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?