In Convenience

phoneI’m not exactly known for being a fan of other people.  This Modern Philosopher really likes to work the grey matter trying to figure out why others can be so damn annoying.

I had to call a medical office today to get some information about an upcoming appointment.  The person with whom I needed to speak wasn’t at her desk, so I got to chat with her voicemail.  I usually prefer this scenario because I can leave a very detailed message, and then say a silent prayer (that should make the nuns happy and keep them off my case for the moment…more on nuns in a later post) that the person will call back with what I need (and feel free to just leave it on my voicemail please).

This woman was a crafty one, though, and having lulled me into lowering my defenses, used modern technology to go for the jugular (bonus points for enslaving the machines and getting them to do your dirty work).  The outgoing message on her phone irked me so badly that I had to write it down in hopes that later burning the page would purge the memory of it from my already overloaded brain (was it Beavis or Butthead who taught me about the soothing, cleansing power of fire?).

That didn’t work, so now I’m going with Plan B…ranting about it in the blog and forcing the angry memories out onto the internet.

Her message ended with: “I will get back to you at my earliest convenience.”

Wait!  What?  You’ll get back to me at YOUR earliest convenience?  Don’t I pay your office (and, yes, I am definitely the one paying because my insurance surely doesn’t pay for anything lately!) to provide a service at MY convenience?

Where does she get off leaving a message like that?  Has the world become that lazy?  Have people actually devolved to a point where they believe they only have to do their jobs when it’s convenient for them, rather than for the customer?  How do I get a gig like that?  I’d love to only tackle my seemingly endless pile of work-related problems when it fit my mood.  That would be a very short, very stress-free work day.

The cynical New Yorker in me (I don’t know how he got in there, but I can’t find a priest willing to do the exorcism to get him out of there) believes this woman left that message thinking she was saying something nice, and has no clue what it actually conveys.

This Modern Philosopher isn’t quite sure.  The situation requires some deep thought.  Perhaps when I go to that appointment, I’ll confront the woman and ask her flat out.  I probably won’t, though.  Can’t let her know she’s gotten to me.

Well to be honest, it’s more like I don’t feel like dealing with her blank stare as I try to explain how her voicemail message isn’t very customer friendly.

Why do I even sweat these things?  What does it matter?  Do I let things get to me simply to have an excuse to burn a large stack of paper at the end of every day?

I’m sending these thoughts out into the internet now to free up some space in my brain.  You know, so I can obsess about something even more ridiculous tomorrow.

Thanks for reading.   Please let me know what you think.  At your earliest convenience, of course…

About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
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35 Responses to In Convenience

  1. Commenting at my earliest convenience – I like the cynical New Yorker in you. You must like him too, and not find a priest to get it out of you 🙂

  2. You know, several of my former peers in a prior career used to say the exact thing on their voice mails. Inside I would react just like you…until I realized the problem. Most of them were genuinely nice people, but they’d gotten into their heads somewhere along the way that using big words made them sound “more professional” or “more intelligent”. I think they heard someone else say it and thought it sounded good and “borrowed” it. Either that or they borrowed a thesaurus and did it themselves. Either way, they didn’t take context or sensitivity to the message they might actually be sending into account. (And even knowing all this…it still irritates the heck out of me.)

  3. mainefarmergirl says:

    I’ve penciled 42 seconds into my hectic schedule today to respond to this post.
    I was lucky enough to witness a man throw paperwork at a volunteer tax aide yesterday at the library because he was taking too long assisting others. I laid awake last night wondering why I didn’t speak up and ask Mr Cranky Pants Paper Thrower when the last time he volunteered HIS time was…some peoples kids. Ugh :/

    • Perhaps there was a reason you didn’t speak up at the time. We all seem to have an inner time delay that keeps us from blurting out just anything to strangers. I’m not sure if you know this, but I have a very hard time talking to total strangers. If I had witnessed such behavior, I don’t think I would’ve been able to say anything. I’m sure I would’ve thought of something quite witty, though.

