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Thursday, April 27, 2006
That was my word of the day today.

I'm a word geek, I admit it. I love words. I like to use the ones I know for the powers of good and to seek revenge on cranky receptionists who have been rude and ignorant to me.

Woe unto them.

What bothers me is when the spoken word fails me. When I get flustered and I want to say something profound and all that comes out of my mouth is "oh yeah... oh yeah... well F*** YOU!"
This happened the other day (though I managed to avoid actually swearing) when the receptionist at my chiropractor's office was exceedingly rude. After her fourth phone call to try and sort out a problem (she was entering information wrong into her computer and getting errors in regards to my son's health care) she phoned me to say she had "fixed my problem".

I made a snarky comment back (I'd already spent half an hour on hold with the gov't to find out that the info crazy receptionist gave me was wrong and was in a snarky mood) and she said "well, I was just phoning to tell you that we fixed your problem for you. You're welcome." Click. And she hung up on me.

Now the problem with my city is that we are an oil city. As prices go up, people around here get richer and those in the service industry know that when one customer goes by the wayside, there are ten others lined up to take their place with their wallets open.

The only ones who are humble are the employers who can't pay staff enough to keep them on. Unemployment is at an all time low... employers are begging their staff to stay because there are far more jobs than applicants.

But that's just background info.

I got mad. I wrote a letter. That's what I do.

Welll.... The letter was faxed to my chiropractor's office, but Ms. Receptionist picked it up off the fax machine. So she calls.

She's mad. She says that she's going to "pass this letter on" to .... wait for it... the president of the company that I work for. Because she happens to be "very good friends" with him.

Yeah, ok lady. Let's first pretend that it's legal for you to do that. While we're smoking that dope, let's pretend that the president of the company cares that I filed a complaint with my chiropractor about rude behaviour on behalf of his receptionist.

Oh I won't pretend that I wasn't smoking mad at her thinly veiled threat, which, I might add, she left on my voicemail (yeah, that's smart... threaten to violate the privacy act on a voicemail where it's recorded). But by today, I was laughing. The voicemail - which I played to the amusement of my husband and several co-workers - also mentioned that I was rude and ignorant and that in thirty years of such-and-such admin-type career she'd languished in... no on had ever "put her through" what she'd been "put through" today by me.

What? Holding her accountable for her actions? Informing her boss that her behaviour reflects badly on him?

So today... I had a chiropractor's appointment.

The office manager (chiropractor's wife) was there to take me into the treatment room and 'discuss' the issue with me. It was obvious that she was on the side of her employee. When I mentioned that her receptionist had threatened to send my letter off to someone outside of the office, thereby violating the health privacy act... she said "oh I don't think that's what she said".

I informed her that I had it recorded on my voicemail and had listened to it several times. She didn't respond.

Then she threw in a "you say you are so busy and yet you had time to write up this letter"... to which I responded that I'm a writer, I type at roughly 75 words per minute, faster than Ms. Dumb and Dumber can talk actually (ok, I left out the dumb & dumber part) and that I'd written the letter during the half hour that I spent on hold with the government seeking information I already knew for her incompetent staff member.

In the end, I realized I was up against a brick wall. I knew from previous conversations that Chiro Wife is walking around with a big chip on her shoulder. She's anti-establishment and proud of it. She's a fighter for the underdog (as in her staff member, an underdog because of her low IQ) and she doesn't like anyone challenging her (oh I heard all about her fight with the school board because her kids were unvaccinated... she loved that fight). She made a comment that she hoped we were both big enough to get past it. I reiterated (because no, I can't let it go) that my only concern was that her staff member kept things professional.

I just shut my mouth and waited for the doctor to come in. He came in with hands raised saying "I just want to practice chiropractic, haha" and I knew right then that he just wants to let the wife fight the battles.

As I went to the front to make the next appointment, Ms. Receptionist just GLARED at me. I mean hard core glare. She put everything she had into it. Hard line, pursed lips. Steely eyes. Chiro Wife had to make the appointment for me.

I politely asked if next Tuesday at 4:30 was free. Chiro Wife said yes. Rude-Receptionist glared.

I smiled and made eye contact with both.

Oh, and could they tell me just which day that was?

May 2nd said Chiro Wife. Rude-Receptionist sighed and glared.

Thanks! I smiled and made eye contact with both.

Then I realized... harridan: A worn-out strumpet; a vixenish woman; a hag.

Look, I found a harridan. Now I know how to use it in a sentance: The chiropractor's receptionist, with her dyed blonde hair and pissy attitude was a total harridan.
  The Writing Mother
  posted at 7:50 PM

At 10:18 PM, Anonymous Kira said...

Good for you, not letting them bully you! It's gotta be hard to go back to that office.


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