Wanted: Common Courtesy For Miss Bird


Compassion For Miss Bird

My husband has been struggling with some pretty intense leg pain lately. He’s been through all kinds of tests, seen all of Las Vegas’ plethora of specialized doctors, and now his skeleton is getting some attention. The bone scan was scheduled for this business in town called, Las Vegas Radiology LLC. When we walked through the door, we were greeted by zombified patients with impatient stares. The reception area was a large open space with chairs facing the lifeless and frumpy secretaries. “Please sign in there,” one said. “No no no, don’t sign. I will help you in a minute,” said the other. My husband proceeded to wait for help at the counter, while Miss Needs-a-nap took 10 minutes helping Miss India figure out her job.

Picture this. The place is packed. Thank God they have Andy Griffith playing on the television cause this could be awhile. Everyone in the room faintly whistling the catchy tune trying to keep their composure. Side Door opens. Oscar’s wife, Mrs. Da Grouch, calls out in a Grim Reaper tone, “Richard? We’re doing your legs.” Poor man is walking back to see the doctor of doom I just know it. Defend yourself sir! Use your cane with all your might frail 90 year old man! Don’t let them take your legs! The door shuts, we all sigh. Que Andy Griffith.

I have a seat in one of the dirty chairs surrounding the room. You know when the armrests are shiny wood gloss, but underneath is a burial ground for dead skin cells? When the cushions are questionable and the mind can only wonder, “Oh God who died here and made that stain?” Ya, it was like that. Many butts have waited hours here listening to the office staff complain about their work schedules, and argue with patients with absolutely no common courtesy. One receptionist projects her voice like she’s at a Metallica concert with Helen Keller. This gem is unaware of her surroundings completely. She tries to speak Spanish to a patient while laughing. “You just put the name of your uh, um, father-heh? Your dad-heh? On the paperwork? Oh wait that’s French!” Oh. My. Word. Could have fooled me Pepe Le Pew. Mind blown.

We all shake our heads in unison at the abrupt, short answers people are receiving. These sleepless looking women seem to be fist fighting with the computer keys. Rough morning I’m assuming. Sweet Jesus this is annoying. Fake fingernails hitting the keyboard make it sound like they trapped an anxious cat under their desk. Let me back there! I’m sure I can at least bring a smile to these poor people waiting to receive radiation in their withering, weak bodies.

While the front desk shenanigans were commencing, I noticed a disabled woman across the way in a fancy wheelchair. She was smiling at all of us. “Wow, what a breath of fresh air in this stuffy holding cell” I thought. She begins to laugh in her corner and tells Miss India, “I just want you to know, you are such a good person.” It was met by this response, “Well, I try.” This sweet elderly woman is obviously suffering. Her body ravaged by something cellular threatening her existence. She wears a floppy hat over greasy strands of thin gray hair. Her skinny frame barely able to sit up straight in the wheelchair. There’s a purple monkey stuffed animal grasping for dear life on the back of her chair. That vehicle looks like its got the need for speed! She’s showed us how backing up is quite a pain though. Bull in a china shop this one. Poor gal. I will refer to her as Miss Bird. Like Angry Birds. Bumping into everything. Flying like the speed of….whatever you get the connection.

She soon announces to the zombie population that she needs to use the restroom. “Ma’am is there a bathroom here that my wheelchair will fit into?” The receptionist held her finger up like ET and pointed to a door in the back of the room. “It right there.” I watched Miss Bird then toggle the joystick on her speedster, back up, move forward, back up again and push 3 people off their seats. “Oh crap! You drive better than me!” I said. Seeing that the receptionists were busy perfecting their efforts to ‘try’, I got up from my chair that someone was murdered on, and opened the door for her.

I wasn’t so sure poor Miss Bird could do this alone. “Honey is there anyone that can help you?” She backed up her chair into the trashcan knocking it over in front of me. “Oh no I’m ok. Actually I don’t know what I’m doing. You’re an angel. An angel.” I put my arm under hers to secure her back in the chair. Her hands were shaking, and she was so frustrated with the lack of function her body was allowing. Feeling uncomfortable I told her to wait a moment while I got someone to assist her. I told her to knock on the door when she was through. I closed the large wooden partition, and walked up to my fate at the front desk. “Ma’am, the woman in the wheelchair needs some help in the restroom. Can you get someone please?” The receptionist glared at me and said, “Who?”

My patience was pegged. I’m gonna try this again, “You have someone in your office that is disabled. They need help in the restroom. She is weak and can’t so it herself. Can one of the nurses please assist her?” Knock. Bang. Aw dammit. Knock. Miss Bird was driving the derby in there and needed ASAP assistance from slow poke Magee in the pits. Get up out of your chair and help! Nobody moved. My husband came through the side door in that moment. Praise the Lord he still has his legs! Whew. I told him what was happening. By this time poor Miss Bird had been in the potty for about 8 minutes. Hopefully running out of gas (hehe). Not one receptionist had called for help, nor did they ask if there was someone they could call for her. Unbelievable. My husband, bless his heart, lets out his feelings and awakes even the dead skin cells on the chairs. “You mean to tell me that there is a woman in a wheelchair that needs help and you’ve waited 10 minutes, and haven’t acknowledged her?” Mrs just-walked-in-from-lunch said to him, “We are receptionists. Not emergency or medical personnel.” She rolled her eyes, and stormed out from behind her desk. Probably pissed that we interrupted her killing small animals behind the counter.

She proceed to knock on the door and asks Miss Bird if she is ok. We escaped the building with life an limb, but my blood was boiling. Because bone scan injections take a couple hours to work, we had to go back. No! Damn. We walk up to Radiation Springs and wouldn’t you know it Miss bird was outside crying. She missed the bus. She has been at this prison for almost 7 hours. Her wallet was gone, and she didn’t have 3 bucks for the ride. While my husband and I were at home we missed the small shred of common courtesy this business had left. The ladies gave her the 3 bucks, offered her a sandwich, and called around to make sure she would get home ok.

After the breakout from that horrible office, my husband and I were hungry on the way home. Famished from the torture of bad customer service. So we Roshambo’ed it and Burger King won. The gal at the register was happy, bubbly, and everyone in the establishment said, “Hello! How are you?” Whoa! Humans! Let’s get to this conclusion shall we? Why in the hell is Burger King’s customer service and courtesy better than that of an office that deals with hurting hearts, and tired bodies. Show some compassion! These people are scared, worried, withered, broken, bruised and frustrated. I understand the customer service mind wrenching anger that comes with a disgruntled customer. I get it! However, saying hello, making eye contact, and smiling shouldn’t be such a chore. Today reminded me to pay it forward and be kind to others. To remember that everyday isn’t necessarily good, but there’s something good in everyday. Thank you Miss Bird.

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