Author Topic: Was this rude? Late for an appointment.  (Read 5318 times)

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Carpathia

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Was this rude? Late for an appointment.
« on: August 16, 2012, 06:47:28 PM »
I arrived half an hour early for an appointment today. One of the physios kept poking his head out of the rooms, clearly looking for his next person because he asked me if I was waiting and I explained I was seeing someone else at 4 and was just early (I was only one in the waiting room).
A woman and her husband arrived for a 4pm appointment (heard them say so to the receptionist) and sat down, just before another woman came in and apologised for being "a bit late" for a 3:30pm appointment (it was nearly ten to 4) and sat down.

The first woman got up and went to the receptionist and said (loudly) "MY appointment is at 4, and I'm not going to have to wait because somebody is late am I? Because *I* managed to get here on time and I have another appointment at 5". The receptionist said something and the woman marched back to her seat, saying (loudly) as she went "Well I hope so because *I* managed to get here on time". She then proceeded to talk to her husband saying things like "I don't see why I should miss the dentist because of other people, I'm always on time for my appointments, I'm not going to cancel because of somebody else".

The physio stuck his head out at that point and called the second woman's name, and the first woman stood up and repeated what she's said to the receptionist. The second woman made some gestures and started to say something about letting the other lady go first but the physiotherapist said "We've still got ten minutes" and took her through.

Now, I completely agree that the second woman's lateness should not inconvenience the first woman, and that medical services don't always tell late people that their time is cut short so I understand the first woman's concern about her own appointment being on time, especially as she had another one.
However, the way she went about it came off as rude to me - she was obviously making sure the second woman heard her and the emphasised "I" was obviously directed at her too, even though the woman was speaking to the receptionist or her husband, and not the second woman directly.

Was this rude? And if so, how could it have been handled better?

NyaChan

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Re: Was this rude? Late for an appointment.
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2012, 06:58:29 PM »
I think she was rude in her delivery.  She could have made the same point to the staff in the office in a more polite way.  Though I totally agree with her content - I would be really upset to show up on time for my appointment only to be kept late because someone else breezed in 20 minutes late.

Carpathia

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Re: Was this rude? Late for an appointment.
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2012, 07:08:11 PM »
I would be too, which is what started me thinking - if I was the first woman, how could I politely ensure I wasn't inconvenienced by the second woman?

I suppose it might be rude to assume the late person's appointment will run late but since that often happens, it's a real concern.

I did think that the first woman could have said to the second "Excuse me, did you have the 3:30 appointment? I have the 4pm and as I have another after that and it's getting close, would you mind if I went in first?".

Would people find that rude if you were the late person on the receiving end of the question?

SPuck

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Re: Was this rude? Late for an appointment.
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2012, 07:31:33 PM »
I think this was a could have been handled better situation but ultimately it was okay to make sure her appointment did not get run over.

Jones

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Re: Was this rude? Late for an appointment.
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2012, 07:36:08 PM »
At my doctor's clinic, the early 4:00 would have been taken back immediately and the late 3:30 would have had to wait. Other than that, I think 3:30 should have kept her tone quiet and spoken to the receptionist in a non-PA way.

wolfie

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Re: Was this rude? Late for an appointment.
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2012, 08:01:09 PM »
I would be too, which is what started me thinking - if I was the first woman, how could I politely ensure I wasn't inconvenienced by the second woman?

I suppose it might be rude to assume the late person's appointment will run late but since that often happens, it's a real concern.

I did think that the first woman could have said to the second "Excuse me, did you have the 3:30 appointment? I have the 4pm and as I have another after that and it's getting close, would you mind if I went in first?".

Would people find that rude if you were the late person on the receiving end of the question?

That leaves an opening for the 3:30 appointment to say no. I don't know what I would have done, but I would have waited until my appointment time to do anything because there is a really good chance they will take me on time so I don't need to worry about it.

