Don’t Tick Off the Author

don't tick of the authorYou’ve seen it on Facebook, I’m sure: “Don’t tick off the author, or she’ll put you in her book and kill you.”

Yesterday, at the doctor’s office, someone ticked off this author. First time in a long time I wanted to start writing murder mysteries again–maybe not to kill her, but I’d certainly love to word-paint her in her true colors.

I walked into the doctor’s crowded outer office and waited in a short line to register, one couple ahead of me, one elderly lady at the window. On the other side of the window, a gum-poppin’ receptionist with a rhinestone-studded head band explained to the older woman that her insurance wasn’t accepted at this office. The girl looked barely over twenty, and to her credit, she was being as patient as she could. When she did get frustrated, she stepped away and let someone else talk with the rejected patient. Because of where I stood, I was able to see the receptionist roll her eyes to the heavens and flail her arms, but I doubt she was visible to anyone else.

The poor older woman had a hard time understanding why the only advantage she had with Medicare Advantage was to be publicly rejected and turned away. She politely argued with the girl for several minutes, explaining that the card she had was the same one they’d accepted long ago. Nothing had really changed–at least in her mind. The receptionist kept trying to explain that the card wasn’t excepted, and the woman would just gape at her. The older woman finally gave up her argument and turned away–shoulders stooped, lips tight, eyes dazed. It broke my heart to watch her leave.

But I also felt sorry for the receptionist. Imagine having to turn people away from medical attention! It’s a sad situation brought about by folks far away from here–and far out of touch with reality, but I’ll save that discussion for another time.

When I got to the window, I said, “That must’ve been hard for you, having to turn someone away like that.” I was expecting her to feel as heartbroken for the elderly patient as I felt.

Her response? “Yeah. Some folks just don’t get it.” Gum-smack. “Name?”

Is it just me, or does that seem lacking in compassion? I’m going to have to figure out how to put her in a book. I won’t kill her. A twist of fate will be far more fun.

About Linda W. Yezak

Author/Freelance Editor/Speaker (writing and editing topics).
This entry was posted in Misc., Personal, Writing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Don’t Tick Off the Author

  1. MJ Belko says:

    We have failed to pass down a sense of civility and compassion. I just read a story about a 10-year-old boy who beat a 90-year-old woman to death in her bed a few days ago. We’ve fallen over the edge as a society.


  2. Norma Gail says:

    I see it more and more often! common courteously and kindness are a thing of the past. People have no idea what God created a them to be or how He would do things. So sad!


  3. anemulligan says:

    There is a “God” mentality in medical offices that comes down from the doctor. If he carries the attitude that he’s the god of his little universe, his employees will too. I worked in medical for years. When I became an office manager, I quickly fired those in the front office with that attitude and replaced them from the retail or corporate world.


    • Maybe that’s what it is. This particular doctor isn’t like my others. Everyone seems cold and impersonal. After I finish this round, I think I’ll find another one–though I’ll have to go out of town to do it.


  4. Put her in a ring with a bull…but don’t let it be HER idea!


  5. K.M. Weiland says:

    I think you just did a good job of immortalizing her!


  6. As one who works in a receptionist position I imagine she has heard this same thing several times. That morning there may have been a staff meeting where the office manager, doctor or other powers that be insisted she be firm with this sort of patient. I don’t know how many times I’ve had to hold my tongue over injustices and if I’m not careful it could very easily make me callous. Many companies don’t allow their staff to be sympathetic in these scenarios. It’s get a tough exterior or get out. Yes, even in doctor’s offices. She could have had a really awful day, been yelled at earlier or really hates her job. i want to know why she was allowed to chew gum. Receptionist are the first thing people see when they enter an office and gum chewing is usual frowned on as unprofessional. I mention all these things to give you lots of plot options for her backstory when you get around to putting her in your book. Please pray for her. Receptionist have a hard job. We are not allowed to be sad or let the tragedies going on at home reflect in our faces. Smiling is hard work and sometimes we just slip and blurt out what’s floating around in our heads.
    cindy Huff


  7. What’s the old saying? Walk a mile in my shoes? Sounds like there were two pairs of shoes in the office that day. We certainly know what it must feel like to be in the older woman’s shoes, the young receptionist’s, well that is still up for debate. As we former receptionists know, there is a difference between being professional and being rude and insensitive. That receptionists sounds like she was veering to the latter.


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