Guest Post: Suck It Up Buttercup… Put Some Lavender On It!

imageJolene, from Valley Girl Gone Country, is one of my closest bloggy friends, and I was delighted when she offered to send me a guest post. Im sure you’ll enjoy this as much as I do!

I’ve worked in healthcare for over twenty years. I’ve pretty much done it all, minus the whole nurse and doctor thing. Yes, I’ve wiped my fair share of asses, I’ve seen bones protruding from the skin, I’ve seen the end result of a weekend gone bad during hunting season – drinking and guns – don’t go well. Someone is just asking to get shot in their derrière! I could go on, but I don’t want to gross you out.

Needless to say, I learned a long time ago that I belonged behind the scenes, tucked away in the corner of the business office. Year after year, I worked my way up learning all that I could regarding medical billing and I loved it. I was good at it. No, I take that back. I kicked ass at it.

Sometimes our journey in life changes and, with it, so does our job. When I moved, it was my intention to find another medical billing position but there was none to be had in this small little town. I did find a job though, as a receptionist for a very busy medical office.

I’m going to be truthful.

I can’t do it. I simply don’t have the patience. Let me tell you why.

There’s just no reason to be blowing up the phone early Monday morning demanding to be seen for a damn bug bite. NO REASON. (Can’t breathe? Vomiting? ….yes…bug bite/no puss….NO)

“Have you put something on it?? Is puss spilling out of it? Man up, it’s a bug bite, put some Lavender on it” is what I would like to say, but of course I can’t. I take a deep breath and without a hint of derision I make the appointment.

See, I blame my mother. Yes, I’m going there. You know why? Because I can. Let me explain. My mother is a hypochondriac and growing up there was ALWAYS something wrong with her and if she was sick with a tiny cold she would eventually say that “she was going to die” (yeah mom NEWS FLASH we all are, but it won’t be today!) and if we didn’t give her the attention that she thought she deserved, then we were just heartless humans.

It was like the boy crying wolf, soon no one (me) paid any attention to her whining or felt sorry for her. I’d just roll my eyes and carry on. I know what you are all thinking, but come on …she thought she had a hole in her throat. She didn’t. When her brother was dying of cancer (and getting attention) she thought she might have cancer to. She didn’t.

It’s not like I lack empathy, I do feel sorry for some of the ones that truly sick. I’ve been known to shed a few tears a time or two. I just have an issue with people thinking that they are our ONLY patient. That the world must stop to attend to THEIR desperate need for hemorrhoid cream, because preparation H just ain’t cuttin’ it.

The office policy of giving us up to 24 to 48 hours to refill your prescription never pertains to those that happen to notice that they just took their last pill and NEED their script ASAP. REALLY?? You didn’t think it was necessary to call the doctor to refill your script when you saw that you had 2 pills left? No, because we are at their beck and call. By the way: calling every hour to see if it’s been done, is NOT going to make it happen any faster. NEWSFLASH: The doctor and Nurses are BUSY seeing patients!!


On Monday morning, I was about to rip the phones from the wall, and it was only 8:36am. We had been open for 6 minutes. 6 MINUTES. Again, this goes back to what I was saying at the beginning – there’s no need to be calling repeatedly for something minor (bug bite, splinter, refill on your erectile dysfunction medication) and if you are placed on hold, don’t hang up and call again, thinking that you will jump ahead of everyone else. NOPE. I remember voices. Your ass will wait: BACK OF THE LINE FOR YOU!

Please, I’m begging you. For the sake of the sanity of the poor girl working the front desk at your doctor’s office. When you see that you just received a call from them LISTEN TO YOUR VOICEMAIL and get the name of who called. Don’t call and say “Yeah, you just called me”. First, I don’t know who YOU are, secondly, I didn’t call you. AND, you may get a lot farther by starting the call with “Hello, my name is _____________ and…” (then state the reason for your call). The girls at the front desk are most likely not clinical and can’t help with the down and dirty of your issue. State your name. Keep it short and they will be appreciative.

NOW, this is for you men that are over the age of 50 and having your elderly mom call on your behalf to make you an appointment because you’re taking a nap. Shame on you. Man up and let your poor mom watch her smutty soap operas or reread 50 Shades. It’s time for you to grow up and put your big boy pants on and learn to do things for yourself.

See, I told you…. I don’t have patience.

“Smile, I’m not leaving this window until you smile”, a patient once said to me while they leaned over the partition clearly invading my space.

This person was lucky that I didn’t call security. We don’t have security …. But Billy Bob didn’t know that.

