What Fuckery is This?

Nancy calls her dentist. “Hi. I’m sick today, and I may be sick tomorrow, so I’m cancelling my appointment at three tomorrow afternoon. You know, in case I can’t make it.”

Nancy canceled because she didn’t want to chance incurring a charge.

How many times have we been in that situation? We made an appointment with a doctor or dentist, and for some reason, we couldn’t make it. We didn’t forget. We just couldn’t get there. We ran into an accident on the freeway. It was twenty below zero and our car wouldn’t start. We woke up with a cold or flu. Our employer docks us vacation time for medical appointments, and we found out we had none left.

We were then punished by being charged for missing the appointment. In effect, we paid for a service we didn’t receive because someone got pissy.

The American Medical Association has opined that it is ethical for physicians to charge for missed appointments, or for appointments not canceled at least 24 hours in advance, if patients are fully advised of the possibility of such charges. -http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/712367_2

When did this bullshit start? I can’t remember, but I know this wasn’t possible some years ago and then suddenly it was. 

Doesn’t this strike you as the height of wrong?

Granted, their time is worth money, and one should always try to make their appointment, but shit happens. Circumstances arise. You can’t always give them twenty-four hours notice.

When I was a property manager, I got stood up again and again by people who didn’t show to see an apartment, despite telling them every time “If you can’t make it, please give me a call.” They didn’t care or they lost my number or they were drunk /stoned or they forgot or what the hell ever, but I was stuck waiting at the building, often in really cold weather, until I decided they weren’t going to make it. Then I’d drive home, my time and gas wasted.

It was considered part of doing business. It happened, you dealt with it, you moved on.

But some professions have decided they are better than everyone else–certainly better than you!–and have been given legal recourse to punish your ass if you don’t show up or give enough advance notice you won’t be there.

How many fucking times have you arrived for your doctor or dental appointment, only to be kept waiting long past the time they were to see you? One doctor kept me waiting two bloody hours! Where the hell is our recourse? Why don’t we get to charge them for the time we missed at work or the money we had to pay a sitter while we sat in their waiting rooms, reading out-of-date magazines or pissing time away on the phone? Why is their time deemed to be so much more valuable than ours?

This is just another symptom of a greedy, capitalist society, driven by the Money God, and we too often pay the price. Has it occurred to you how mean everyone has gotten in recent years? When it comes to business, no quarter is given.

The Republicans want to turn back the clock to the 1950s. That’s ridiculous, but I wouldn’t mind seeing some understanding and respect in our business dealings again. Would it really cost that much to remember we’re all people, just trying to make a living and get by? It costs nothing to be nice, and the rewards are often great and surprisingly long-lasting.

Remember the last time someone you didn’t know was nice to you? It made your day, didn’t it? That’s because it’s so damn rare these days, it stands out.

Being nice should be standard, not special.

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About Fenraven

Fenraven happily lives in south Florida, where it is really hot most of the year. Find him on Twitter, Google +, and Facebook by searching on 'fenraven'.
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4 Responses to What Fuckery is This?

  1. diannegray says:

    I only make doctors appointments when I’m completely desperate and then the day of the appointment I usually feel better (even if I’ve been sick for three weeks) – Murphy’s Law. But I usually turn up and there is no payment where I live in Oz because we have medicare. Yesterday I saw the doc twice and also had an x-ray and it cost me zero dollars (I trod on a bone one of the dogs had been chewing and they needed to make sure a sliver of bone hadn’t broken off in my foot – yes it fucking hurt). We also have free ambulance (a few dollars a year is added onto our power bills for this which is a great idea) and also free home-call doctors through medicare. It’s not as liberal as this in other states of Oz, but I love the medical services where I live. I can’t fathom anyone charging you if you don’t turn up for the appointment! Wow, I’d be very pissed off if that was the way things went here – no wonder you named this post the way you did.

    • Fenraven says:

      I swear, if I was younger and had money, I’d move. The medical industry in the US sucks. It’s rapacious and greedy, and the sick pay the price. And it’s not like we’re getting such good care. After weeks of being in pain, I’m still trying to find out what’s wrong with me. 😦

  2. A.M.B. says:

    Yes, circumstances arise, and their time seems to be more valuable than ours. I wouldn’t mind if they impose a fee on people with a history of missing appointments, but they shouldn’t do it in every case.

    • Fenraven says:

      I think we’re all in the process of getting through each day as best we can, given our recent election. If we take care of each other, we’ll be all right. We can’t let people we don’t know, who don’t care about us, divide us.

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