a pregnant woman, or a woman with a hyperactive bladder, or an 87-year old relic of a woman, wait that long for maybe a 10-15 minute appointment. And most of the time when I walk through the hall, I just see the patients chilling there, waiting yet again to see the doctor. What grates my ragged nerves is those people, the patients themselves or the accompanying progeny or husband, take out their frustrations on the staff. Not even me, necessarily. But when I see them getting mad at people who have absolutely no control over how fast the doctor gets through patients... ohhhh boyyyy... you done now, son. Today there was a man who came in with his wife - he looked very Captain Li Shang-ish (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Li_Shang) who got really exasperated after waiting an hour, and you can't blame him. But then he found out if would be at least another hour... which really got him riled. He just sort of hung around my desk, puffing his roided-up chest out. He would either a) explain why our system was flawed and how we should have the service of a busy restaurant, or b) loudly complain to or provoke the other patients, in an act reminiscent of young Hitler and the Beer Hall Putsch. Angie dealt with him by taking on the conspirator's role (which she knows and loves) and would look up at him through her glasses, all, "The doctor is sooo slow... he needs to really hurry up!" But I felt repulsed by this man, and could only muster something like, "I understand, but he has a lot of patients. And the staff have to wait just as long as you do." Eventually he and his apparently mute wife left to get dinner, but I went home before they came back.

I can't complain anymore.

2 things:
1. I was just looking through my old LJ from grades 10-11. I was both incredibly smart and hilarious. What happened :(
2. Dr. Zhivago took a back seat in my literary phaeton. Anna Karenina, or I guess Leo Tolstoy, is so much more fascinating. Somehow he manages to be a lot more captivating, and things happen in what feels like real time. None of this 200-pages-on-a-train business. 

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