Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Emory Clinic

Today, I had an appointment with The Emory Clinic to follow up on my elevated blood pressure and refill a prescription for a cholesterol medication. Simple, preventative-maintenance type of stuff. I made the appointment three weeks ago when I noticed that I was on my last refill of the statin.

My appointment was for 8:15am. I prefer early appointments, because in my past experience with The Emory Clinic - the later in the day you're scheduled, the less reasonable they are about seeing you in a timely manner. I'll withhold my rant on how demanding promptness from your customer obligates you to show them the same courtesy, for fear of starting to sound like an old codger.

Anyhow... The clinic I visit has moved from its outgrown location on Candler Road. I haven't visited the new location yet. I took down the address and looked it up in Google maps. Nope, the address doesn't exist. Must be a new office park.

Thankfully, the Emory Clinic VRU has directions on it. I write down the directions, which say to take the Flat Shoals Pkwy exit from I-20 and go South. Well, there is no Flat Shoals Pkwy exit.. It's actually the Candler Road exit. Two exits prior is Flat Shoals Road, which might connect, but I drove a few blocks into a residential neighborhood and new immediately this wasn't where I was supposed to be.

The problem is, Flat Shoals Road doesn't have any entrances back onto I-20. I took a parallel road hoping to pick up the freeway nearby but got hopelessly lost in the residential zone... ending up on Moreland Ave?!?! I'm not sure how the heck I did that.

So anyway, I fight my way through rush-hour traffic and get back on the freeway. It's now 8:10. My appointment is scheduled for 8:15.

Last year, on one prior trip to The Emory Clinic I had arrived two minutes before the appointment, and they made me wait for an hour and then cancelled me for "not arriving 20 minutes early." I kid you not.

Not wanting to repeat that fiasco, I called them as I got back on the freeway and explained that I missed the exit and was running a few minutes late. The receptionist said:

"No problem. We build 15 minutes extra time in anyway. If you are here by 8:30 then it won't affect you. Will you be here by 8:30?"

I look at the clock. 8:13, and I'm getting on I-20 at Moreland. I tell her "No problem. See you in about 15 minutes." I arrive in the lobby and sign in at 8:29am, according to the clock over the reception desk.

A quick tangent: The new facility is very nice, especially in comparison to the old one. That being said, the 41-inch flat-panel television in the waiting area blaring an informercial for the "Fit in Six" exercise rip-off program is an affront to anyone's sensibilities. And it was up loud enough that I had difficulty reading the book I had brought. I'm willing to bet it was just tuned to one of those TLC / Travel Chanel / Food Network channels that shows informercials all morning before their regular program, but still. Turn the damned thing down (or off) for the love of Pete!

Anyhow... So I read the next two chapters of the Jim Cramer book I'm working through. Yes. My appointment was at 8:15 (apparently really 8:30) and I arrive at 8:29. At 9:20 I'm starting to wonder what's up.

The receptionist calls me up to the counter.

"Because you were late, the doctor is seeing some other patients first. But the nurse will call you up in a minute." I give her a disapproving look, but nod and sit back down. (What else am I going to do with that bit of information?)

9:50am. I've been there an hour and a half. It's been 30 minutes since I was told why they decided to jerk me around.   I am now officially very late for work and will most likely have to burn some time off.

I go back to the reception desk and explain that I think this is unreasonable, and reminded them that I called as a courtesy to see if I should still come in. The answer I was given: "Do you want to reschedule for another time?"

What? And go through this again? Fuck you.

I think those were my actual words, honestly. Then I walked out.

So fuck The Emory Clinic. This is the third time they've treated me like dog-shit. I've never been able to see the same doctor twice, and the office clerical staff have an "us against them" attitude about the patients that is deplorable.

The previous time I was there I had asked to talk to someone about my concerns. It never happened.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

1912 Elementary School

This abandoned and boarded-up elementary school sits in one of the oldest neighborhoods in Atlanta. The school was built in 1912.

The magnificent three story main school building was designed by prominent local architect Edward Dougherty. The school auditorium was clearly designed as a multi-use facility, incorporating access from the street as well as the school, a ticket window in the entrance hall, a projection booth, and a really deep stage.

The surrounding neighborhood was designated a historic district by the Atlanta Urban Design Commission in 1994.

Flickr album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/phreakmonkey/sets/72157652744796643