General grumbling and vent over "professional" phone tag

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by gcvmom, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I called a neuropsychologist's number last Friday and left a message about setting up an appointment to have difficult child 1 evaluated. Gave our insurance info, a brief rundown on his diagnosis's and issues, etc.

    Some guy calls back from their office at 5:30pm (I wasn't home) and left a message saying they were returning my call. That's it. Nothing else.

    So I call back on Monday morning. Left another message. This time gave them my cell number too as a backup.

    Same guy calls me back at 5:00pm on Tuesday while I'm driving through the hills on a toll road. He's very brusk and fires a bunch of questions at me why I want the appointment. What school district is he in. Is this for some 504 or IEP meeting or what. I'm re-explaining why I want the appointment and he's asking me stuff like "How'd you find out about us?" in an almost nosy, or even confrontational tone. By now I'm feeling very off-put by his whole demeanor.

    Then my signal gets weak and I warn him that I may lose the call because of where I am. So he says to just call back... and I couldn't make out the rest of his words.

    So yesterday, I called back the number he called me from and left a message.

    Still no word today, so I go back online and call a THIRD number from the children's hospital website where this therapist/neuropsychologist also works (NOT the guy I spoke with) and left a message THERE, too since no live person answered the phone.

    This is VERY different from the neuropsychologist we saw last Spring, whom I had NO trouble with in reaching a LIVE body to talk to and get information from, let alone get paperwork sent to me and an appointment booked. I think that only two one phone call!

    Anyway, I have it on good word that this neuropsychologist is good, so that's the only reason I haven't given up yet and called someone else yet.

    And this concludes my griping for the day!
  2. Janna

    Janna New Member

    Geez, that stinks. I hate phone tag. Maybe he was just having a bad day or is overloaded, ya know?

    Hope you get a hold of him, and soon.
  3. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    What a pain! I hate phone tag too! I'm sorry the guy wasn't very nice. I hope you reach a friendlier voice soon and can get an appointment.
  4. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Well, what gets me is the "guy" never identifies himself by name -- just says he's from Dr. M's office, who, buy the way, is a WOMAN. Grrrr... they never did call me today.

    I guess I'll just try again tomorrow. Maybe I'll finally get through and actually get some information.
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    GRRRRR. I HATE phone tag with the "experts". Esp when they have idiots returning calls who are icky like that one was. Drives me batty. I am right there with you though. Trying to get my lab results from several weeks ago, can't get a call back from the doctor.

    Also our rx coverage seems to have changed, but no one told us about it when it was time to sign up (we can change insurance at ONE point in the year - and NONE of the info included ANY changes in coverage so I am PO'd. Second year in a row they have done this.). So I am trying to find out what the coverage really is now, and I can't get a live body through the dang phone system.

    Hang in there, if he is good you will not regret it. And if he isn't, well, we can send him a Happy Bunny Nastygram.
  6. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    It sounds to me like he's trying to fill out his database. Every patient has a computer file on them (increasingly so these days) and the information is used for many different things. Among them, the information is used to determine where/how they need to promote the business. That's why they always ask, "How did you hear about us?"

    What they SHOULD do (and what used to happen), is wait until you are there for the consult, then hand you the paperwork and a pen, to fill in the same sort of info while you wait. But you might be late, or there could be some other reason why they don't get the data logged in time. And heaven forbid that the database not be perfectly complete by the time the doctor actually sees you!

    He probably wasn't meaning to sound rude, but phone lines, especially mobile phones going in and out of range, are notoriously difficult to get a true feeling of someone's mood. He's concentrating, frowning at his computer screen and hammering out questions at you, not knowing that you're struggling with traffic and trying to concentrate on different things.

    Very annoying, especially when he doesn't call back at any useful time.

    If he calls again at a bad time, ask him for a time when a call back would be convenient (and when a real person would answer the phone!) or give him a time that would suit you better (such as tellinghim, "I'm driving in heavy traffic, I will try to get to the side of the road. PLease give me ten minutes to do so and the ncall me back."

    With all your attempts to call and never getting a person - I think it is highly likely that the office has seveal phones, but the publicised phone numbers always go to an answering machine only. Meanwhile the person is sittting there returning calls, while more messages keep piling up. It soundscrazy, but in fact is a good way to handle a workload when you are very much in demand but also need to be accessible while you deal with the string of callers.
    A charity I used to be involved with, handled the query calls this way. The social worker we had on staff was never answering her phone because she always had it set to the answering machine. meanwhile she was on the other line, making all the calls. That way she never had to interrupt a call, or cut them short because she was expecting someone else to ring. Her time was used more efficiently, and all callers who left messages did get contacted, eventually.
    There were times when I manned the phones and was very grateful for this system, especially during busy times.

    If this is what is happening here, it could mean that this doctor is very popular, and very busy. Such a person usually has office staff whose main job is to insulate the docotor from unnecessary callers.

    Just a thought.