Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Why I Hate Answering Phones

A very popular game in the ER involves seeing who can sit next to a ringing phone the longest without picking it up. Usually I'm very good at this game, but last night I made the mistake of trying to answer several phone calls.

Call #1. Exceptionally loud, high-pitched beeping of a fax being sent directly to my ear lobe.

Call #2. Very muffled, largely incomprehensible voice calling from what I can only imagine to be a combination busy train station/jackhammer testing facility. "Hello hello let me speak hello to doctor taking care of my daughter hello." Sure, let me put you on hold for a moment...

Call #3. "Hello! Hello they just put me on hold hello can I speak to doctor?"

Call #4. Some doc calling about a patient I spent several minutes searching for among the various patient tracking boards in the department, asking different nurses and secretaries about, only to find out they had been discharged hours ago.

Call #5. Another eardrum-piercing fax.

Call #6. "Hi is this 7th floor North medical step-down unit overflow?"

Call #7. [dial tone]

It's going to be a while before I try answering again.

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