The staff at the world-renowned retina specialist clinic couldn’t decide which patient to schedule an appointment with next. “Jennifer Parker has only waited 62 days, and I still have a bunch of my best award-winning excuses to use on her,” said scheduler John Garrison as the phone rang. “Oh crap, it’s noon. She always calls now. Ignore that! We have to pick an excuse first!”
At home, Parker hung up on the dead tone once again and checked off another day on her calendar. “Perhaps day 63 will be my lucky day,” she thought, rubbing her rabbit’s foot vigorously. “You’d think they’re playing games instead of answering phones!”
As the clinic staff spun the Wheel of Patients, the needle pointed to Tom Smith’s name. Smith, who had waited 99 days for an appointment, would be the lucky patient to finally get one scheduled, while everyone else would be given the excuse of the day.
Garrison threw a dart at the dartboard of excuses. “Looks like today we will tell patients Dr. Thompson does not have available appointments because …” said Garrison, making a drumroll sound effect. “… her cat died! And to make it sound like we’re not lying, tell them it was an Ashera, really cute, blah, blah, blah. Embellish with details!”
On her 99th day, Parker was tired of waiting and calling. She had heard it all: “Yes, we’ll call you,” “Our toilet broke,” “Dr. Thompson’s second cousin’s ex-wife’s daughter had a baby,” and even “Dr. Thompson broke a nail.” She had had enough.
At noon, the staff stared at the normally ringing phone and looked at each other. “Why is the phone silent? Shouldn’t Mrs. Parker be calling us right now?!” cried Garrison, frantically dialing her number. “It’s her Day 99; I don’t have any more excuses. We must schedule her appointment today!”
As Parker picked up her phone to call another specialty clinic, Garrison was simultaneously calling her. Without waiting for her to say hello, he immediately said in a sickly sweet voice, “Mrs. Parker, this is the retina specialist clinic. It’s your lucky day — we can schedule your appointment!”
Realizing who it was, Parker knew exactly what to do.
“Toot, toot, toot,” she said, mimicking the loudest dead tone sound Garrison had ever heard, and gave the phone a middle finger.