I walked into an outpatient clinic today to get a blood draw for some upcoming surgery. I was unfamiliar with this clinic but the woman at the reception desk seemed very helpful and confident as she directed me.
“Take the elevator to second floor and Room 202 will be to your right. The door will be open.”
That sounded simple enough to me. When I stepped into the phlebotomy lobby the woman at the counter was busy with someone else but there was a sign beside a stack of numbered cards that read TAKE A NUMBER AND HAVE A SEAT. BE PREPARED WITH YOUR DRIVER’S LICENSE AND INSURANCE CARD WHEN CALLED. I took my number 24 and sat down.
As I waited, people were called to the front counter by number and again into the lab by number. This didn’t seem very personal to me but I was willing to go with flow. In few minutes, my number 24 was called. The woman asked for my lab order.
“I don’t have one. I assumed that it was forwarded by the hospital nurse who instructed me to come here.”
Without a hint of empathy, apology or emotion the woman told me to go back down to the first floor and take a right off of the elevator.
“Check in there and then come back.”
When I turned right off of the elevator, the sign on the door said RADIOLOGY. I guess that the whole thing was my mistake. Any fool should know that before you get a blood draw that you should check in at radiology. The two women behind the counter were kind enough to interrupt their personal conversation to check me into radiology for my phlebotomy appointment.
As I got back onto the elevator I could not help but wonder if patients coming in for a colonoscopy have to check in at physical therapy first. At least, on the second trip to phlebotomy, I didn’t have to do the, take a number, routine. I waited only a couple of minutes before a smiling woman called my name from the lab entrance.
The friendly woman introduced herself as Felecia and chatted cheerfully while she poked around in my arm searching my vein. She missed on the first poke but pulled the needle back a little and caught the vein on second forward motion of the needle. She apologized for missing on the first poke.
The total time in the outpatient clinic for the blood draw was reasonable but, in my opinion, the machine could use some adjustment. Taking a number and doing a run around to check in could be improved upon. It could be that it was a temporary situation that was only expected to last for a few years. If so, then they could have, at least, explained and offered a little regret. A sign next the TAKE A NUMBER sign would do the trick.
UNTIL WE GET THE PEOPLE IN NEURO-THERAPY, ON THE SECOND FLOOR, TRAINED TO CHECK IN PHLEBOTOMY PATIENTS THEN ALL PHELBOTOMY PATIENTS WILL BE REQUIRED TO CHECK IN WITH RADIOLOGY ON THE FIRST FLOOR. THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE EVEN IF YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY WE HAVE SUCH OF A LUDICROUS PRACTICE.
Something like that would have helped me immensely to take multiple elevator rides with a smile.
I was going to say something to the lobby receptionist but she was busy with someone else so I left without doing so. If I was a regular at the clinic I would be more determined to point out the need for adjustment.
I did my weekly shopping afterward. This usually involves, at least, a couple of big box stores and a supermarket, in order to get the best values. Of the big box stores I typically avoid Walmart. There are normal people shopping in Walmart but there are also life forms that I can’t help but wonder exactly where they are in the food chain. Thus, I prefer not to mingle with them.
The other thing that is often annoying at Walmart is the wait in line to check out. Today I decided to brave the Neanderthal’s and risk getting my ankles run over by the handicapped persons on an electric shopping carts. I hurried into the store, went straight to my items, picked them up and hurried up to the check-out.
“Holy Shimoli! I can’t believe that there is no line at a Walmart check-out!”
The cashier smiled and took her place behind the counter.
“It’s been like that for awhile,” she said.
“Really? Is Walmart finally suffering the Kmart syndrome and everyone is shopping somewhere else?”
Her smile faded a little but she took the jab well and insisted that it wasn't the case.