Maybe I’ll wait for another Groupon.

Juanita has only seen two dentists in her entire life. Meaning: she went to a dentist as a kid, then when she became an adult she got a new dentist. And she still goes to that office.

Well, okay, so Dentist 2 has since retired. But his younger female companion with whom he has an indeterminate relationship took over his practice so basically it’s been the same person.

In contrast, I’ve seen about 739 dentists – a victim of moving to multiple states and having multiple insurances (and, when I wasn’t insured, multiple Groupons).

Long story short, I booked an appointment with a new dentist today, and the experience has left me a little hesitant.

It started off great. Barb (not her real name) was initially super friendly on the phone. We got past the “yes I can schedule an appointment for you” and “what is your first and last name?” phase quickly but immediately hit a roadblock.

Barb: Is your phone number xxxxxx?
Julie: Oh, um, no.
B: Oh.
Long pause
B: Just a second
<muffled talking in the background>
<more muffled talking>
B: Huh. That’s weird.
<more muffled talking>
Woman in background: verify the date of birth!
What the hell is going on?
B: Your date of birth?
J: xxxxxxx
B: And your name was… xxxxx?
J: Um, yes…
<more muffled talking>
B: Can I put you on hold?
J: Uh, sure.
<complete silence for about a minute>
Am I on some sort of Dental Watch List? What is going on?
B: Can I get your address?
J: xxxxx, xxxxx, Missouri, 55555
B: What’s the ZIP code?
It’s what I just said
J: 55555
B: Uh, when can you come in?
J: I’m flexible. Any day, preferably before noon. Earlier the better.
B: Oh, she can come in any day.
Who are you talking to?

B: How about July xxx?
J: Sure.
B: I have a 5:00? Is that too early?
J: Oh, I’m sorry. I can’t that late. I work in the evenings. Preferably before noon, if possible.
Didn’t I just say that?
B: Oh, ok.
B: She can’t do evenings!
B: She says before noon.
J: Yes, please.
You weren’t talking to me, were you?
B: Can I put you on hold?
J: Uh, sure.
<complete silence for another minute or so>
B: How about 1:00? I have a 1:00 on xx. Does that work?
J: Um, okay, sure. That’ll work.
B: Okay, great! We’ll see you then!


In all fairness, “Barb” was not listed on the office’s website as an employee, so maybe she’s new at working in a dental office.

And possibly at operating a telephone.

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