The Importance of Competence

I will not claim to be the most competent person that has ever existed....a far cry from it in oh so many ways. However, if there is one place where I struggle to extend grace and forgiveness, it is when dealing with people who don't take their jobs serious enough to do it well, or at least half-competently so that it doesn't infringe on others. I realize sometimes people are just not that bright and perhaps mediocre performance IS their best, and in those cases, where I have not been graceful, patient or forgiving in my encounters, I am truly sorry. However.....

Rewind back to last week: I made an appointment for a follow-up ultrasound to make sure the fatty tumor I've been sporting up top is as benign as they say it is. I am pretty confident it is nothing to fret over but figured I ought to at least follow-up to be sure. So, last week I made the appointment for this Wednesday, the only day I have with enough free time for such an appointment. To avoid any mishaps in date-setting (like I have recently experienced), I asked TWICE during the conversation for the date and time so that I could add it to both my calendars. I then sent an email to Kurt to check his availability to babysit and when he said he was already booked, I immediately found a friend to take Solomonkey for me. As luck would have it, the friend who was going to watch him became suddenly unavailable when her family came down with the stomach bug. I scrambled to find another willing friend and then sat back, breathing easy.....

....Until later last night when I got a call from the hospital pre-registration. Apparently, even though I did not have to pre-register for the initial appointment, they wanted to do so for this one. I willingly obliged, thinking it would cut some time from the actual appointment and speed up the check-in process. (Oh, what rose colored glasses!)

My conversation went something like this:

Registrar: "What is your last name?"
Me: "Wolf."
Registrar: "Spelled like it sounds?"
Me: "Yes, like the animal."


Registrar: "First name?"
Me: "Karen, with a K."
Registrar: "What's your birthdate?"
Me: "Five...Thirty-One...Seventy-seven."
Registrar: "Um, have you been here before?"
Me: "Well, this is a follow-up appointment. Oh, and I delivered two babies there."

She begins naming off street addresses that are not mine.

Me: "Wow, you have that many Karen Wolfs in there?"
Registrar: "Hmmmm, that's Wolf,  W-O-L-F-E, right?"
Me: "No, there is no 'E' on the end." (No biggie, I think. In the almost 12 years I have lived with this name, only a handful of registrars get it right....apparently the spelling of the animal was never a priority in school.....at least she didn't spell it W-U-F-F like has happened on more than one occasion.)

She offers up more addresses I do not recognize.

Registrar: "What's your birthdate again?"
Me: "5-31-77."
Registrar: "And you don't live at (insert random address)?"
Me: "Nope."
Registrar: "Ok, so Wolf, no 'e', and 5-41-77."
Me (now banging the phone against my head and about to call over my 5-year old to ask her how many days are in the LONGEST month of the year because I am pretty sure, unless they recently changed things, there are no months with FORTY-ONE DAYS!): "No, it's May, Thirty-First."
Registrar: "Oh, Wolf, no e, May, First." 

I cover the mouthpiece (just in case) and let out the loudest silent scream possible.....my new mantra: We all make mistakes. We all make mistakes. We all make mistakes.

Me: "No. It. Is. The. THIRTY-FIRST." (We all make mistakes.....)


Registrar: "Oh, here it is. You have an appointment on Thursday, right?"
Me (now holding back belligerence through gritted teeth and squinted eyes): "No, it should be tomorrow." I double check my wall calendar and pull up my Google calendar to be sure.
Registrar: "You live at (insert correct address), correct?"
Me (now practicing my yoga breathing: Inhale): "Yes." (Exhaaaaaaaaale)
Registrar: "I show you have an appointment Thursday, not tomorrow. Let me verify your social...."

At which point I went and bought a therapist because I didn't think a glass of wine was going to cut it!

But then, all those little frustrations in life are totally worth it, when I am given sweet pictures like Lily's latest self-portrait:

Which is amazingly accurate for a five year old (and perhaps those working in the scheduling department at the hospital system....)

Have a great day!

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