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to wish the GP receptionists could manage to be civil

(132 Posts)
emeraldgirl1 Thu 25-Oct-12 11:02:51

I don't even ask for polite, or cheerful, though both would be nice.

Unfailingly they are snotty, difficult and generally behave as if dealing with patients is the most hideous task in the world.

I wouldn't moan except that I am never anything other than extremely polite (to the point of cravenness) and in addition the only thing I am ever asking them for is an appointment! I am not asking them for anything special! I accept humbly and politely that I can't see a doctor at any time vaguely convenient to me and am only ever politely and cheerfully asking them to locate the next available appointment. They ALL do it. I can only assume they must get some very difficult and angry patients and they feel the need to be on red alert? But I still don't think that has to translate to making an entirely reasonable patient feel like a latent criminal every time I call.

I am pregnant, so am ending up calling for more appointments (jabs etc) than usual. Dread it every time now.

Am sure there are many lovely receptionists out there but my surgery has hired all the stroppy and bitchy ones sad

BeyondLimitsOfTheLivingDead Thu 25-Oct-12 11:05:23

Mine are the same. one particular bitch had my little depressed sister in tears the other day angry

ClippedPhoenix Thu 25-Oct-12 11:05:42

At my surgery they're lovely and polite

could have something to do with the fact that my mate is the practice deputy manager grin

Naghoul Thu 25-Oct-12 11:06:01

People are arseholes in all professions.

I asked a woman once, 'have we met?' she said no. 'do you think you could start off by being civil to me then please?'. Fucks me right off.

I would pick them up on it I think. And if it was that bad, change surgery. And write a letter telling them why.

TennisFan42 Thu 25-Oct-12 11:06:05

YANBU! I think 95% of my conversations with GP receptionists are difficult - like you I have had quite a few over the last few months because of pregnancy. They seem to expect everyone they deal with to be stupid and difficult which then makes it a self-fulfilling prophecy because you get defensive before even speaking to them.

Tailtwister Thu 25-Oct-12 11:06:07

YANBU. Some receptionists are really awful. I once had one tell me to 'pull myself together' when I called up when I was having a suspected miscarriage. I didn't complain, but should have done.

There are however a lot of good ones out there and they get a huge amount of abuse from the general public. I do try to take this into account when I speak to them (as you do).

Overreactionoftheweek Thu 25-Oct-12 11:06:55

They spared some of them for my surgery too! So miserable.

I understand dealing with the public all day is going to be crap and stressful at times, but being arsey to everyone just increases the likelihood of abuse. I'm polite until someone's rude to me, then they get treated in the manner they're treating me.

I have to call mine today and keep putting it off!

waitingimpatiently Thu 25-Oct-12 11:07:08

I don't know one person who has ever met a nice GP receptionist. Ours are EXACTLY the same!
They all seem to think that, because they are the link between you and the doctor who will hopefully make you better, they have all the power.

ClippedPhoenix Thu 25-Oct-12 11:08:20

I will stick up for them a bit here though. They get shouted at A LOT. This is a true story...

Friend and I were walking through the park a while back and a patient stopped her to tell her about an ailment, actually she didn't only tell her, she whipped up her top and thrust her boob at her! grin

missymoomoomee Thu 25-Oct-12 11:09:36

I had one call me after my daughter died asking why I hadn't bothered to register her, when I explained she told me that I could have let them know as they were getting letters about the birth and tests she had etc, I was angry to say the least.

emeraldgirl1 Thu 25-Oct-12 11:10:21

God, tailtwister mine are not as bad as yours!!!! shock

Had one this morning being stroppy and arsey (feel a bit moany now compared to tailtwister!), sighing noisily when I said I needed to change the time of an upcoming appointment and then when I asked for the earliest available appointment with any doctor, she said, with another massive sigh, "well, the one you're trying to cancel is obviously going to be the earliest availble, isn't it?" I politely pointed out that if I could stick with that appointment, I would!!! She then laboriously went through her computer, sighing along the way, and grudgingly offered me another slot, and then got arsey again when I just asked which DR that would be with so I could note the name in my diary...

emeraldgirl1 Thu 25-Oct-12 11:11:26

missy oh, god, that is awful, I am so so sorry. sad
OK, I will stop moaning about mine now.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 25-Oct-12 11:11:30

Every GP receptionist I have ever spoken to has been at best civil, at worst rude and patronising.

