Friday, October 28, 2005

Listening Skills Need Improvement

It's time to get a refill on my contact lenses, so I need to get my annual eye exam. Therefore, when I found myself in the neighborhood of the optometrist's office while running errands, I stopped by to make an appointment. I fully expected this to be an in-and-out, two-minutes-at-the-longest kind of interaction, unless they'd happened to have a cancellation and I could be seen immediately-- which is what happened last year, so you never know, right?

All hope of such ease of transaction evaporated when the conversation started as follows:

Katze: Hello, I'd like to make an appointment for an eye exam, please.

Receptionist: It's best to have one of those. Would you like to schedule an appointment?

I actually laughed out loud because I thought she was making a joke, but when I saw the blank stare, I realized that she had simply not been listening to me. Things did not improve as the conversation progressed. For example, she asked whether the exam was for glasses or for contacts. I replied "It's for both". I watched her click on "GLASSES ONLY" in the reservation system. When I pointed it out, I got the blank look again. I wonder if she was drunk or stupid or just trying to make me insane? Whichever applies, the fact remains: it took me almost 10 minutes to make an appointment for a simple eye exam. I can hardly wait until I try to get my prescription from the doctor and he tries to tell me that I can't have the prescription without buying the lenses from their office and I have to go all legal on them.



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