To preface, it's flu season, and the clinic is slammed. Coughs, croups, asthma, and intestinal issues abound. So instead of a regular appointment schedule, each day we have at least one provider scheduled to take care of nothing but urgent care -- basically whoever walks in off the street needing immediate care.
The provider on schedule, I'll call her Red, is a very sweet capable lady, but she can be a little ruthlessly efficient when she's overwhelmed. A woman walks in with a sick toddler and explains that she is his aunt and he needs to be seen. She has a note from the mother stating she can be present for his exam. Anyways Red takes a look, finds some minor infant issues, explains things to the aunt and sends them on their way.
An hour later, the mom calls in demanding to speak to Red. Apparently an ointment Red prescribed is ringing alarm bells in Rude Mom's head, and she needs to get to the bottom of it ASAP.
The front desk employee (we'll call her Tia, 'cause she's like a fiesty auntie) actually breaks protocol and goes back to speak to Red, who explains the situation briefly but cannot stop to talk to Rude Mom because she has at least five other sick patients in rooms. Tia relays the info and tells Rude Mom that for a more detailed consult she's either going to have to wait until Red has a minute to respond to messages, or come back in with the kid and get a time slot.
Rude Mom goes off about how she can't take off work, and Tia murmurs sympathies, stating that she has her own children and knows how hard it can be. Rude Mom does NOT care for that, and snaps back that she "Don't give a fuck about your kids, I care about MY kid and I don't want to hear your fucking problems!" She continues in this vein, getting more and more irate, until Tia hangs up the phone.
Another hour passes and suddenly I'm getting frantic phone calls. Rude Mom has managed to escape her workplace and is in the waiting room making a scene. Tia is hiding in the hallway to avoid escalating things, but I can tell she's about to lose her temper. I go up there to try and calm things down.
RM: "Hell no. I don't care if I'm making a scene, y'all deserve to sweat a little!"
Evie: "Ooookay. Well, why don't you tell me what's wrong, and I'll see if I can fix it for you."
RM: "Just bring the phone bitch out here and I'll fix it myself!" (She gestures towards the door and makes a fist.)
Evie: "I sent her on break, and I certainly won't be bringing her back up here. I'd really like to help you if I can."
RM: "Fine then, I just want to let you know that all your staff are rude bitches, and you're a rude bitch, too."
Evie: "I'm sorry you feel that way."
RM: "I JUST WANT TO KNOW WHAT'S WRONG WITH MY SON'S PENIS. I AM A GOOD MOTHER AND Y'ALL DON'T GIVE A SHIT AND THAT'S MAKIN' ME AGITATED!"
Evie: "Look, I can get you records of the visit, I can let you sit down with a nurse, or I can take you to a room and we can talk more. I don't know how else to help you."
RM: "WHAT DO I CARE? WHAT'S ONE MORE INCOMPETENT BITCH?"
Evie: "Okay, listen. If you want to come back and talk to me when you're calmed down, great. But right now you're upsetting my other patients and you need to leave." (At this point she's making threatening gestures, so I put my hand on the phone and start to dial the police.)
RM: "Oh I'm leaving. I'm fucking leaving, and I won't be back!"
Everyone heaves a collective sigh. I apologize to the other people in the waiting room, especially the children, who are looking a little shell-shocked. They all mutter that they understand and it's okay, but I feel terrible. After I calm the front desk staff down, I go back and find Tia, and tell her to take a few more minutes and get herself a cup of coffee. I go back to my desk, visibly shaken, but ten minutes later my phone rings -- it's Rude Mom.
RM: "I just want you to know that I could sue you. Those receptionists were not telling you how things really went down, and they made it look like I am a bad mother. Just thought you should know." (She hangs up. I pop two Tylenol and lay down on a couch for a while.)
Afterwards I contacted the owner and got the woman and her family banned from the clinic, but it still bothered me. I wished I could have stood up for my people better, and I hate that I let that woman make a horrible scene in our waiting room and upset so many people. In retrospect I was pretty cowardly; I was so afraid she was going to throw a punch at me or something I didn't kick her out on her ass when I should have.
Any of you guys ever felt that way? On the one hand, no one got hurt. On the other hand, everyone was upset and the witch walked away almost scot-free.
Let me know your thoughts, and stay strong!