1. Don’t ask me to smile. Haven’t you heard ….smiling causes wrinkles? And just because I’m not smiling doesn’t mean that I’m unhappy or in a bad mood. I’m keeping it real. I’m not one of those happy go lucky smiling types. I’m smiling on the inside and that’s all that matters.

2. If you invade my space and try to look at my screen …you better think again. You stay on YOUR side and all will be good. Plus, I don’t want your coughy, sneezy self on my side.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m pleasant 75 % of the time (and by pleasant I mean not bitchy). It’s exhausting to smile and present a cheerful persona all day. I tried it. It wore me the heck out and that was JUST after the first week. I couldn’t do it anymore. So, I decided to just be me….not the fake, high pitched, overly happy person someone would like to strangle first thing in the morning. I was annoying myself.

I know what a lot of you are thinking “This girl clearly shouldn’t be up at the front desk.” I agree, and some of you may be in the same boat as me and are shouting “Ohhh GIRL, I feel your pain”. I just had to get it out there before I blurt it out at work and the only way to do that was write about….but I clearly couldn’t post it on my blog. So THANK YOU Suzie for allowing me to use your blog. I totally feel a lot better.

Well, until Monday anyway…

You can find Jolene over at Valley Girl Gone Country, or you can check out her Twitter @joleneVGGC or her Facebook page here.


Valley Girl Gone Country

What about you guys? Are there any things that you would love to say to the people you encounter in your job, but can’t? I’m sure Jolene would love to hear your thoughts!

6 thoughts on “Guest Post: Suck It Up Buttercup… Put Some Lavender On It!

  1. Gosh this all sounds so familiar! I work in the billing office of a hospital so I field crazy patient phone calls all day long. Before that, I did scheduling for a urology clinic. Oh the stories we could tell over bottles and bottles of wine!

  2. Having worked as a “one man” support desk for some fancy business software, my biggest frustration was the “Can’t you look into it now? It’ll only take a minute!” I explain that there are over a 1000 employees here and over 50% of them use this system and I am probably handing questions from around 10% of them each day. I stress that all the “only take a minute” problems, multiplied by 10 (because none of them can really be resolved in a minute) totals a significant amount of time. They respond “C’mon …….. it’ll only take a minute!” I have spiritual leanings and so the most appropriate response that I would love to offer is quite simply “Go forth and multiply” (otherwise short formed to FO)

  3. I’ve been self-employed for a while so I can’t chime in myself but I certainly have relatives & friends that can relate. My sister works in the medical field and just went through something like this. She actually ended up losing a job over a vicious co-worker that was spreading lies.
    She’s currently looking into a different position she’ll need to back to school for. Ah, the stories I hear over long distance phone calls…

  4. I can totally relate to all of this. I pull overnight call for a busy clinic. Try dealing with this type of silliness at night, being rudely awoken by the sound a beeper. I call back immediately and state who I am and the person that has woken me goes “Yeah?” like they are surprised I am calling. So my question is to the person who has woken me up and made me call them, and then is puzzled by who is on the telephone – exactly who the heck are you expecting at 3 o’clock in the morning? I also love the Mums that page me at 3 in the morning to tell me their child is crying and what can I (me the person that was previously sleeping quietly) do about their crying child. But actually I am really nice about it, because I figure if they feel the need to call, they are stressed and at their wit’s end (but sometimes I would like not to be so nice).
    Love the post!!!!!!!

  5. Lol I’m sooooo happy I work in IT because I don’t have to deal with all THAT. I am a nice person to others in the service industry I find.. I don’t call 1000 times or over stupid ish.. I call when things seriously seem wrong. I’m on time. I fill out paperwork quickly. I always have ID and insurance card ready. I call in advance for my meds and if I forgot well then I wait and deal without. I know ya’ll busy with hypochondriacs like your mom. Lol. My mom never took me to the doc or dentist so now as an adult, I take care of ish in a more timely, reasonable manner. Esp as a parent. I have NO patience so I try to be courteous to others time + patience in return. In IT people can get realllll snoooty – esp if their title is “Director” or “VP” – Guess what? I don’t give a Fuh. Not even ONE. My F’s are not to be given out all willy nilly and just because your title means something to YOU doesn’t mean it does to ME. You wait in order of PRIORITY. If you don’t like it, talk to my manager i”m happy to provide the information. Guess whose NOT getting yelled at? *Raises Hands*. People know to get out my face with that shiet or get CHECKED. I am one to check you in the most professional, educated manner. You won’t realize it until 5 minutes later. By then, I’m gone. LOL 🙂 I should call you for my medical bills – I don’t get them for SQUAT! It’s Monday so I’m on the same misery boat as you but take it easy – it will end soon! Have a great one Jolene! -Iva

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