I don't want to be perfect, just better...

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Dear Late Doctor,

This morning Princess had an appointment at the dentist to have sealants and a tooth extracted. She and I arrived at 8:15. No one was around. We waited at 8:23 the receptionist arrived. She unlocked the doors. Princess and I waited until 8:30 before we went inside. That gave her a few minutes to get things open, computer on, heat turned up...for her to get settled.

We signed in and waited. The hygienist arrived toting a cup of coffee from McDonalds between 8:35 and 8:40.

About 8:55 or 9:00, the hygienist was finished with Princess. She brought her to the front and said "The doctor isn't here. She's running late, I'm not sure what time she will get here. Most likely around 9:30."

My response was "Can you call her and see how close she is?"

"No, she ...blah, blah, blah."

"Okay, if she isn't here by 9:15 then we are leaving. I can't be around this much CPT."

I had a full slate of errands and activities and waiting for an unspecified amount of time wasn't on the list.

I received this email about an hour and a half after we left:

So sorry about the delay! I did have problems locating my keys and usually by the time {staff member} does the sealants and sets up the room I have gotten in. I have been a liitle forget ful since my husband passed though. I looked at the chart, however, and I didn't have extractions as a recommendation on {Princess]'s treatment plan so I am not sure why that appointment was scheduled. The baby teeth usually exfoliate on their own and unless there is pain or an abcess at this time we just encourage them to eat harder foods like carrots and apple,etc. I do, however, take offense to being told that our office is on CPT I feel that is a racist comment which should not be perpetuated unless as a joke. I prefer to say we are on " island time" which means patients have a more relaxing experience as opposed to being rushed in and out like an assembly line so we can make as much cash as possible. I notice that people will wait for nails , hair , restaurant seating, tickets, black friday sales etc. without saying such negative derogatory comments. I wish you good health with next dentist however.Dr. {Late Dentist}

My response:

Dr. {Late Dentist},

I am sorry about the loss of your husband; as a wife I can understand and empathize  how upsetting and disconcerting that can be on one's daily routine. However, your staff member emphasized your lateness as something that is constant not something that has just arisen due to your loss. In addition, this incident today is not the first disappointment that I and my family have had in your office.

I am not a patient person and don't believe that I should have to wait for service whether at the nail salon, hair salon, restaurant seating, tickets, black Friday sales when it is my money that is being spent. 

As a small business owner myself; lateness to me is a huge sign of lack of respect for my customers. I respect my clients, when we make an appointment that is a promise between the two of us that I will be there when they want me to discuss what they want to discuss. Especially since they are entrusting me to perform a service for them.

I also will not apologize for saying that your office operates on CPT. If you schedule appointments at8:30 in the morning then someone should be in the office BEFORE 8:30 in the morning not AT 8:30.  If you are offended by being called a person of color then I apologize. But if I wanted to operate on "island time" then I would move to an island...

Have a good day,


 Just tell me was I wrong?


  1. You are not wrong! The fact that she emailed you with a list of excuses speaks volumes about her character! And "island time"....please! My hot headed self would've seen the dentist twice that day!

  2. Oh, you were not wrong. You were MORE than kind. Seriously. I would have been beyond, beyond, beyond livid and I would have lost my snot on them. The dentist's response is a kop out and tries to chastise you for HER issues. If she can't find her keys, that's her fault. If she prefers to operate on "island time," that's her thing. YOU don't have to go by her schedule. I'm shocked you haven't left sooner! I've left other service providers for less!


  3. No were definitely not wrong. This was all on her and she should have taken responsilbility for it instead of making excuses and trying to flip it on you.

  4. *falls the fugg out laughing* I love LOVE your response!! That last line was priceless!! LOL

    Her email should have stopped at the apology. Things happen, I get that. But it's insulting when a business tries to make excuses for their shortcomings and indirectly blames the customer/client. The nerve! Admit it, apologize, and move on. Hmph! Her email insulted MY intelligence and I hope I never EVER (unknowingly) become one of her patients. In fact, please share this exchange on your insurance website or any other dentist/medical feedback websites with her name on it.

  5. The way I read this, this story boils down to:

    1. Dentist is completely unprofessional, uses that as her business model.

    2. Dentist gets called on it.

    3. Dentist says, I might be running late, but I'm going to go ahead and blame my dead husband on it . . . AND you're a racist!

    I think I got that all, right? If you can't explain your actions, go ahead and distract away from them. Your former dentist is a mess! As we say in the south, bless her heart.