01 February 2012

stress, patience and patients

The last day of January really tested my patience.

I had applied for a half-day leave off work yesterday because I had a doctor’s appointment in the afternoon, and anyway, there weren’t any deadlines or urgent matters that had to be taken cared of at the office. For that part I was right, but it didn’t mean I would be free from stress, from work or otherwise.

First situation. I had arranged one of our drivers to fetch two of our Japanese guests from their hotel at 8:30am; it was written on his daily schedule and everything. And when I checked the time attendance system from my computer to see if he had left the office on time, well, it showed he did. When I checked again, it showed he came in at 8:40am, so naturally, I figured he had already done his assignment. Yeah right! At 8:45am, one of the guests called our Deputy General Manager saying that no one came to pick them up. I was shocked! So I called the driver on his mobile, while trying to find him in the office. I saw him before he answered, and even though I was trying to speak to him calmly, I couldn’t help showing my anger.
Driver: Yes, ma’am?
Me: Where's your schedule?
Driver (taking out his schedule): What happened?
Me: What do you mean
“What happened”? Where are the guests you were supposed to pick-up at 8:30?! (I had begun to raise my voice this time because he was acting so calm and...duh!)
Driver: But I have a schedule with another manager.
Me: Yes, but that’s at 9:30! Look at your schedule again!!
Driver: Oh! Yes, yes. (and then proceeded to literally run out of the office)
Me: Shuhada!!!

When I went back to our DGM to tell him that the driver was on his way, he asked me why he was late. All I could answer was “He forgot.” Lame excuse, I know. But what could I say? That was the truth.

Second situation. As I said earlier, I had applied for a half-day leave, and I arrived at home at 12:45pm. Since I hadn’t had lunch yet and there wasn’t anything that interested my taste buds in the fridge, I called Texas Chicken. Before I hung up the phone at 1:05, the agent told me that my order would be delivered in 30 minutes. As you could probably guess, the delivery was late. Almost thirty minutes late, in fact. From 1:35 until the time it was delivered, I kept calling Texas Chicken to follow-up, and whoever answered kept telling me “Please be patient, Ma’am” and would then explain “Your order is still in the store; there were just some problems earlier,” and then “The driver is on his way,” and finally “He should be there in a few more minutes.” When the food finally arrived, I was famished, so even though they weren’t warm anymore (I was too hungry to care), I immediately ate the chicken and fries. And then I noticed that instead of the honey biscuit I had specifically requested, they had given me an ordinary bun (which I don’t eat). Of course I just had to call up Texas Chicken for the nth time to complain, not only about the biscuit, but the coldness of the food, and their service in general. A few minutes later, their manager called me, apologizing profusely about what happened, even offering to replace the food. Hello! I had eaten almost everything! What was there to replace?! Anyway, even though I was really disappointed, at least they acknowledged their mistake.

Third situation. My doctor’s appointment was for 3pm, so I made sure to be at the hospital before that time. With Caila and Ate Cel with me, we arrived at the waiting area by 2:50pm. There were about 4 patients already waiting, so I knew that it would take a while before I would be seen. A few minutes later, one of the nurses called me to have my weight and BP checked, both of which were normal. By almost 4:15pm, I was still waiting, along with another patient before me. Suddenly, one of the nurses went out of the room and requested for a stretcher, and within minutes, the patient who had gone inside earlier was being wheeled out. Then a few more minutes later, the doctor came out apologizing to us that she had an emergency to attend to. The rest of us who were waiting figured that she would see us after the emergency, but before 4:30pm, a nurse came to us saying that the doctor couldn’t see us anymore because she only worked until 5pm, and requested us to just reschedule the appointment. The thing is, it’s really difficult to schedule an appointment with that specific doctor; my appointment had actually been for the waiting list. And I overhead one of the patients that the doctor’s schedule was full for the next 2 weeks! I had applied for a half-day leave, waited for almost 2 hours, and then...nothing?! This was not acceptable! Fortunately, we were told that another doctor would be arriving at 5pm, and although she already had appointments scheduled, there was a chance that she could also see us. Those of us who were willing to take the chance rushed down to Reception to book the appointment. The lady who I spoke with informed me that the next available schedule was for 8pm (augh!), but she told me that because of what happened, there was a chance that the doctor would see me earlier (whew!). After that, I waited again. It wasn’t until after I kept pestering the doctor’s nurse/assistant that she finally called my name a few minutes before 6pm to see the doctor (hurray!). The actual appointment took probably 15 minutes, after which I had to settle the bills (10 minutes), take a blood test (5 minutes), submit my urine sample (3 minutes), and purchase some medication at the Pharmacy (5 minutes). Now I know why people seeing doctors are called “PATIENTS.”

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