Every year, someone invariably makes the comment "I can't believe it's almost Labor Day already!" and I go into a mild panic thinking of the dark winter days ahead, then try to pack in as much outdoor time and sun as I can before autumn hits. Fall usually carries a certain amount of bittersweet melancholy, a counter-balance to the feverish joy that late spring and summer bring to upstate New York. Late winter and early spring are what inspire the panic, the hardest part for me.
Living south of the equator for the first time in my life, I'm a little lost without my usual seasonal bearings. We're in the equivalent of late August here, with only a few weeks of summer left. I can tell the days are getting shorter, and last week ended with a real doozy of a rainstorm that reminded me what winter in Wellington is all about. I know I should feel that Labor-Day-is-coming anxiety, but at the same time I know Easter is coming soon with all its rebirth and spring-related renewal. It's just as hard to think about making stews in May as it was having to barbeque in December.
The reality is my heart is in two places, or maybe three or more now - wherever I've made a home for myself and my family, and wherever my family and friends are. Thank goodness for the internet, as it makes it easier for me to check the weather where you are and imagine what it would be like to drop in unannounced for a cup of coffee and whatever it is you might be baking. Happy weekend everyone, we miss you!
Before I get to the complaining, I just want to everyone to know, I am grateful, I am grateful, I am grateful.
Now that we have that out of the way, I really, really miss US customer service and specifically the people who work in medical offices in the US. Here's a conversation I had recently when trying to reschedule an appointment for Josie to another time in the day.
The hospital receptionist answered and I asked to speak to the children's ward. The children's ward person answered. I let her know my daughter had an appointment at the end of March which was scheduled right at her nap time and could I change the appointment. She replied "I just shut my system down. Do you want me to look it up?" I mentally answered, "Um, that's why I am effing calling!". Out loud I said "Yes please. I'd like to see if there are any alternate appointments." She informed me while her system was booting, that these appointments fill up quickly. What? Am I not calling two and a half months in advance?? Anyhow, she confirmed that the clinic was full that day. Oh but she did have another appointment. In MAY. And at the same effing time. "Um, do you have any appointments that aren't at that time of day? Also, we can't wait two more months to have this check up." She was seriously no help. Any maybe it's not her fault. I mean, I have no idea how often this ONE pediatrician at the hospital has a clinic but it can't be that often. I can't even ask to see another doctor.
The biggest complaint I have about this is that the staff seem to do the minimal effort. I mean, asking me if I want her to go through all the effort of starting up her scheduling computer (who knows, it might have just been a desktop paper calendar!) when that is her JOB!