However, there are limits.
Approximately 2 months ago, my husband broke his ankle. He was in another town, about an hour from our home, looking at land with a real estate agent. He fell, broke his ankle and the agent took him to the ER. He called me, and it took me over an hour to get there.
I gave the clerk my name and obviously took her away from the story she was telling her co-worker. It was quite clear that she and her boyfriend had just had a huge fight, and the co-worker just *HAD* to know all the details RIGHT. AT. THAT. MOMENT. She was quite rude to me, but I was worried about hubby and not in the mood for a confrontation, so I didn't say anything. Moments later, a very elderly and frail man walked in, frantic and almost in tears. He explained to the (now twice-interrupted and extremely pissed off about it) clerk that his wife was in the car and had broken her ankle.
Said clerk popped her gum, shrugged, and said "Well, bring her in, but we're busy tonight, so it'll be a while." Then she went back to her coversation.
The poor man looked lost. He stood there, looking at the clerk, shaking like a leaf. She finally looks back up at him and gives this big, heaving sigh. "Do you need, like...a wheelchair or something?" she asked, obviously having had her story interrupted one time too many.
The man looked at me, then back at her as she pointed to the nearest wheelchair, then turned her back on both of us.
Now, I work in the medical field, but she had no way of knowing that, so I knew how to move the lady, and I didn't mind...but, since there were plenty of nurses around, *I* shouldn't have to. The man was so frail, he probably weighted 100 pounds soaking wet, and I simply didn't see any way possible for him to lift anyone, especially when he barely had the strength to push the wheelchair out the door.
So, I pushed it out, lifted the woman from inside their Explorer, (she was tiny too, like her husband) and she was in so much pain, she could barely talk. We finally get her inside, where the clerk waves us away and FINALLY a doctor comes out to tell me I can go see my hubby.
As I was talking to said doctor, I told him about the lady and the rude clerk. He rolled his eyes, (much like the clerk), and said, "Yeah, she can be that way sometimes, but she's a sweet girl..." Then he proceeded to get back to the conversation about about my husband's ankle. He didn't want to know about the other patient, as he was getting ready to go home in 10 minutes. So, basically she was someone else's problem.
Hubby and I left shortly thereafter and the woman and her husband were still in the waiting room as we walked out the door. They both thanked me, and she, bless her heart, was still crying and in pain.
And the best part? Bitchy!Clerk was on the phone (obviously) with her boyfriend, telling him that she'd forgive him this once, but she hoped he'd learned his lesson from almost losing her!
Her co-worker was reading a book.
BAD service all the way around IMO. I can only hope if I ever get hurt badly, it'll be far, far away from that ER!