Tuesday, August 24, 2010

misfit rampages

I'm not at a time in my cycle during which I should have any major hormonal issues (CD7, according to fertilityfriend - though it refuses to count three days of spotting before). I'm not on any rotten IF drugs. And nothing terribly rotten has happened to me lately (unless I am way more broken up about my coworker's delivery unconsciously than I am consciously - which I doubt). The fact that I have gotten way too little sleep the last few nights (because I've been staying up super-late reading) is probably contributing, but I'm not sure it explains all of it.

This morning, I went on a rampage. I was way too busy yesterday to get all my phone calls in, so this morning before I even got on the bus, I put in a call to Tep.eyac. Apparently if you call before 8:30AM, someone (a sweet and now much-abused girl named, I think, Jen) might actually answer. I asked her (for either the third or the fourth time I called about this, about once a week) whether they had my thyroid results yet. She couldn't find them. I pointed out that they shouldn't be in process on anybody's desk, as they've had them for weeks.

She said she was sorry (and she really sounded sorry), but couldn't think of anyplace else to look. I told her that all I wanted her to do was pass along the message that their failure to respond (with repeated reminders) to these tests, and Dr. L/C's continuing failure to respond to my June 15 email (despite a follow-up email and four follow-up phone calls at various intervals) indicates to me that Tep.eyac does not care about my health, which I find concerning. She said that she would, and I hope she does. I'm not usually that confrontational (despite the strong tone I take when venting on my blog), but I don't think that was me being overly b!tchy. It's the truth. They obviously do not care, and somebody somewhere ought to be concerned about it. I cannot imagine getting away with treating my clients that way, and the projects I do for them involve their work, not their health.

So then I called the blood lab. They're rotten to talk to, but competent - the reverse of Tep.eyac, if you will. They had forwarded the results on July 21. That's right, JULY. Said they would fax them out again today. So I called Tep.eyac again and told them. And said that I expected a phone call with the results today. And that if I didn't get one, I was taking the extra bottle of pills I have and upping my OWN dose by 50% tomorrow regardless (I feel as though my thyroid is still low, and that seems like a conservative adjustment). I hope that makes some impression, and at a real medical facility, it would; but I am becoming convinced that these people are truly incompetent, and not merely occasionally forgetful.

If I could get my hands on a prescription pad, I would literally be a better doctor to myself than Dr. L/C is to me. (For anyone who is interested, that is my motivation for not switching yet - I want a couple more prescriptions. Then I'm out.) Blogging gives me more information on what my treatment options really are than a medical degree and access to research materials apparently give her. Despite my clearly halfhearted approach to infertility treatment and despite the fact that this is her area of expertise, I am much more thorough about following up on treatment options. All I need is scrips for bloodwork periodically, and medicines once in a while. I don't even need radiology, because I have a much more up-to-date idea of what's going on internally than she does (when she actually looks at my chart, which is never) - for example, I now have at least one cyst on each ovary, at least 2cm in diameter each. I know, because they're hurting today.

The rampage continued at work. I have a senior colleague who has been asked to "assist" me on a personnel matter. That means (per our practice) that he is supposed to review pleadings and submissions that I draft to see whether I missed anything or whether things could be said better, and answer my questions about how the process works, and make strategy suggestions. I'm a newbie, so I can use the expertise of someone seasoned in this area to catch the things I miss, though I can certainly get the main things myself.

Instead, he has been - aggressively - trying to do my job for me. I told him no fewer than ten times that I was writing my own brief, despite his repeated comments that I was "wasting my time" on it when I could be doing something else, and that I should just send him my half-done draft and he would finish it. The offer is generous, perhaps, but the first offer is inappropriate (it's my case, and I would never imply that I should do a colleague's work for him unless asked), the second is way across the line, and all subsequent offers are harassment. He seriously made ten; a new one every time we discussed it, which was, contrary to my preference, constantly. And then, when it came time for the second pleading - he started the same thing again. And now it's the third. Although by constant insistence I can get him to let me do my own work, I do mean constant - until the thing is actually filed, he will not stop suggesting that he do it, or finish it, or redo it, or pestering me about when it will be done so he can read it. I note that he has been excessively complimentary about the work I've done on it so far - way too nice, if anything.