It seems to be so common with GP receptionists that it must be something to do with the job, but I'll be fucked if I can work out what it is. Everyone who has a person facing job has to deal with difficult people sometimes, I don't see why GPs receptionists react so badly to it.

queenofthepirates Thu 25-Oct-12 11:13:34

My surgery too, pouts and sighs are commonplace.

weegiemum Thu 25-Oct-12 11:17:01

Don't put up with it! Complain! My dh is a GP and rudeness (in fact anything other than absolutely perfect manners) is not tolerated, it's a disciplinary offence. either complain when you see the doctor (partners in the practice are the employer) or to the practice manager.

KentuckyFriedChildren Thu 25-Oct-12 11:18:10

yanbu. my gp receptionist called me yesterday saying that she had left a message on my answer machine last week about urgent repeat bloods that need doing asap but i hadnt called for an appointment. i very politely said she cant have since we dont have an answer machine but would be happy to make the appointment now to which she got all huffy and told me i would have to wait til the 6th for a space since i was intent on wasting time! for urgent bloods. i have complained.

3littlewomen Thu 25-Oct-12 11:18:44

We have a lovely GP receptionist - live in Ireland, so we can change GPs as we wish, but we have to pay €50/60 every visit!

I recall phoning to book an appointment with our female GP as i had just found a breastlump. The receptionist had said the next appointment was next week - I said its urgent - was in within the hour. She knows usually I never request an urgent appointment... so listened when i sounded distressed (without me having to tell her what was wrong).

Missy - I am so sorry for what happened to you, the added distress when you were going through the worst possible is totally inexcusable thanks

missymoomoomee Thu 25-Oct-12 11:20:21

I complained about the receptionist that called me and they basically covered up for her, I was told that for her to apologise would be admitting liability and they couldn't tell me what, if any, disciplinery action was taken due to confidentiality. Then they offered me antidepressants as I was upset about it all. angry

EuroShagmore Thu 25-Oct-12 11:21:14

They seem to forget that we are the taxpayers paying their wages (and those of the drs and nurses) and treat patients like we are all trying to blag something to which we are not entitled!

Shesparkles Thu 25-Oct-12 11:22:06

We have lovely receptionists at our practice.
I overheard a conversation between one of them and an old bat lady a couple of weeks ago, the patient basically wanted the moon on a stick and any appointment the receptionist offered just wasn't going to do. Receptionist was bending backwards with politeness and the old bat woman ended her conversation with "and YOU are very rude", when she had very much been the rude one, it cuts both ways

Salmotrutta Thu 25-Oct-12 11:22:16

Oh dear - sounds like our surgery has commandeered all of the nice ones.


<runs away>
<pops head back in>

P.S. - I had to phone for an appt last week and the receptionist and I shared a joke!

missy and Tail - that is outrageous what happened to you angry

missymoomoomee Thu 25-Oct-12 11:23:05

Thank you 3little and emerald it was 5 years ago now, but her behaviour still pisses me off when I think about it sad

Kinora Thu 25-Oct-12 11:26:51

At my surgery the doctors answer the phone. I suppose it's to filter out people who don't really need appointments.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 25-Oct-12 11:29:04

They seem to forget that we are the taxpayers paying their wages (and those of the drs and nurses) and treat patients like we are all trying to blag something to which we are not entitled!

Like I've said, I'm no fan of GP receptionists, but it's probably attitudes like that that contribute to their need to be surly.

I work in the public sector and I pay my taxes. You don't have one over on me just because you pay taxes too. I am actually providing a service in return for my wages, and I don't owe anyone any extra favours because their taxes end up as my wages!

Patients should be treated with courtesy because they are human beings, not because they pay taxes and are entitled.

Lovecat Thu 25-Oct-12 11:29:56

We have one lovely receptionist and the rest seem to have gone to the Anne Widdicombe school of charm.

KentuckyFriedChildren I have an answering machine at home and on my mobile and am regularly left messages by Drs Receptionists saying "Mrs NotLovecat, we have made you an appointment at the urgent doodah clinic tomorrow, please do not fail to attend" - on the mobile I can at least ring them back and tell them they've dialed the wrong number (last one got astonishingly huffy with me for not being Mrs XYZ) but with the house phone unless they were the last to ring (and we get a constant stream of fake ms engineers/ppi salesmen/american timeshare calls, despite being with the telephone preference system!) I have no hope of letting them know they've called the wrong person. Which is awful, as those poor patients aren't getting their messages.

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