I mentioned in my recent "Snow Day" post that the power outages from the storms of August 23 forced the cancellation of my dentist's appointment set for the 24th.
They couldn't reschedule when they called to cancel -- because their entire calendar is on computer.
But the dentist's office called back within a day or two. I was actually at home to answer the phone and I personally made the appointment for this morning.
Total turnaround from making of appointment to this morning no more than 10 days.
(Isn't this exciting so far?)
So Thursday rolls around... and the dentist's office calls back... to confirm the appointment I just made.
I can understand the need of postcards and phone calls to follow up on an appointment made six months' earlier... but for one made a week ago?
I ignored the call.
They called back Friday: If I didn't call to confirm, the appointment would be canceled. Long Suffering Spouse returned the call for me; it had been a rough week, particularly for my wife, and she left a piece of her mind behind on their answering machine.
Note that human beings seldom communicate directly anymore... even over the phone. The person making the follow up calls on the dentist's behalf is not picking up the phone when someone pulls the message off their home machine. The person making the follow up calls might not even be in the dentist's office. So you talk to my machine; I in turn talk to yours.
Whatever my wife said to the machine must have been uncharacteristically harsh: I thought I saw a couple of dagger-glares when I walked into the dentist's office this morning at precisely the scheduled time.
(This dentist has ways of enforcing punctuality. The last time I showed up late for a filling, I was told it was "too late" for painkiller.)
Long Suffering Spouse gave me express instructions to raise the issue of these overzealous follow-up calls with the dentist. And I did. After all, it was I who sicced Long Suffering Spouse on the dentist's answering machine -- not that I would have been any less cranky.
"I mean, c'mon," I told the dentist, although I'm sure it may have sounded more like uhmin kommon, "I just made this appointment a week ago."
"I know," said the dentist, "but you'd be surprised: We make appointments on Wednesday for Thursday and people forget."
I just don't think I'm that far gone. Yet.
So let me ask: Follow up phone calls -- with due acknowledgment to Roger Ebert's copyright -- thumbs up or thumbs down? I'll hang up now and wait for your answers.