Waiting

Rick Ryckeley's picture

Normally, I’m a happy kinda guy, and for good reason. Cool weather has chased the gray and black cat from the window sill back onto my lap. She takes up residence there during the winter when I write.

Our big black lab with the big black nose is acting like a puppy once again. Not bad for a puppy who’s 88 in human years.

And after 13 years, The Wife, she still loves me. I know; it doesn’t make much sense to me either, but she does. For this I’m eternally grateful. So what could possibly upset our perfect, happy little world?

In a word, our satellite has gone out. I guess another leaf blew in front of the dish.

Okay, so that’s more than just one word, but the results are the same. The Wife, she’s no longer happy.

Now, I know that in the times of economic meltdowns, weekly stock market crashes, and the ongoing housing crisis, this event may not rate at the top of the list of any world leader’s concerns. But around our house, no satellite means no Project Runway on Saturday mornings. No “Project Runway” and The Wife’s not happy – hence the crisis.

It’s almost as much of an emergency as running out of coffee or forgetting to pick up the evening’s chocolate. Something I make sure never happens. This could be the reason why The Wife has kept me around for so long.

Wednesday morning the satellite went out. I had until Saturday morning to get it fixed or my happy little home would no longer be. When called, the nice folks at the satellite company gave me two options: I could sit at home and wait for them to show up sometime between 8 and noon or sometime between noon and 5. Which would I like to do?

I told them, “Neither.” Then I gave them two options.

First, I could sit at home between 8 and 5 waiting for them to show and not make any money.

Second, they could come out after 6 in the evening. That way, I could go to work and earn the money so I could pay them.

Otherwise, I’d have to cancel my subscription resulting in no “Project Runway,” The Wife not happy, and quite possibly, my life ending as I know it.

The satellite company saw it my way.

While we’re on the subject of waiting for all the utility, cable, and satellite companies out there, here’s a little education in customer service.

The second word in customer service is service, not waiting. Having an appointment means showing up at a certain time, like 3 in the afternoon – I know, I looked it up. A range of time from 8 to noon means, “I’ll just show up whenever it’s convenient for me.” This only leaves the biggest reason why people have to wait.

Doctors.

Last time I had a doctor’s appointment, the wait was over two hours. I don’t think I’d have gotten so irritated if they’d simply said, “Just come in. Sit from either 8 to noon or noon to 5. We’ll get to you when it’s a good time for us.”

So for all you doctors out there, here’s a quick lesson in customer service. My time is just as important as yours. Actually it’s more important – because it’s my time.

You’re the one that made the appointment in the first place. If you can’t keep it or you’re going to be two hours late, you should have the courtesy to call 24 hours in advance to reschedule — just like you make me do or you’ll charge me. If you don’t, then I should be able to charge you.

Besides, the last time I checked, I’m kinda important to your business. Remember me? The patient? And patient I am not when I have to wait on you for two hours because you overbooked again. I’m the guy who’s paying all of your bills. The least you can do is be on time.

[Rick Ryckeley, who lives in Senoia, has been a firefighter for more than two decades and a columnist for The Citizen since 2001. His email is saferick@bellsouth.net.]

AtHomeGym
AtHomeGym's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/18/2007
Rick and The Other Side

of the story. Yrs ago I had Comcast. When I had problems, they got two chances to fix it. They ddn't. I fired them. Since then we've had good svc from DirecTV. Recently when satellite hookup was dropping out, we called them. They looked at our history and said "You've got ancient receivers--we'll send you new ones. 3 days later, here comes FedEx with 2 new receivers, at no charge to us. Then, a very polite, patient cust svc rep spent about 40 minutes guiding us through setup for both receivers and the new controllers. Works great! Just to say it's not ALL bad out there!

NUK_1
NUK_1's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/17/2007
Other Side of Direct TV

I bought their dish($600!) back when Direct TV first started offering the service about 2 decades ago and I have been nothing but happy with it and have never considered dropping it for another bundle from anyone else. It's been very rare that the service has ever gone out or quality of signal has dropped enough to notice, including HD signals. Count me as one very satisfied customer since the mid-90's.

BHH
BHH's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/11/2011
Wow NUK,

I can't believe yours never goes out in a rain down pour.

It seems like ours always does.

And don't even think about it in the snow.

NUK_1
NUK_1's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/17/2007
Direct TV

I've been in two different areas in PTC and maybe I've been very lucky, but it's very rare it ever goes out. Maybe once a year for 10-15 minutes at worse is all I can remember? Usually, my Comcast Internet might fail during a real heavy storm, but Direct TV might have screen pixelation for a few seconds and then back to normal. The dish does point with nothing in the line of sight like tall pines or anything else, though. My signal strength on diagnostics is about 94-96% every time I check it.

Like AHG, one time when I called about adding a HD receiver I had bought to my account, they pointed out that my second receiver in another room was kind of old and shipped a free new one, free. Hurray!

Spyglass
Spyglass's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/28/2008
I usually enjoy your columns..

But this is nothing but a bitchfest.

Better luck next week.

BHH
BHH's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/11/2011
I agree with your gripe Rick.

Satellite TV is too expensive for it to go out just as you turn it on to get a weather update when things seem to be getting nasty outside.

And as for doctors, I wait no more than 20 minutes before I approach the receptionist to advise that he missed the appointment and It'll have to be rescheduled.

Also if they escort you to the exam room and close the door as they leave, I get up, open the door and stand in the doorway or hall until they attend to my needs.

MYTMITE
MYTMITE's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/14/2008
Ditto on the doctor's visit BHH. My time is as valuable as

theirs. It is one thing if they have an emergency. Once I had made an appointment right at one p.m. because I was told this was the best way to get in right away and I had to get back to my business. When it got to be 1:15 I asked the nurse why the doctor wasn't seeing patients yet and she said he would not even be back til 1:30! When I told her why I had come at 1:00, they immediately put me in an exam room. At 1:30 I heard the doctor come in, and thought okay here we go. I, too, had left my door open and after about 5 min I hear the doctor on the phone talking about a golf date with someone. I walked down to where his office was and he was sitting back with his feet on the desk talking away. I put on my clothes, walked out, after telling the front desk that my time was more important to me than his golf game and that I would not be back. I had barely gotten back to my business when I had a call from the doctor personally where he apologized and set up a time for me to return. Needless to say he saw me immediately and I never had that problem with his office again. Sometimes you just have to take a stand.

rmoc
rmoc's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/22/2006
MYTMITE:Taking a stand against doctor delay

I agree with the rudeness of many doctors. I used a clinic off of 54 for years but got so frustrated with the delays I marched over to a new doctor on 74 South. First visit doctor was in the exam room before my appointment time and I was out in 35 mins. I will no longer put up with professional discourtesy. I actually have had the same dental office for years even though they do not take my insurance. An extra $25 bucks a visit is worth my time and they never have wasted mine.

MYTMITE
MYTMITE's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/14/2008
Amen, if enough people let them know they are not going to be

treated that way it would stop. I have no problem with a doctor taking extra time with a patient, after all I would appreciate the same being done for me if the circumstances warranted it. What I object to is overbooking to the point you are always waiting for over an hour. If we don't let them know we are not going to stand for it, it will continue.