I just tried to butt heads with my childhood conditioning, and lost. Stop me if this sounds familiar to anyone... Katie, maybe?
I checked my mailbox today and found a bill from the deadbeats at my (probably ex) doctor's office, asking me to pay them for services that, a month later, they're not done providing yet. They haven't gotten back to me about my lab results or given me the slightest hint as to when they might get back to me about my lab results, and for this they get two hours of my pay? I think not. I stormed back into the house waving the bill around furiously while I composed my irate phone message in my head. I looked up the office's phone number. I checked the calendar and wrote down the exact date of the office visit in question. I picked up the phone.
It doesn't matter how enraged I am or how egregious the offense is, I can't actually bring myself to make that irate phone call. Not ever. And god forbid I should attempt to give the offender a piece of my mind in person; I'll stop outside the door with my heart pounding and suddenly find that I have pressing business elsewhere. The thought of raising my voice at someone terrifies me. I mean, what if I made somebody mad? The very idea is enough to shut my mouth permanently.
This phone call, then. I've been making excuses for why they're so behind for two and a half weeks just so I wouldn't feel like I had to call them. When I finally did pick up the phone today I was so sure I'd dissolve into frightened tears that I made myself an exhaustive list of things to remember to be angry about. I'm a patient, I had an office visit a month ago, I haven't heard back about my lab results or, for that matter, anything else, I've just gotten a bill, if I'm expected to pay that I'd like to see some of the services I'm paying for. I looked at the list and felt my blood boiling, so I picked up the phone again. As I dialed I read it over again and made a few corrections. I took out the bit about "if I'm expected to pay this bill", I replaced "no feedback whatsoever" with "haven't been informed about when I can expect these results", and I read off the new list into the answering machine. It sounded much more timorous than I'd been expecting, and when I had finished I hung up and wondered where the hell the "thank you" had come from. It wasn't on the list, and when I found that bill in the mailbox I was certainly not inclined to thank them for it.
Don't worry, though. I'm working on this. When I related the story to Jacob in quavering frustration and he gave me an encouraging hug, I bravely responded, "Fuck you!" He told me that was much better.Posted by dianna at November 20, 2004 10:33 PM