Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Today is Wednesday

and my son is going back to school after running a high fever for the past 2 days.

I took the Motrin into the school nurse and asked if the Dr's office had faxed over the form for the meds since they weren't prescribed. Nope. Then I explained to her how I had called Monday afternoon and asked if someone could fax the form to the dr's office so that the dr could sign and fax it back - since I thought Peanut was going to school yesterday - only to find out nothing had happened and I had even given them an unintended extra day since I decided not to send Peanut to school yesterday. What fun.

So I fill out the form there in the nurse's office and put the dr.s office # at the top since the nurse said that she would try calling the office to get the fax # (at the time I didn't remember it still being on the floor in my car). She saw the # and promptly asked if it was long distance then told me that if it was, they couldn't call long distance on their phones. No problem for me for as she was doing all that explaining about not being able to call, etc, I remembered that I had the fax # out in my car.

I went out to my car and got the fax # and when I came back in, handed the four-folded, bright pink piece of paper directly to the nurse who had been speaking with the administrative secretary in the office. She said "Okay, thanks, we will give this a try." Then I left, feeling exasperated at how much work was going into getting a mere medical form signed.

Oh, in that span of maybe 10 minutes, the nurse reminded me 2 times that she didn't have to do this for me, that she was doing it to be nice and that she wasn't trying to fight me about it. I don't think she was having the same conversation I was.

The best part is yet to come.

I went to my 10am class and around 10:40, I get a call from the nurse telling me that she couldn't get the fax # to work and that it was telling her it was a TDD line and such. I asked her if she tried dialing the area code, too, since it was long distance. "Yes," she said, "we tried everything." I don't know how much 'everything' one needs to try with an incorrect fax #, but hey, she's proving to me that she's not the brightest bulb in the box by now.

I asked her which # she had been faxing to. She told me it was the # that I had written on top of the form. She also told me that she had tried looking "his" (the dr.) name up in the yellow pages but couldn't find "him" in there.

Sighing in much agitation, I reminded her that the # at the top of the form had been the office #, reminding her of our conversation about her not being able to call long distance and that I had given her the fax # when I came back from my car on a bright piece of pink paper.

She told me that she didn't have a pink piece of paper.

Then she told me that I didn't tell her the # on the form was the dr's office #.

At this point I'm past my patience with stupid people mark. Was she not in her head when all of this was going on? Is this woman, who is in charge of the sick children at 2 schools, really this incompetent?

Apparantely so as she yet again reminds me that she is not obligated to do any of this and she is doing it to be nice. Then she hung up on me.


Point 1: Being helpful is doing nice things that you wouldn't ordinarily do without having to tell/remind the person you are helping that you are doing it to be nice.

Point 2: No job description is ever perfectly stated and yeah, when it comes to forms for the dr's, it is the nurse's job to make sure the proper paperwork is filled out. By me doing it, I become the middle woman and it can quickly become a game of phone tag and mass amounts of phone calls because I would have been relaying messages back and forth between the two like 2 school age kids not talking to each other. Who does this very same thing at a dr's office? The nurse.

Point 3: With that all said and done, I do realize that the way I reacted to her imcompetence might not have been the best decision, but she takes a larger portion of the blame for this one. After all, it was just a stupid form that has to be filled out just so my son can have 1 Motrin tablet before he goes to his after-school program this afternoon.

Btw, I've been in the administrative service industry since I began working when I was 17. By now, I know what unprofessionalism is and I know that your job description doesn't always neatly cover what is expected of you, yet you do what you need to do in order to get the job done.

Side note: I wonder if the nurse had a twin there with her today which would account for her not remembering anything we had discussed while I was standing right there in front of her.