Picture it: Sicily, 1922!
No, just kidding, more like Brooklyn, six months ago. I’d just had an appointment with my dermatologist and it was time to schedule a six-month follow up with reception and it went a little something like THIS:
Receptionist: how about March 3rd at 9:00am?
Me, to myself: that’s two days after my mom’s birthday!
Me, out loud: SURE!
I put it in my phone. Like you do.
The receptionist typed my appointment into the computer and handed me my appointment card, which I folded in half and shoved into my wallet along with my insurance and clinic cards, to keep it safe for six months.
Okay, now flash forward about six months and my appointment is coming up SOON. Super jazzed because my face has been HELL for the past week and I’m desperate for help. Like, I sprouted an actual tusk out the side of my cheek, I was legit concerned that I was becoming a warthog. It aches like a toothache and I couldn’t sleep on my side. Guys, this is some REAL SHIT. I was in PAIN and I was actually psyched to wake up at the crack of dawn to beg my dermatologist for some relief from the pain. Like, for real.
So I show up and take a number (that’s my number slip in the picture!) and wait for my number to be called to check in with reception. I dig out my insurance card, ID, and clinic card so I’m SO READY when my number comes up and I skip to the reception desk.
The receptionist looks at me strangely.
“I don’t see your appointment here.”
“My appointment is for March 3rd at 9:00. Here, I have an appointment card.”
I dig out my appointment card – I’m so glad I saved it! I’m so responsible! – and hand it across the desk.
The receptionist unfolds the card.
“Well, there’s the problem.” She spins it around so I can read it and there’s a one where there shouldn’t be a one. In the date. My appointment card reads “3/13.”
What the fuck?!?
Somehow, between TELLING ME “March 3rd” and actually TYPING IT into the system, the receptionist CHANGED THE DATE OF MY APPOINTMENT. And I, the idiot, didn’t double-check her work. So I’m here on the day she TOLD me to be here, which is -unfortunately- not the date of my scheduled appointment. Yet it is I, with my head in my hands at the reception desk, who appears to be the fool in this matter.
She takes my insurance card and advises me to sit for a while, maybe the doctor can see me today as a walk-in. I would LOVE that. I sit down at the end of the hallway where the door to the dermatology wing is, just in case they call my name. I’m right outside the door for Suite C. This isn’t my first rodeo. If they call my name, I’m gonna hear it!
And my plan would absolutely have worked… if they had called MY NAME.
Literally 45 minutes later, I hear a voice from down at reception calling for “Carrie? Carrie? Carrie… Meg-mom?”
Okay, so here’s a thing you should know: A lot of times, people who don’t know me will flip my first and last names, see my last name, think it’s pronounced “Carrie,” and thus, when receptionists call for a “Carrie,” I have to assume they’re talking about me.
I go up to the desk.
“Hi, I think you’re calling my name.”
There’s a woman holding my insurance card and looking at me like I’ve just accused her of a crime.
“Who are you?” she glares at me.
“You’re calling ‘Carrie.’ I’m Meghan Karre (I pronounce my name for her) and that’s my insurance card you’ve got there,” I explain gently.
“Oh, you’re Carrie?” she sneers.
Uh, well, NO, but for these purposes, sure. I guess I’m Carrie.
“You’ve got my insurance card in your hand,” I repeat calmly. “It says ‘Meghan K-A-R-R-E’ on it. That’s me. Is there any news from the doctor?”
“Doctor won’t see you today,” she shoves the card at me. “Come back on the 13th.”
So at this point, I hit the bricks the heck outta there. Somehow, in all of this crap, I look like a massive idiot: first, because it appears that I have gotten the date of my appointment wrong. Then, because I don’t know my own name. And for the record, NO, my name ain’t Carrie. It’s Meghan. Meghan Sara if you’re NASTY.
And look, I’m not mad at the original receptionist who told me one thing but typed in another. Everyone makes mistakes! Granted, this mistake had me sitting for two hours in the waiting room at Woodhull Hospital, but I can forgive that. It’s the woman who insisted upon mispronouncing my name and correcting me about it. That’s the really irritating part of this story. I was done with that day, and I desperately want a do-over.
Which should be in about a week, now.