This morning I had a doctor appointment for a routine physical, but when I got there, the receptionist asked me to reschedule.
Of course I was upset. I took the day off for this. I got up early, skipped breakfast, and shaved my legs! I made this appointment a month ago, knowing that my first appointment was going to be an introduction and I would be asked to come back for the physical, so I had scheduled them both at the same time to prevent having to wait. Now I would have to wait a whole extra month to get this done. I was irritated for the rest of the day!
The thing is that I know it was my own fault. I thought the appointment was at 11am, when it was actually at 10am. When I showed up at 10:40, they had already marked me a ‘no show’ and moved on to the next person in the crowded waiting room.
I could have whined and gotten angry. I certainly felt like it. I could have begged to be squeezed in, causing the staff to fall behind schedule and resent me. Instead I took my new appointment card and walked away.
This reschedule was a consequence of my irresponsibility. I should have answered my phone when they called for a reminder. I should have listened to my voice mail. Because I don’t like talking on the phone, I usually ignore calls that come in, unless I know I want to talk to the person. I avoided voice mail because I was lazy or I figured it was a telemarketer or I thought it might be work calling me in. I did wonder later why I didn’t hear a reminder call. When I checked the appointment I had entered into my outlook calendar, I saw I hadn’t put in the time, so I assumed it was at 11. I should have realized that the 11 stuck in my head was the date, not the time. Because my head likes patterns, if I had thought about the appointment being on the 11th at 11, I would have realized that two 11s didn’t seem right. Ten am on the 11th sounds more correct.
I have been on the opposite end of situations like this. I have been an office worker dealing with people who didn’t take responsibility for themselves. More recently, I regularly deal with people who don’t read signs and coupon print and then want a discounted price. If I had thrown a fit and demanded what I wanted, it would have been selfish, childish and unfair. It may not have been possible in the first place but it would at least have been unpleasant for everyone involved and probably many people behind me.
Everyone makes mistakes. Sometimes it’s possible to have it fixed, in which case we should be very very grateful to the person who helps us out. It’s not fair for them to do that. What is “fair” is for us to fall into the order of things and get what we earn. Today I earned a reschedule because I should have kept better track of my responsibility. This appointment was for my own benefit in the first place and was a service to me by the office. My failure to show up was a waste of their time. Why should they further inconvenience themselves just because I don’t want to come back in a month?
So I am taking deep breaths and sucking it up. My emotional disorder causes this to be an even bigger disappointment to me than it should be, but at least my head knows that I have no one to blame but myself. I choose to take this as a learning opportunity. Write down appointment details. Answer the phone. Check your voice mail. Read the fine print. Take responsibility to for own mistakes. And be grateful for people who give you a help out.