Saturday, January 14, 2012

Dial M for Moron

When we need new dental patients at school, we look through application forms that prospective patients fill out online.  Applicants can put either their phone number or email address on the form so we can contact them to schedule a screening exam. 

I went through several forms yesterday at school looking for new patients.  Some of them were automatically shoved into the "no" pile. (Seriously, if you want to be a patient at the school, why would you write "I am terrified of the dentist and have to be held down to get treatment"?)  Others I put into a "will call" pile. 

Most people, like myself, don't answer calls from unknown numbers, so I usually expect that I'll have to leave a message and then hear back later.  I left messages for about 10 patients yesterday afternoon, and got calls back from a few who made appointments.

Later that night, however, I got a strange call.

Me:  Hello?
Caller:  Hello.
Me:  Can I help you?
Caller:  Can I help you?  You called me.
Me:  (Suspecting this is a potential patient I had called) Oh, ok.  What's your name?
Caller:  (Indignant) What's your name?
Me:  (Now unsure if this is a potential patient I called or just a crazy person who dialed my number) I'm sorry...who is this?
Caller:  You call me!  What's your name?
Me:  (Laughing at the stupidity) Sir, I'm sorry, but I need to know you're name.
Caller:  (Angry) Why would I tell you my name?  You laugh at me!  What you try to do?  Sell me videos?
Me:  Ok, I think this must be a wrong number.  Bye bye.
Caller:  Yes, I think so. Bye.

Three minutes after I hung up the phone, I got a call from the same phone number.  I did not answer (fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me).  This was the message:

Caller:  Lauren?  Lauren...I'm sorry.  I'm sorry, Lauren.  Call me back.  I'll come see you at the dentist.

Number one, he still didn't tell me his name, so I don't know who he is (the number he called back on must have been different that the one he put on his form--believe me, I checked).  Number two, I don't have any appointments available for crazy patients.  I've already reached my quota on that one.

Monday, January 9, 2012


Excuse me for not blogging for two weeks.  I have been very busy with the following:

1) Playing with all my Christmas presents. 

I got some really amazing presents this year, but I'm gonna have to keep you in suspense on what they are because I need my camera card to upload the photos and, well, I'm upstairs...the camera card is's just too much work.  (Speaking of playing with Christmas presents, though--one of my friends told me that her dad made a Christmas itinerary for the family on Excel.  The Christmas Day schedule had three hours blocked out for "playing with Christmas presents."  My friend asked her dad, "Do you think we're still 6 years old and getting Lego's for Christmas?!?  We don't need time to 'play' with sweaters, new underwear, and candy."  Her dad said they could stick to the schedule or leave, so they did their best to come up with games like 'I wonder who I'm gonna re-gift this to next year' and 'Who's gonna return this for store credit.') 

2) Consoling my dental school friends over failed attempts to take the National Board Exam.

Dental students have to take 2 written exams to be licensed by graduation.  Students take the first exam (covering basic sciences) after their second year of dental school, and the second exam (covering clinical knowledge) during their fourth year of dental school.  The exams are long and arduous, and must be taken at a Prometric testing center on a computer.  Part 2 of the exam is 500 questions long and spans two days of your life.  My test this year went fine, but several of my friends had technical difficulties during the test.  For example, one friend began taking the test and after 100 questions or so, when she got to the section that requires Xray interpretation, she realized that her computer wouldn't show any images.  It is very difficult to interpret Xrays when you can't see the Xrays.  The proctor told her she was welcome to complete the test without being able to see the images, or she could reschedule.  (She rescheduled...because option A really wasn't an option, was it?)  Later that month another friend was just finishing up her studying after 4 weeks of cramming for the exam when she got an email saying this:  "Due to technical difficulties, your test tomorrow morning has been cancelled.  Please call to reschedule."  Ouch.  The worst story is this one:  My friends Lacie and James took their tests on the same day.  Lacie had finished with 400 questions (the entire Day 1 series) and was just checking back over a few questions that she wanted to review when the entire computer system at Prometric crashed.  She and James waited for 2 hours only to find that all their answers had been wiped out and they would have to reschedule and take the entire test again.  Oh yeah, and during Lacie's retake the computers crashed again.  We're basically having to start a support group for students with Boards-related nervous breakdowns.

3) Saving lives.

While driving from Abilene to Fort Worth during the Christmas holiday, Jeffrey and I (and anyone else travelling on I-20 that day) came across a huge traffic accident on the highway.  An 18-wheeler had broken through the median and hit another 18-wheeler head-on, and 15 other cars were hit in the domino effect that ensued.  No, Jeffrey and I did not heroically run out of the car and give life-saving CPR to the victims.  In fact, we weren't even allowed near the accident--we, and every other car travelling that stretch of highway were diverted to a two lane, very slick from the rain, poorly paved road that would take us around the wreck and back to the highway.  It was there that we saw an SUV slide off the shoulder of the road, over correct, spin 180 degrees, and slam into a barbed wire fence and mesquite tree.  We turned our car around and really did start to review our CPR training in our heads as we expected the worst, but by the time we got to the car, the girl who had been driving was already getting out and cursing about the damage to her car (not a nice thing to do, but a sign that her brain and vital organs were probably still intact).  We had her wait in our car with us for the police since it was raining, so I guess we didn't save a life, but we did save her from catching her death of cold, which is almost just as good.

4) Catching up on my TV shows.

I probably didn't need to catch up on my TV shows because I mostly can tell you what's going on without looking.  The Real Housewives of any given county are still not getting along.  The Teen Moms are still unsuccessfully trying to hold together family units made up of a cute baby, a hard working but inexperienced teenage mom, and a completely worthless, unshaven and unemployed baby daddy.  (But I went ahead and watched them anyway.)

5) Oh yeah, I have school.

I almost forgot about it during my long Christmas break, but school didn't forget about me.  The final countdown has begun.  I started the first day of my last semester (EVER?!) of school on January 2nd, and I've been fighting a bad case of senioritis every day since.  And so resumes the blogging...