“What do you mean he isn’t there?” Nika replies “I mean he’s not there, his car isn’t there either” “But wait that doesn’t make sense, he just left?! ..s***! OMG how can he do this?” Nika walked out the back door to confirm what I had said. as if Dr. Chong would magically appear once she gets to look outside too. I was too shocked to speak. She was shocked too hence the outburst of colourful words that proceeded from her mouth. “What do we do?” I asked. “Where the hell is Rafik? (our manager) Call him to come in right now!” I get on the phone in the back room and tell Rafik that we have an emergency and that he needs to come back to the clinic right away. He says he’s on lunch and will come back in about 10-15 minutes.
I cannot believe this is happening to me today! I am absolutely mortified! I just want to disappear at that moment. Who are we kidding? I wanted to be gone long before this point. Who is going to break the news to the Smiths? “well I’m not doing it”, Nika said “besides, you have been handling them since they walked in”. Just. Flippin. Great. I get up and hesitantly walk toward the seated couple. “ I’m sorry the doctor has left” I tell them with trepidation. I still can’t believe it! I wanted to cry and laugh at the same time. “I don’t understand, do you mean he is not in his office? Where did he pass?” Emeka asks me with some anger in her voice. Chineke (God) the Nigerian accent has been revealed. Just know everything is about to hit the fan when an African accent is revealed in a tense situation. Before I could answer Nika replied from behind me. “We have a back door and I thought he was speaking on the phone to reschedule but he left. Sorry, can we reschedule?” I look to them for an answer, Then it happened. What I had been fearing the most.
“THIS IS UNBELIEVABLE!!” Emeka shouted. Oh no please God don’t let this happen. Not here, not now, was all that was running through my mind. “I’m sorry” I said to both of them. “No-oooh don’t apologize. It is not your fault but my daughter, this is rubbish!.” She said to me. “This is very unprofessional! How can he do this? Exactly what impression do you want me to have of yourselves? Oh no this is very bad! Very very bad!” I’m sorry is all I could say, the tears were really close now. Mr Smith assured me it wasn’t my fault too. “I understand, but we work as a team here so we are all responsible for each other. Dr. Chong has never done this before, there must have been an emergency.” I tried to explain to them, “My daughter, don’t make any excuses on his behalf. This is shameful and I’m going to take it up with the head office, I mean how?! Is it because I’m black?!”
Oh no! I was really hoping she wouldn’t play that card. Nika was quick to refute that but when asked to explain why this happened, she had no answer. The Smiths were done with us. Emeka demanded her money back. Which was completely reasonable but I was hoping she wouldn’t demand that her husband not get his glasses here too. You know, a girl still wants a commission here. Nika and I are not authorized to grant refunds so we had to wait for Rafik. Where was he?!! “You better call him, and tell him to get here right now, I have already wasted too much time here. How can you run a business like this?” Emeka said. “I have already called him and he says he’ll be here in about 10 minutes. Again I want to say how sorry I am…” “Save it, I refuse to let you take the blame for this. I am going to report him. How can he do this?, just walk out on a patient? How long had he been a doctor?” she asks. Nika chimes in with an answer “10 years” “10 years? And he can behave like this? I doubt it, this is shameful!” “That’s why I’m telling you it must have been something very important.” I try to tell her. “ I will not accept that!”
Oh thank God! Rafik walks in on cue “ I hear something dreadful has just happened. Let me apologize as the manager…” Emeka just cuts him off “ don’t waste my time. You have already made us wait some more. I have already told them that I’m going to report him, just give me back my money” “right sure I’ll refund the exam, or let me give you a discount” Rafik tries to say “And come back here? I’m sorry I’m not stepping foot in here again, and I will tell everyone I know not to come here. I mean how? I saw some good reviews on yourselves online but you guys are unprofessional, I’m disappointed. I know I was late, its because of my leg, true I could have called to tell you but I didn’t have your number or anything. When I came he should have told me he can’t see me right away! You know what, just give me my money and let me be off.” You’d think that was the end of it, but she still went on and on even as she was being given the refund. Then came the matter of collecting payment for Mr. Smith’s glasses. I didn’t know what to do because they were an expensive pair, I didn’t know whether to give a discount or not or if he was going to cancel the whole order. I really didn’t want to ask. But Mr. Smith was kind enough to pay the full amount without asking for anything. I was so thankful to him, and I kept apologizing. “This is sad, I mean even if you’re working as a team how can he do this? look at Carol she is so embarrassed she doesn’t even know what to do. Your doctor is not a good team player.” Was all Mr. Smith said he paid. After the payment was through, I uttered on final sorry and informed him of when he could pick up his glasses. They then left the store very disappointed.
So much for a quite pizza afternoon….Where did Dr. Chong go you ask?
For an ultimate frisbee match. FRISBEE.
He went to throw and catch a flat plate in the air.