Once I met with a doctor while raising funds. To the uninitiated, or any infants reading along: as a general rule, doctors make about the same amount of money in a month that ministers do in a good 8-month stretch. So to meet with them for support is likely going to be a really good situation.
But this particular appointment took a really, REALLY good turn when he broke out the city-wide Christian doctor directory and begun reading off his friends’ names, telling me that I could contact them and use his name.
I got a queasy feeling in my stomach, and started feeling a bit lightheaded. I’d heard stories like this in the “locker room talk” among ministers. It’s the ministerial equivalent of a bus full of cheerleaders that I had to give a ride to a hotel. A list of 20 Doctors? I started to brainstorm how I’d go about reimbursing a ski boat. Just needed to come up with a valid ministry purpose for it. Maybe if I used it for an illustration about walking on water. Yeah, that sounds about right.
I feverishly wrote down names and numbers, fighting back the urge to make the noise that Alan Jackson does on the end of “Chattahoochee” (yup, early-mid-90’s country music reference. Google it, or just cue up about 3:43 into this video)
Let’s skip ahead to the moral of the story. Instead of choking back the urge to redneck-yell, if this situation ever happens to you, the single best use of your time on the spot is to ensure that you are getting HOME numbers for these doctors.
I spent no less than 10 hours on hold or talking to triage nurses over the next few weeks:
Are you a patient?
Are you a drug rep?
Is it business related?
I even had to answer a “press 1 for yes, press 2 for no” medical questionnaire at the regional OB-GYN, and I indicated it had been “more than 10 years” since a normal menstrual cycle for me, and also went to other great lengths to make my situation sound dire, hoping that would speed up the call and I’d get to talk to a human. At the end of the questionnaire, they told me to hang up and immediately call 911.
I went back and tried to meet with the original doc to try and get home numbers, but there’s another interesting fact about doctors: they’re really busy. I never heard back from him, despite months of attempts.
In related news, I never got that ski boat.
How ’bout you? ever done something that would have gone slightly better had you paid a bit of attention to detail? As always, this is a safe place for a little healthy confession.