  4. Typehype says:

    How I got to this post was I clicked “sarcasm” under the Categories list. I was in the mood for a post just like this. Sarcasm is cynicism’s evil twin. Out in L.A. I got blank stares from people at parties, just because of my inner New Yorker cynical stuff. I never even used a smiley face emoticon until I moved to L.A. Now that I’m back in NY, I can’t stop 🙂

  5. Austin says:

    Reblogged this on The Return of the Modern Philosopher and commented:

    This was the first real post on this blog. As you can tell, I wasn’t quite sure what the blog’s theme was yet, and just ranted on about my day. No one ever read this, so I thought I’d post it again…

  6. will get back to you on that asap or asap at my convenience

    • Austin says:

      I would expect nothing less… 😉

      • ha ha ha — what am I doing here–I am supposed to be on sabbatical–guess you are irresistable

      • Austin says:

        Aww…thank you. Feel free to go back through the early days of the blog and dig up old gems like this one. So many posts that no one ever read because I didn’t know what I was doing yet… 🙂

      • I went back to my old stuff–edited it a bit and served it up again for my new audience–anything that received less than 10 comments or likes was recycled (when I re-edited it–I shortened most to 500 words or less–I find that is all my readers can take of me)

  7. floridaborne says:

    Has the world become that lazy? Yes. Perhaps you can pay them at your earliest convenience? Or better yet, when you know they’re going to call to remind you of an appointment:

    “If you’re calling about my medical bill, I’ll pay you at my earliest convenience.”

  8. Typehype says:

    Why don’t they say “as soon as I can”? They like to depersonalize everything put down on tape or in writing. They will not use the personal pronoun “I”. They are robots. They are Devo.

  9. Wow. I once worked on phones and I woulda had it handed to me by any customer…they can be scary sometimes.

  10. Susan Sassi says:

    Sometimes people don’t understand what the words they use mean. At least that’s what I believe because if you never see them again than I can make up any meaning I like! 😃

  11. I have a dear friend is happens to be in the clergy. He has had the pleasure of hearing my confessions and problems since I was about ten. I’m not suggesting him for the exorcism by the way… My point in bringing him up is the message on his phone. “You have reached (insert title and name). If available I would have answered. If you chose to leave a message at some point I will return your call. I do warn however, that I posses a phone for my convenience not yours.” he always calls me back and quite quickly but who wouldn’t want to talk to me?
    My favorite of all however is the message on a dear friends phone “thanks for calling” yep, that’s it no name, no I’ll call you back, just ‘thanks for calling’.. I once asked her about this and she stated “I don’t want to make false promises, like I’ll call you back. Nor do I wish to pretend I’m busy. Simply I’m honest but felt like saying, I’d have answered if I had wanted to talk to you right now, was a bit rude.”
    In the professional world it’s baffling, why not a simple name, position, and leave a message…. And please no more “your call is very important to us” if it was important I wouldn’t be talking to a machine…
    Austin, you made me rant lol
    Great post

    • Austin says:

      Alison, your replies lately are like bog posts unto themselves! 😀 I’m glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for sharing your story. Very enjoyable…

  12. queenlorene says:

    HAHAHA, Austin it’s obvious that you are a newbie to the medical game called Risk. I have 7 doctors, and more ailments then I would ever bore people with. Just imagine that times 7. I have been told to “check back in a month for your labs because we probably wont call you”. You also need to shop around. I just had an Echocardiogram (just for grins, mind you, there is nothing wrong with my heart, but after cancer doctors just love to order crap), and I got a whopping 2200.00 bill for it. I have had it done for 450.00 at another place. Stupid me for not checking.

    • Austin says:

      I work for a large medical practice and was calling a specialist’s office to follow up on a referral for one of our patients. It wasn’t me who was getting the runaround, but rather the poor patient who needed to be scheduled for her problem…

  13. Pingback: Belated Blog Birthday Bash | The Return of the Modern Philosopher

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