Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Dental damn 2

The shitstorm continues! I had an appointment today to see a dentist at 1:00. I arrived at the offices, way up in Washington Heights, at 12:50. I waited patiently until 1:30 -- half an hour after my appointment -- as the entire population of the waiting area changed as everyone went to go see their doctor. I watched numerous people look at my file and then put it back down and walk away. I got back in line to ask if or when I would be seeing someone. The receptionist was sympathetic and thanked me for coming up. She paged a doctor. Fifteen minutes later a cute little student dentist walked over to me. "Are you Michael?" Yes. "I'm not your dentist," she chirped. "But I have your dentist on the phone." She handed me her cell phone; the dentist was very apologetic and said there had been a scheduling error, and he hadn't known he had a patient. He asked if we could reschedule. I asked if I could just see someone who was there, but that was obviously impossible. So now I'm going back there, to that bureaucratic shithole, that dental sweatshop on 168th Street, on Thursday at 3 pm.

When I left I was so angry and frustrated I could barely talk. What a waste of my time. How can they run a medical center that way? Do they have any respect for their patients?

Fuming, I went down to Columbia to pick up a coursepack for one of L's grad school classes. I had to go to the same copy center, Village Copier, on Broadway and 112th, that we used to frequent when I worked at Columbia. To my surprise, the guy at the counter recognized me from those years and we chatted a bit. He handed me the coursepack, and as I pulled out my wallet, he said, "Don't worry about it." I tried to pay, but he insisted. It was very nice of him, and it turned my mood around. It all balances out, I guess.

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