March 13, 2008

Yesterday was a very bad day. The unpleasantness started with the EMG and Nerve Conduction Studies. That test is gruesome. The technician hit a spot on the front of my neck that made my whole body jerk. But that was nothing compared to when he started digging into a muscle on the back of my neck with a needle. Boy, did that hurt.

I came home with EMG “tattoos” all over my arm (to mark areas for measurement). Here’s an example:

My day went from bad to worse later in the afternoon when I called Dial-A-Ride to make a reservation for transportation to the chiropractor’s office on the 26th. You might remember that, when I called D-A-R on the 7th, I was told that the bus only goes to that area on the second and fourth Wednesday of every month. Consequently, I had to cancel and reschedule my appointments.

I mentioned that to the woman who answered my call yesterday, and she told me that I had been given incorrect information. According to her, the bus travels to that area Monday through Friday every week. After taking a few seconds to get over my astonishment, I told the woman that I would call back after contacting my chiropractor to schedule appointments for next week, since I don’t have to wait until the 26th.

I was able to get appointments for 3:00 on Tuesday and Friday, and called Dial-A-Ride back to make the reservations. This time, I spoke to Sandy. (I know her name because I asked her for it.) She told me that the only time I could get a ride on Tuesday would be at 1:00. I could feel my blood pressure rising, but managed to remain calm. Temporarily.

I explained to Sandy that I don’t get out of work until 2:00. She said there was nothing she could do, since reservations are made on a first come first served basis. I remarked it seemed to me that people with medical appointments should have priority over seniors needing a ride home from Kmart. Sandy came back with this derisive response: “We can’t call other people and tell them that we have to cancel their reservation because Stephanie B***** needs a ride. That wouldn’t be fair.”

Fair?? What about the fact that I first called to make these reservations weeks ago, but was given incorrect information that resulted in me having to cancel and reschedule my appointments, not to mention miss treatments? That’s what’s not fair.

I tried to tell Sandy that I would have had better luck with the first come first served policy if I hadn’t been given incorrect information when I called a couple of weeks ago. I made an attempt to point out that it was Dial-A-Ride’s error that caused me to miss out on being one of the elite “first served” group. But she wouldn’t listen to me. She wouldn’t let me speak. Every time I tried to get a word in, she raised her voice and talked over me.

Sandy’s sarcasm and raised voice were inappropriate and unprofessional. I wasn’t suggesting that anyone’s reservations should be canceled to make room for me. I was in pain and frustrated, and feeling helpless. I wanted somebody to help me. Instead, I was treated in an inexcusably rude manner. I will be writing a letter to the General Manager of Dial-A-Ride, and perhaps the County Executive, as well. (The service falls under his jurisdiction.)

After I got off the phone with Sandy, I had to perform the disagreeable task of calling the chiropractor’s office to once again cancel an appointment – one I had just made, no less – because of Dial-A-Ride. I was so shaken by my distasteful conversation with Sandy that I broke down on the phone while trying to explain the situation to the chiropractor’s receptionist. I was overwhelmed.

I still am.

P.S. I received the results of my thyroid ultrasound in the mail today: “Ultrasound of the thyroid showed a small cyst. For this, no treatment is necessary.”

No treatment. What else is new…

Song of the Day: Too Much to Handle by Looptroop


15 Responses to “Dial-A-Bitch”

  1. Carol said

    My gosh Stephanie, I am sorry things just don’t go your way. I wish you could find another way to get to your appointments. If I lived there I would drive you.

  2. sasha said

    Mygod, Stephanie. What a rotten person you had to deal with! You had every right to be upset. The least she could have done was kept her mouth shut and then apologize.

  3. That’s inexcusable. I think you should definitely write to the County Executive.

  4. goatbarnwitch said

    Contact Sandy’s supervisor and let the cty exec know what happened too. You deserve to be treated like a human being not a leach on on crabby person’s day. Sheesh!

  5. Bex said

    Being married to someone who had the nodule in his thyroid turn out to be cancerous, thus needing a thyroidectomy – twice, once on the left lobe, and then 2 weeks later on the right lobe, and now he has no thyroid at all and will be beholden to the pharmaceutical companies for the rest of his life because without a thyroid he needs replacement drugs forever… just be thankful your thyroid cyst does not need any treatment. But you should be ticked oyally off by that treatment you did receive today and by all means, complain … as far up as you can.

  6. Michael said

    Rudeness is an excuse not to be responsive to the needs of the client, and “nothing I can do” is the last refuge of the lazy person. Someone with a little more humanity should get Sandy’s job.

    The tattoo is kind of cool, though (although it does make you look a little like a concentration camp survivor).

  7. LeAnn said

    Your experience with Dial a B word is far too common these days. It’s as if a job requirement to be in customer service is to be able to be as rude and hateful to the customer as you can and to be sure to make their experience as miserable as possible. They must also be unable to resolve your problem and not give a damn that there is nothing they can do to help you. Please also remember to hold on after the call has ended so you can be transferred to an automated customer satisfaction survey.

  8. Sadly, there are several realities in today’s customer service world. One, the first line customer representatives are poorly educated, to the point, many of them, can hardly even read a third grade level script. Many, are foreign nationals, in this country illegally, and are being paid below a starving wage. Several keys to all of this, an inability for them to understand your clear English. An inability to respond to a simple sentence. The constant habit to continue to interrupt your conversation. Keys to service…..hang up and call back, maybe you get luckey, ask for name of supervisor on duty and call back asking for them. Before starting conversation, get their full name and customer service ID number, tell them you are writing down all facts of conversation…now start your request. Another rule, always interrupt them, if they try and interrupt you. Explain, you are the customer paying for the service…their job is to serve your customer request. Explain that your attitude is not being “personal” toward them…you are just trying to get a little help. If you act like a door mat, many times, you will be treated as such. Always be totally prepared to know what you need and what is your request, and how you are going to say it “before you call any company for service.” Another always rule, “Never” use bad lanquage or “off color words” in your phone conversation. These words in your conversation are generally the signs of a poorly educated person, on your part. This will only assist in you being treated like a third class citizen. Hope some of these tips help in the future.

  9. Jim said

    What can I say? That totally sucks. I hope complaining helps, but it seems as if so many “public service” positions provide anything but proper service to the public. You are paying for Dial-a-ride through your taxes.

  10. Jeanette said

    I’m sorry for everything you are going through right now and it sucks that along with everything else, you have to deal with incompetent people! You are in my thoughts.

  11. apwood said

    I am sorry you had such a rough time. Know that you are not alone! I just had a similar experience with Dell you can read it at http://apwood.wordpress.com/2008/02/26/why-is-dell-not-so-swell/
    (although your title is much better:)It is sad that this is more common than not. Just wanted you to know that you are not alone and my best to you! Amy

  12. LA said

    Poor dear friend. Everybody is in with excellent advice so I’ll just hold you close and pet your hair, okay? Love, ~LA

  13. Wow Stephanie: If I lived closer, I would give you a ride to your appointments. As for the ingrate secretary for DAR, definitely send a letter to her supervisor and anyone else that deals with that department. mz. em

  14. lilpunk said

    wow. i’m sorry. that lady on the phone really really sounds like a bitch.

  15. Stefani said

    Wish I could give you a ride myself! I thought that schedule was weird back when you wrote about it. Hope you get this mess straightened out. Sheesh.

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