They also call to give reminders. A few days before the appointment, the office called to remind her that her appointment was at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, July 28th.
"Wait a minute," says Mom. "The little square you gave me says it's on Monday."
"No," says the receptionist, "it's on Tuesday. It's in the computer as Tuesday."
"Oh. The little square from my last appointment says Monday." Mom is annoyed, having planned her day around this appointment, but not yet really irritated.
"It's Tuesday. It's always been Tuesday, and your appointment card must say Tuesday."
That's where Mom started to get pissed, because the woman on the phone was basically telling her that she was a liar or couldn't read. Well, it turned out to be a good thing that she didn't have the appointment on Monday, because later that day she had to take her aunt to the emergency room and Mom spent almost the entire day with her there. So in a way, they did her a favor.
But wait, there's more!
On Tuesday, Mom is planning out her day. Her aunt ended up needing to have her gall bladder removed, so she's figuring on doing her grocery shopping in the morning, then going to see her aunt in the hospital for a few hours before heading over to the dentist appointment. As she's getting ready to leave, the phone rings. It's the dentist's office.
The receptionist is trying to get her to come in at 1:00. Mom is confused, reminding the woman that her appointment is at 3:00. "I know," says the receptionist, "but we had a cancellation, so yours is the only appointment for the entire afternoon, and if you could come in at 1:00 we can all go home early."
Mom is a little floored. "No," she says, "that doesn't work for me."
"Oh." The receptionist's voice, according to Mom, takes on this guilt-trip sort of tone. "If you would only come in early, we could all leave early for the day."
My mom's a bit like me -- quite the pushover -- so I was proud of her for what she said next. "You people are unbelievable. First you tell me I have the wrong day for my appointment, when you're the ones who gave me the wrong day, and now you're trying to get me to rearrange my entire schedule so you can go home early? I have my whole day planned around coming to your office at 3:00 and that's when I'll be there. Goodbye." And she hung up.
I asked her if she was going to tell the dentist about the nonsense his staff was pulling, but she said that from what she knows of him, he won't care about the appointment day mix-up and he was probably the instigator of the help-us-go-home-early incident. In any case, she has no intention of continuing to see this dentist now that her crown has been repaired.