A Story about A Mean Dental Receptionist

At the Dental Office we have a long-time patient who brought her daughter to us when she was fifteen years old.  Lucy felt too old to go to the pedo dentist any longer. When she came to us, she was in braces, placed by the orthodontist that the pedo dentist referred her to.

All went well with her ortho case; the brackets came off and her teeth looked nice. Lucy grew up quickly and went off to college one day. We did not see her again for four years. She came back after graduation and said that she was ready to settle down and start her life. She had a lot of fun in college and rebelled against wearing her retainer. Lucy said she regretted that decision and had decided to return to the same orthodontist she saw as a child and have brackets placed on her teeth once again.

Lucy did just that, and after two years, the brackets came off, and a permanent retainer was placed.  The second time around for Lucy’s ortho went well, until one day, when her retainer came loose. Since Lucy was now a nurse working third shift at a local hospital, she asked her mother to help her out. She asked her mother to call her orthodontist and make her an appointment to get her retainer repaired. Lucy asked her mother to schedule her appointment for any time that the ortho office had available. Lucy said she would arrange her schedule to make it work. The wire was poking her lip. It was giving her some pain, and she was not concentrating on her work, which is not a good thing for an ER trauma nurse.

Lucy’s mother called the ortho office only to be greeted very abruptly when she asked the receptionist for some help. Broom Hilda wasn’t very nice. She told Lucy’s mother that the Doctor did not have an opening till the middle of September and that Lucy would just have to wait. Lucy’s mother explained that her daughter was in pain. Broom Hilda said that there was nothing she could do.

Lucy’s mother pleaded with her for some help for what to do to stop the wire from cutting Lucy’s lip. Broom Hilda suggested that Lucy use some otho wax, what good was that going to do? Broom Hilda then suggested that Lucy just cut the wire but was quick to add that if Lucy chose to do that, it would cost $300 to replace the wire. Lucy’s mother asked how much it would cost to replace the wire that had just come off on the one end. Broom Hilda said that it wouldn’t cost a thing. Left with the decision to wait or unnecessarily pay, Lucy’s mom asked if there were any other orthodontist’s who could help Lucy out. Broom Hilda curtly suggested that Lucy’s mom go to Google and find them for herself!

After get no help from Broom Hilda, Lucy’s mom called me; she told me this story and asked me what I thought that she should do. I asked Lucy’s mother, isn’t this the same ortho guy that Lucy saw as a child, the one who she has purchased braces from, not once, but twice? Lucy’s mother replied, yes, and my other daughter had braces done by him too.  “This is ridiculous, I thought to myself.” Lucy and her family have spent a lot of money with this ortho office; they deserve better care than this.

I asked Lucy’s mother to give me the name of the office, and I called them on the phone. Broom Hilda answered very curtly as sighed loudly as I told her who I was. I asked her why an emergency had to wait so long for an appointment and suggested that my Doctor would not be very happy with referring patients to an orthodontist who would make emergencies wait almost three weeks to be seen for a loose wire.

Broom Hilda snapped back at me “I told them that I would call them if I found an earlier opening”. I said but you don’t understand; the wire is poking her lip, and she has been a great customer for your office, she deserves better service than this. I mentioned that when this happens at our office, our Doctor stays late to help the patient. Broom Hilda suddenly found an opening and stated “let me get off the phone so I can call them.” I hung up without a word. I was not fond of Broom Hilda and needed to resist the urge to tell her so.

Lucy’s mother called me soon after and informed me of Broom Hilda’s call. She said that Broom Hilda offered Lucy an appointment if she could be at their office within 15 minutes. Lucy’s mother stated that it would take Lucy at least 30 minutes to drive across town. Broom Hilda then said, “Forget it, that is too long and I will not wait.” Lucy’s mother told me Broom Hilda then offered an appointment for the following Monday morning and since this happened on a Thursday, which gave Lucy four days to wait with her loose wire flopping against her lip.

I hope this would never happen at YOUR office, it definitely would never happen at mine. As a matter of fact, when the Doctor heard about this story, he called up Lucy himself and had her in the Dental Office and repaired her retainer himself, for free. We did not refer Lucy to this orthodontist office so we do not know him, he may just be a super awesome guy. But it was obvious that his receptionist has her own agenda, to close up shop and go home and she was going to be rude to anyone who got in her way.  It is more than likely that this Orthodontist does not even know that Broom Hilda is the personality who answering his phone.

He will now, after he reads the email that our Doctor sent him. Do you know what happens on your phone when you are not listening in?

With your success in mind,



    • Nomi Waters | | Reply

      Thanks Marcela. I am glad you enjoyed it!

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