Friday, September 28, 2012

Requesting a Compliment

It's quiet here. 

I want to tell you about the receptionist at my dentist's office, but would that be mean?  Would it be mean to tell you that she scared my son when he was four and needed to get his teeth cleaned for the very first time?  He clamped his mouth shut and wouldn't let go of my hand.  We quickly got him a new dentist.  He didn't even make it to the dentist that day.  The receptionist did him in.

Then she kept calling me to remind me that he was due for another cleaning.  Shoot, lady, he even didn't get his first cleaning.  I kept trying to tell her nicely that he wasn't going to open his mouth in her presence.  Finally, after four calls, I was forced to tell her bluntly that she needed to take Jack off her list of patients, that I had gotten him another dentist.  He opened his mouth at the new place, no problem.  This dentist got his attention by saying, "May the floss be with you" and asking him to tell silly jokes.  The receptionists didn't scare him or try to separate him from me.

This receptionist is nice enough, really, just on that edge of pushy.  I don't mind talking to her about appointments and insurance and stuff.  I'm glad I don't have to work with her though.  Some people have no idea that they're in your face about your own business.  She had some opinions about how I raised my boy.  I ignored her.  Not her business, is it?  I am not going to be the one to tell her that she's in my face.  I just keep it simple and move onto the next room.

So then two days ago, I got an email from this receptionist.  I'm not sure if she likes me and sent it just to me or sent it to a bunch of people and made it look like an individual mailing.  The email began 'Will you write ...'  That got my attention, buttered up my ego, made me feel like I had a job in my community. 

She wanted me to write a good recommendation for her dentist. 


Well, isn't that one of those things that you just do if you feel the urge to?

I get that at other places too.  Sometimes a cashier will hand me a receipt saying, "Oh!" as if it's a surprise to her.  "You just got a coupon for 3% off your next purchase!"  Yay.  "If you fill out this survey, you'll get a code you can bring in the next time you shop."  Then she'll look at me with a sad look on her face and tell me, "Anything less that a five is a bad review."  Is there still a smile on my face?  "If you give me anything less, it's a bad review."

Oh man.  I hate those things.  I'm telling you that if I want flowers from my husband, asking for them ruins it.  Doesn't it work that way with reviews too?  Apparently not. 

But it ruins my cheerful mood most of the time.  It makes any smile or nice thing they have just said to me almost painful.  It wasn't for me.  It was for them.  Now I have to do something for them, or feel bad because I didn't.

"Your employee was adequate at communicating to me what I ordered and at handing me a bag of fries despite the language barrier."  Is that what you want me to say?  Only a five will be good enough. 

So, back to my receptionist.  The email told me that a 'crazy patient' had written a bad review of her dentist.  She needed me to write a good review so that it would cover up the bad review.  Her email said that they couldn't remove the review so they wanted to try this other method.  Hmmm.

Does she call me crazy too?  Remember, I took my son elsewhere.  I told her bluntly to take him off her list of patients.  I ignored her when she said I needed to separate more from him.  I smile at her and move into the other room to the hygienist with whom I have a rapport. 

So, I tried to read this review to see if I thought the reviewer was crazy.  I got to read the first half of the sentence, which seemed pretty sane to me.  But then I found out that I'd have to pay $17 to read the rest of the review.  Not a chance, Bucko.  So, I still don't have an impression about this 'crazy patient.'  I still have to sit with that debt the receptionist has created, that I'm supposed to write something spontaneous and nice. Will she say something about my tardiness regarding the review the next time I come in?

The problem with writing a review for them is that she would read it.  She might know it was me who wrote it.  There's no way I could be honest and say that despite my son's fears, I do pretty well with this receptionist's dentist without it sounding like a bad review.  I can't say that I didn't like the dentist that they brought in and substituted for my own dentist one time without telling me.  I can't say that I hate the television in the waiting room or that another time, a ham-fisted hygienist made my gums sore for three days with her prodding or that I hate how they took down some scenic photos when they modernized their decor.  In other words, I can't write a glowing review while telling the truth.

He really is a nice guy, I could write, but can you get past the receptionist?

Thank you for listening, jules

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