My boss has told him that it is my work to do, but has not gone so far as telling him that he is harassing me and should stop. Today my colleague stopped into my office in my first free minute to start talking to me about how to do our next filing (I never want to work with him again, because he hounds me so that I never have a minute's peace in my own office and I feel constantly harassed), and to my own surprise, while I was thinking about something else and not meaning to be specially aggressive, I found myself laying down the law. I told him that trying to do my work for me was inappropriate and offensive, that I would never do that to a colleague, and that I did not ever want to hear him again suggest that he would write a pleading for me unless I specifically asked. When he said, "I didn't want to make you mad," I told him that me being angry was not the point, I wasn't the problem, and his behavior was not appropriate. He seemed a little sheepish, but I have now commenced acting as though everything is normal, and I think he will too.

The thing that really annoys me about the whole thing is that I had to be that aggressive, of course - I am always polite to my colleagues and I like all of them (with this exception) and hope they like me. It's not that he couldn't see that I wanted him to back off - he commented "oh, I can see you're in the middle of something" every time he waltzed into my office and started talking for ten (twenty, thirty) minutes about something he should just have put into a two-sentence email. All of the rest of us are sensitive about someone we've dropped in to chat with having an imminent deadline or even a busy day. And he can see the cues too (I know, because he says so), but he ignores them completely.

So I feel justified in all the things I've said - I've gotten into shouting tirades with people I've dealt with in the past (customer service on the phone, usually), and I haven't raised my voice yet today. In fact, I think these are things I should have said long ago. What I don't know is why I'm finally angry enough to take on everything - and why it is that I have to be so severe just to get people to behave decently.


  1. I know how you feel on the doctor front. It was like pulling teeth to get an HSG prescription from Dr. Sti.gen. I'm just keeping some doctors on the hook to get what I want from them. I take the attitude that I know best and they work for me. That helps me maintain my reputation as a control freak. ;)

  2. Ugh, I HATE having to be "bitchy" just to get people to do their jobs. This seems completely unacceptable to me, both with your Dr's office and the colleague at work - why is it seemingly so much to ask that people do what they're PAYED to do??
    Just yesterday I had to get all uppity with a woman from the credit card company, who was giving me attitude for no apparent reason. Finally, I put my DH on the phone (I was getting nowhere) and he asked for her supervisor, who was sweet as pie and fixed our problem 1-2-3. WTF?

  3. It doesn't sound like a hormonal rage to me :). Sounds perfectly reasonable to have to get "firm" with both the dr.'s office and your colleague because you had HAD ENOUGH ALREADY. Good for you.

  4. I nearly went to Tepe.yac for my treatment but instead decided to go to Dr. S even though he is a couple of hours. Hope you get what you want from them and move on to the next Dr. that will treat you right.

  5. I don't think it was a rampage--I think it's perfectly acceptable to expect people to do their jobs professionally, courteously and competently. The fact that they can't do that is a negative reflection on THEM, not you!

  6. You are definitely hormonal, you're being completely unjustly!!! I will never understand why a rude or annoyed tone of voice works over a kind, patient one. If people just did their jobs us, mostly sane infertile women would not have to lose our minds!!!

    I have tried very hard to make Mr. JB deal with customer service people because I have no patience at all. He only has me call people when getting pi$$ed off is the only option.

    If I was incompetent as the customer service people that I have to deal with on a regular basis, I would've been fired long ago!

  7. I'm sorry that you had to show your frustration toward both your colleague and toward the doctor's office. It definitely sounds like you were justified and they weren't doing what they were supposed to. Good for you on standing up for yourself.