Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Receptionists (A Pejorative.)

The receptionists at the Clinica Alemana seem to have some sort of special training that other people don't get.
            Right now I'm doing some physiotherapy at the Clinica for something uninteresting and muscle-related.  Wednesday last week I had to call in sick on account of a stomach flu.
            I rang.
            "Hola. I'm Tabubilgirl. I'm a patient with your department - "
            "Oh hiiiiii Tabubilgirl.  How are yoouuu?"
            "Um… not so good - in fact, I'm calling because I have to cancel for today.  Stomach flu.  Can you please put me through to my physio - Soledad?"
            "You're in Soledad's group?"
            "Yes.  Can you put me through to her?"
            "Oh noooo. She's in the middle of a session. Don't you worry about it. I'll let her know that you won't be in, okay?   As soon as she's done, okay?  You take care of yourself!  Byeeee!"
            So I hung up and went back to my basin.  Job done.

On Friday, when I did make it in to physio, Soledad just about knocked me off my feet. 
            "Where were you?!  I didn't hear anything from you!  You need to let me know if you're not coming!!  Are you okay?  Were you too sick to call?!"
            (Note: the physios at the Clinica Alemana are amazing people.  They work to a holistic model of care that is just… at a level I'd never really dreamed possible.  And they are seriously, seriously nice.) 
            "I called in sick - the receptionist said - she said she'd say - didn't she say?"
            Soledad looked at me and squinted"Nooo!  Nobody told me anything!"
            After the session I stomped out into the reception lounge and squared up in front of Senora Helpful. 
            "Yeeees?  Can I help you?"
            "Yes."  I said.  "You can.  I'm Tabubilgirl.  I called on Wednesday?  I called in sick?!"
            She looked down her nose at me.  "And?"
            "You told me that you'd tell Soledad I couldn't come!  She never heard from you!"
            She stared at me in amazement. And said - and I quote: "Why in the world would I do anything like that?  I have better things to do than run around carrying messages to physiotherapists. "
            I goggled.
            "But… but - you offered.  You told me you would."
            And she curled her upper lip - a very refined, genteel little curl, and she rolled back her shoulders, and she turned her back on me.
            And that was that.

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