This is going to sound kind of weird, but one morning I woke up and I couldn't see. My left eye was fine, but my right eye seemed to have basically a giant floater in the middle of my vision. I figured I just rubbed my eye too hard and it would clear up. Six hours later, it was still there, so I forced myself to endure my shift at work (I was nights at the time) and promised my fiance that I would call the eye doctor in the morning.
I was a regular customer at my local Eyeland, so as soon as they were open I phoned and made an appointment for 3:00 in the afternoon; that way I could get some sleep first. I sleep, I wake, I still can't see, so at the correct time I make my way over there. I get there a few minutes early and tell the girl at the desk that I'm there for my 3:00 appointment.
Now, bear in mind that I'm half blind as all this is going on, and I have no idea why. Outwardly I'm playing it cool, but inside I'm scared.
What happens is that for ten minutes, all four of the employees behind the counter told me that I screwed up my appointment. They were looking at the calendar, telling me I have no appointment. One of them suggested that I didn't actually know where I made the appointment and I was supposed to be at a different branch. I don't even know where there IS another Eyeland in my area -- I'd been going to that one for five years, which I told her. I also said, "This is the only Eyeland on this street, isn't it? Then my appointment was here."
After this goes on for several minutes, the guy still looking through the appointment book finds my name. "You were supposed to come in yesterday," he said, and his tone sounded like haha, I found where you screwed up, what a moron.
I was briefly thrown by this, because working night shift sometimes did funny things to my brain and for a second, I thought maybe I DID screw up. No, I realized, I didn't. "I made the appointment this morning," I said. "Why would I have made it for yesterday? I don't have a time machine!"
Finally, someone thought to ask if I remembered who I had spoken to when I called. I said that his name was Scott. All four of them promptly said, "Ohhhh," and exchanged knowing looks. So they had an idiot on the staff, but I'm the one who didn't know where or when I had made the appointment. I waited, but they never apologized.
They did, however, squeeze me in to see the doctor, who was a whole level of fail all by himself. I explained what happened, and he started examining me. He handed me that thing with which you cover your eye and read from the chart and told me to cover my left eye. I explained, again, that my right eye was malfunctioning.
"Read the chart."
"I can't even SEE the chart. It's completely covered by the blind spot."
He made this annoyed sort of noise and took back the cover thing. He continued the exam and said, "Well, I don't see anything. There's probably a tumor pressing on the optic nerve."
I was already scared, and his complete lack of sympathy wasn't helping, but to have him just say so coldly that 'you probably have a tumor' almost made me fall out of the chair. The ONLY good thing he did for me was to give me the number of a specialist I should see, and that man turned out to be a complete angel who made me a priority case and treated me with so much care and gentleness that I wanted to hug him. But the people at Eyeland almost made me a basket case before I ever got to him.
I didn't send a letter of complaint, which I have frequently kicked myself about, but I sort of had other things on my mind, like whether I had something in my head that was possibly going to kill me. (Obviously I'm still here -- it was not a tumor, in the end, but a fairly unusual disease that I didn't know I had, which irreversibly damaged the retina of my eye.)