A young woman called our house last week to confirm my dental appointment for Friday, November 20. She spoke so fast; I couldn’t decipher all the words.
“Could you repeat that?” I asked.
Instead of slowing down, she spoke louder, but at least I could pick out the key words, “reservation…dentist… Friday…11:00…”
“I know; I have a dental appointment at 11:40 on Friday,” I said. “Is that what you’re calling about?”
“Yes,” she said. “I’m calling to confirm your reservation at 11:00.”
“Well,” I said, “I don’t know about a reservation with the dentist. After all, it’s not as if we’re going out to dinner together,” I chuckled. “But I will confirm my appointment for a cleaning at 11:40.”
I continued laughing to myself as she firmly stated, “We have your reservation for 11:00.”
I could see my little joke didn’t go over so well, so I answered back in the same serious tone, “I called last week to change the appointment time because my mother needed to see the dentist too, and they could only fit us both in together at 11:40. So the appointment was changed from 11:00 to 11:40.”
After putting me on hold for a few minutes, she confirmed my reservation for 11:40 and I confirmed that I would be there for the appointment.
On Monday, I received a text message requesting that I confirm my appointment at 11:00 by replying YES to their text. I did not confirm because the time was wrong. Instead, I called them and left this message on their answering machine: “My appointment was for 11:40, not 11:00.”
Later that day, a young woman called me back “I’m sorry about the misunderstanding,” she said. “We now have your reservation for 11:40.”
“Great; and you also have an appointment there for my mother at the same time?”
“Yes; your mother will see Dr. R., while you are having your cleaning.”
I got an e-mail from them on Wednesday reminding me that I had an appointment on Friday at 11:40. I clicked the button to confirm.
A second text message came through on my phone on Thursday afternoon. Your appointment is at 11:40 on 11/20/15 (Fri). See you then!
Well, I thought, this is getting rather annoying, but at least they finally got the time right and they are calling it an appointment now. No more trying to fancy it up by calling it a reservation.
Since when is a dental appointment a reservation? I reserve a table for dinner. I reserve airline tickets and hotel rooms. I don’t reserve the dentist’s chair. For some reason, this was annoying me more than I realize it should have.
And it wasn’t over yet. Thursday evening, someone called me at home to confirm my reservation the next day, Friday, at 11:40.
“This is the third phone call I’m getting to confirm this appointment!” I said. “I also got two text messages and an e-mail. I promise I will arrive tomorrow at 11:40, on the dot, for my dental…(I choked)…my dental…(I stammered)…my dental… (Oh, what the hell!)… reservation!”
“I’m sorry, Mrs. Vanderberg. I’ll make a note here that you’ve confirmed your reservation.”
“So no one else will be calling me? Or e-mailing or texting?”
“No one else will be calling you. You’re all set! We’ll see you tomorrow at 11:40.”
The next day, just for spite, I arrived at 11:45.