Let me tell you about my Saturday at Job 3. By 9 a.m. I could have used a stiff drink. And I don't drink.
I got in a few minutes early and began my routine. Put purse away, reorganize a few items on the counter to my right so it's easier for me to reach, double click on the Cornerstone program that we use, go grab money from safe, and by that time, it's usually 8 and I unlock doors and turn on phones.
Everything was going great until 7:59 when I saw this little box on the computer saying that Cornerstone couldn't connect to the server. Uh, excuse me? Panic started to rise in my throat. I ran to find the tech and asked her about it, and of course, she hadn't seen that problem before. The doc showed up at that moment so I told him about and he said he'd go play on his computer in his office and see if he could get it going.
Nope. Negative. He told me he called our computer guy and he'd come in to fix it.
So for the first hour to hour and a half, I was forced to do everything manually. I've done this once before. Technically I do it all the time in the Sticksville clinic because we don't have computers there. But this one is different. Because it's a lot busier. From the moment I turned the phones on it rang and rang. Yep, one crazy day was ahead of me.
One phone call was about a dog that the owner worried had a broken leg. Another was a gal who was concerned her puppy had parvo. Another gal spent ten minutes telling me that I was wrong after telling her that her dog had never had a Bordatella shot (for kennel cough), which was required to board her dog at some kennel in Reno. Others were calling to check on the status of their pets, and were upset that I had no idea because I'm only the Saturday receptionist. (Apparently I'm supposed to be all knowing? Missed that tweet . . . oh I don't tweet, no wonder . . .) And while I was on the phone, people kept piling into the lobby. (FYI, the dog's leg will be mended, and the puppy tested negative for parvo).
And the day started with the doc driving up to a lame horse waiting out back. With the horse, sick puppy and the broken leg, I'm surprised he still made it to his daughter's soccer game from 9 to 10. Once back, he was only in the office until noon, and then he had ranch calls all afternoon. And because of that, everyone in the county wanted an appointment. Literally.
Our computer guy came in somewhere between 8:30 and 9 and got right to work. The Cornerstone issue was fixed within half an hour. And he had one of my two reception computers working. The other computer, come to find out, had a virus. So he spent two hours or more cleaning up that computer. Unfortunately the new reception computer has to bounce to the old one in order to print. So for awhile, I could enter stuff in, but I had to manually write up a receipt. Finally the guy offered to have the computer print in the office manager's office. Even though her office is inconveniently located across our super-sized lobby, I took him up on it because it would still be faster.
Most of my appointments were patient and understanding that we had had some emergencies come in early in the morning making us behind. Only one took me up on the offer to reschedule. If vaccines were needed, I drew them up and had them ready for the doc.
For some odd reason, nearly every dog that came in had to be sedated. Usually we only do that if we're looking for foxtails up the nose or in the throat, or in a really bad case, in the ears. This of course, put the doc further behind because you have to sedate the dog, wait a few minutes, do your thing, then give it the reversal and the owner has to sit around for at least 15 to 20 minutes until the dog is awake enough to walk.
In the midst of all of this, a couple walked in asking about the status of their dog as they the doc hadn't returned their call this morning. I had give the doc his messages as I'd gotten them, but, well, shit happens. And that's what had happened. I apologized that the doc hadn't been able to call them back, but that I had given him the message, and that we'd had a couple of emergencies come in that morning and we were behind schedule with appointments, and that the doc was currently with a patient. The husband was rather rude and hollered that his appointment had started the day before. (Um, I understand that. And there's no reason to shoot the messenger.) I, of course, apologized again and told them I would find the tech and doc to see if I could relay any information. Unfortunately the other doc hadn't called this doc to inform him about this particular dog, so he was a bit clueless, but the tech told me her observations. I ran back to the crowded lobby with the phone ringing off the hook, and relayed the information. The husband was still hotheaded and said that he wanted to go in the back to try to feed his dog (apparently the dog hadn't eaten for a couple days, possibly something in his throat); I asked him to please wait a moment so I could make sure there weren't any procedures going on in the back and to see if I could find the dog so I didn't look like an idiot . . . well, more than I probably appeared to the husband. A minute later, back in the lobby I see the tech talking to the couple. She took them in the back so they could visit their dog. Turns, the husband chewed her out as well - twice. Each time she said exactly what I had. Apparently, the guy also started chewing out the doctor, who told the guy, "I'm going as fast as I can. Your dog will get treatment, that's why she's here. But at the moment I have a lobby full of patients who have been waiting as long as an hour. I can only do so much at one time." According to the tech, the guy suddenly felt like a jerk and apologized to them. In case your wondering, I didn't get an apology. Both the doc and the tech thought the guy should have apologized to me, too, though.
My lunch hour quickly turned into my lunch half-hour.
Not only did I have to deal with all of the above, but on top of that was the annoying kid. He kept running (literally) through the clinic halls to get from point A to point B. A few times he nearly ran me over, and I said, "Perhaps we shouldn't be running." Didn't stick. The tech kept hollering at him to put stuff back where he found it, and the retired doc who showed up for something actually had a smile on his face as the tech was yelling. After lunch, the kid picked up a long whip (people use them when moving livestock) and started cracking it in the lobby. I hollered his name, shook my head and told him, "That's not what we call an 'inside toy'; put it back." He then jokingly tried to say that it was an inside toy. Since he apparently had nothing to do, I said, "Trash, sweep, mop." He was confused because it's just after 1 p.m. and we're open to 4. I explained that our doc was on ranch calls, so we had no appointments, therefore, the chores I'd given him were just fine. Finally the tech and I just sent the kids home, because we had the time to do it, and they didn't need to be paid to do nothing. The kid is a nice kid, outgoing and friendly. But this kid is totally ADD and could use some Ritalin. This kid can't seem to retain anything you say, doesn't do as instructed, has the attention span of a carrot, and apparently likes to hear the cracking sound of a whip (which is probably more than I needed to know . . . but lacks the "finesse" to make the whip 'crack' each time). I'm not sure how many more weekends I can handle with this kid.
After the kids left for the day, the tech and I each just sat up front, eating a much needed candy bar (hey, better than mixing up stiff margaritas in the break room), and reveling in the silence.
I spent the gloriously slow afternoon trying to catch up on everything. I had piles with sticky notes: "entered, print receipt", "to be entered", "new patient, enter", "new client, enter", "to be charged out", and so forth. I wanted to make sure I got everything, as now, the doctors check the receipts to make sure there are no mistakes. I guess with all the new people attempting reception, there have been several. After getting that cleared, I filed away that mornings mess of files. Then went to the mailbox to see if there were checks to be entered. Oh yeah. There were. Then I helped the tech with trash and end of day cleaning. And for my last five minutes, I pulled Monday morning's files; didn't have time to get all of them though.
I left feeling like I'd been drug though a knothole backwards. Because I think I had been.