Ceallach

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Re: Was this rude? Late for an appointment.
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2012, 08:48:26 PM »
Unfortunately I think she was rude because she pre-empted rudeness, so the way she went about it was wrong.  For all she knew the Dr could have planned to only give the first lady the 10minutes she was entitled to - perhaps that's all she needed.   

Instead, she assumed that she was going to be kept waiting.   I think a polite word to the receptionist about her concerns would have been appropriate, but not ranting and raving about people being late and being left waiting etc.  She hadn't been left waiting at that point!  So yes, be proactive about the potential issue is fine, but she was being rude about it and that's not ok.   It would be like yelling at the bagger at the grocery store not to pack your bags wrong before they had started, as opposed to politely pointing out a potential issue and telling them how you'd like it done.
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Outdoor Girl

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Re: Was this rude? Late for an appointment.
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2012, 09:10:55 PM »
She wasn't rude to go to the counter to let them know that she would appreciate if her appointment was on time and not pushed back by the late arrival because she had another appointment scheduled.  She was rude to be so loud about it and look pointedly at the woman who was late.
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yokozbornak

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Re: Was this rude? Late for an appointment.
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2012, 09:27:12 PM »
She wasn't rude to go to the counter to let them know that she would appreciate if her appointment was on time and not pushed back by the late arrival because she had another appointment scheduled.  She was rude to be so loud about it and look pointedly at the woman who was late.

Well said!  OP, what was the outcome?  Did she go in on time?

grannyclampettjr

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Re: Was this rude? Late for an appointment.
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2012, 09:34:14 PM »
It shouldn't have even been an issue.  Appts should never be pushed back because of latecomers, as it can have a domino effect on the entire day.

When I worked for a major weight loss company, the client would have a 5 min or so grace period.  If they showed after that, they were welcome to resched or hang out to see if the next person showed.  Or we would just have them pick out their menu for the next week and get it rung up.  Or they could wait for a different counselor that had a spot.  Many different options.  But taking someone elses scheduled time?  Nu uh. 

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Was this rude? Late for an appointment.
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2012, 09:17:52 AM »
It wasn't a dental office.  It was a physio office, according to the OP.
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KarenK

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Re: Was this rude? Late for an appointment.
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2012, 09:19:28 AM »
I agree with most here: Concern is valid, but delivery left a great deal to be desired.

I also don't have an issue with her mentioning it before it actually became an issue. If she had waited until after the late woman went in, and it became obvious that on-time woman was not going to be taken on time, then it would have been too late to rectify the situation.

WillyNilly

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Re: Was this rude? Late for an appointment.
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2012, 09:28:21 AM »
I think this is a case of its not what she did, but how she did it.  Her concerns were valid, and mentioning the concerns was reasonable.  It was the extra thick layer of passive aggressive that was unnecessary and therefore, IMO, rude. She could have gotten the same message across with a smile and no extra commentary designed to put the late comer and the staff in their place, so to speak.

Reason

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Re: Was this rude? Late for an appointment.
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2012, 09:50:12 AM »
I am not 100% sure the rules of etiquette apply much in a doctor's office. You just never know what's wrong with people and any range of behaviors can simply be a symptom of an uncontrolled illness. I find it better to reserve judgement in this case, especially since her point was somewhat valid and her apparent irritability could have been due to a vastly larger number of factors than just rudeness.

Judah

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Re: Was this rude? Late for an appointment.
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2012, 10:21:03 AM »
I think this is a case of its not what she did, but how she did it.  Her concerns were valid, and mentioning the concerns was reasonable.  It was the extra thick layer of passive aggressive that was unnecessary and therefore, IMO, rude. She could have gotten the same message across with a smile and no extra commentary designed to put the late comer and the staff in their place, so to speak.

Exactly.  On-time-lady had a valid concern, but didn't voice it appropriately.  If she had just talked, in a non-PA fashion, to the receptionist about the issue and left it at that, she would have been fine.  The whole PA "I'm talking about you but not to you" thing is rude.
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