Dear Person Whose Job It Is To Call Me Back,
You suck. You are really, really awful at your job.
I don't care if you are a scheduler for a therapist, or a doctor, or a social service program. It doesn't matter who you are, a key function of your job consists of making appointments and yet you're — staggeringly, mind-bogglingly — terrible at it.
I know I should be sympathetic to your plight. After all, since I've yet to meet a single competent scheduler among dozens of offices, there must be some Scheduling Guild secrets that I am not privy to. Perhaps basic calendar technology has yet to reach your office. Maybe your boss regularly uses your phone line to make 1-900 calls. Probably your desk is on the plains of the Serengeti where regular rhinoceros migrations make such calls impossible. I can see how that would be difficult.
But you know what? I don't care. I really freaking don't. Because I am quite certain that you haven't given the slightest thought to the amount of effort it takes me to call you. Allow me to enlighten you, since you are obviously not doing anything else right now.
The process starts when the thought that I need to call and make an appointment swirls to the forefront of a near-constant whirlwind of needs, obligations and decisions about how to approach my son's disability. Then I need to find the appropriate number, which is never the number on a website or the caller ID from the last time you called. (Of course not. That would be way too convenient. Thus breaking the Scheduling Guild code of conduct.) Then I need to carve out a time in my day that is during business hours yet not during times when my nearly napless children are awake and eager to use any excuse to scream at me.
Once I have met all of these requirements, I get your voice mail. Of course you are away from your desk at 10 a.m. on a Tuesday. That makes sense. The rhinos must be on the move. No matter, I will wait for you to call me back. You know, because that's your job. Somebody is paying you to do that, so clearly you will do it at your next available opportunity.
But here's the thing: You never freaking do.
A week goes by, maybe two, and I realize as I am trying to fall asleep that you never did call me back and now I have to start the process all over again. You get me every time. We've played this game dozens of times now and yet I still always assume that you will call me back because I left you a message. I must be legendary at your Scheduling Guild meetings. "Susan! You're never going to guess who called me!" "No, not her! Again? That's too outrageous. When will she learn?"
Never. The answer is never, Person Whose Job It Is To Call Me Back. I will never learn that you won't call me back because I find it incomprehensible.
I find it incomprehensible not because someone is paying you a decent living wage to do something as simple as picking up a phone and typing my name into your clinician's calendar. Not because could you be very easily replaced by modern calendar software that would allow me to make my own appointments 24 hours a day. Not even because you ought to know how difficult it is for me to find time to call you. No, Person Whose Job It Is To Call Me Back, the reason I find it so incomprehensible is this:
A little boy with scarred brain tissue needs some help. The help is most effective the soonest it can possibly be given — time that is measured in days, not weeks or months.
You are the gatekeeper to that help. And yet, through your laziness or incompetency you are denying him access. In some cases, you are literally sentencing him to more suffering.
So I guess what I'm really saying, Person Whose Job It Is To Call Me Back, is, unless you are currently being dragged away by stampeding rhinos, you really need to pick up the phone and call me. Like, right freaking now.
The Lady Who Will Never Learn
I hope you found this rant cathartic! Feel free to share using the icon buttons below and if you haven't subscribed to my RSS feed, liked me on Facebook or followed me on Twitter, there's no time like the present! Oh, and the AWESOME board book Dark & Light: A Love Story in Black and White is available here and all profits go towards my son's medical needs.