GP Receptions or as I call them Dragons. Do you put of contact with GP's just because of dread problems dealing with GP recepition's?
Yes. I put off contact with GP's just because of dread problems dealing with GP reception's. I hate phones. They mostly only do phones and do not want to hear about anything else.
I love the word dragon for these people. I first came across a dragon when I was a child in the small local library. He was I think what you call an ogre. He would relish any opportunity to frighten people more vulnerable than him by bellowing out loudly and publicly about the offence you had committed (not putting the books right, being too noisy, running, talking and if you dared bring a book back late you would walk into the library with trembling legs ...). Later on in a workplace, we had a post master who really was a great dragon and the postroom was his den. I always made great efforts with this man to emphasise I knew what great and terrible inconvenience it was to him if I broke one of the dragon's unwritten rules and how much I appreciated his hard work... I think being undervalued, feeling not understood and overstressed turns many receptionists/administrators in the line of fire into dragons. It seems very important to me that these dragons are made aware of the issues people on the spectrum face and what an effect it has on us (for hours and hours after the encounter). They are probably too trapped in their own stresses to realise. For myself, I have found a way of dealing with the dragons I know, but I don't think it would suit most people on the spectrum. Being a chameleon-type female - I make a great effort to steel myself an try and look past the unfriendliness and be preemptively genuinely friendly and interested and ask questions like: has it been very busy today, it must be hard... and that kind of stuff. It is like dangling bait in front of the fish - they often go for it and they soften. It does stress me to do it, and sometimes feels unfair to be nice when they were rude, but I have found it gets me around these obstacles and pays off in the long run.
But unexpected dragons still throw me off balance completely and make me want to cry.To answer your question (I live in Belgium, so not 100% relevant): I can make an appointment with my GP via an easy internet-booking calendar and also write a note in that calendar if necessary. This totally takes the stress out of making appointments - and cuts back the waiting room time which I totally hate. I really think internet booking is the way forward :-) And yes I hate phones too. I think it is that I can't really explain in an organised way and I want to say to much and it all ends op garbled and you feel awful for ages after the phone call is finished.
I had a telephone appointment with my GP earlier in the week, I didn't even know that it was possible!
My travel plans fell through and when I phoned to tell the receptionist that i couldn't get to my appointment, I asked if a telephone appointment would be possible - she didn't know but was great about it and went off to ask the GP about it, then called me back to confirm it. Not a dragon at all, but like anything it just depends on who you get.
In the past I've dealt with nosy GP's receptionists, asking what my appointment was for. I just said it was "Primarily to discuss my health but might include some pointless small talk like this.", but thankfully I'm no longer with that particular practice.
@Procrastinator. I just had to quote your words as this is what I do when I think I have a difficult person who I have to work with, mostly new clients, I empathise with what I know they will be feeling, over worked, under valued by thier managers. I am often chosen to work with known difficult customers.
I am often called the Diplomat by my managers. I am the male version of a chameleon Lol.
It tires me out mentally and I do not do it to manipulate in a bad way! As I said I try to put myself in thier shoes and talk about the issues they face, mostly they appreciate my understanding of thier problems and quite often become quite friendly.
People who think they know them often say” how on earth did you manage to get on side with him ? He is a real pain! Nobody likes him”.
No they are not nasty they have issues and need a little understanding!
”For myself, I have found a way of dealing with the dragons I know, but I don't think it would suit most people on the spectrum. Being a chameleon-type female - I make a great effort to steel myself an try and look past the unfriendliness and be preemptively genuinely friendly and interested and ask questions like: has it been very busy today, it must be hard... and that kind of stuff. It is like dangling bait in front of the fish - they often go for it and they soften. It does stress me to do it, and sometimes feels unfair to be nice when they were rude, but I have found it gets me around these obstacles and pays off in the long run”.
Take a look at the Royal College of General Practitioners' guide for reception staff:http://www.rcgp.org.uk/clinical-and-research/toolkits/-/media/60663BF35A1F43ADBAC65E108B8518EC.ashx
and their 'Making the most of a visit to your GP' guide:http://www.rcgp.org.uk/clinical-and-research/~/~/media/Files/CIRC/Autism/RCGP-Making-the-most-of-a-visit-to-your-GP-Jan-15.ashx
The ones at my current surgery - I switched surgeries a couple of years ago - are really good. Very helpful and understanding.
Before that, at my last surgery, they were awful (bar one, who was only there part-time). They seemed to go out of their way to be as unhelpful as possible. Miserable, surly creatures. I'd ring up and make a simple request, say, for a copy of a document.
'We're not allowed to do that without a doctor's permission.'
'I know. So could you ask a doctor for me, please.'
'I'm not sure I can do that.'
'Oh, is there a problem?'
'It would be better to make an appointment and ask the doctor yourself.'
'But I don't want to waste the doctor's time. I thought you could ask the doctor for me.'
'You really ought to write in.'
'But I need it quite urgently. I just thought you could ask the doctor for me, please.'
'I'm not sure I can do that. I'll have to ask the doctor.'
(preparing to smash phone)
'Yes, please... that's what I'm asking.'
Yes! Exactly. We might be ASD of the same brand - I wonder if there is a name for us (ASDiplomats :-) ) I also do not plan to manipulate and think I have genuine good intentions. Until recently I thought I was just "a well-intentioned person". Lately, through therapy, I have come to realise that I might be nice - however it is also a strategy I have developed since childhood, which enables me to deal with others.
I actually remember the first time my penny dropped. I was in a swimming pool turning round and round with my arms stretched and skimming the water surface. I inadvertently slapped a slightly older girl on the face. She was so angry with me and upset with me. And I was horrified, so I didn't know what to do, so I profusely kept apologising and following her around saying sorry and asking her if it hurt. And the weirded thing was that she decided after that that I was a friend and she kept my company for the rest of the time. It was the moment when I discovered that in order to make friends, you have to give an exaggerated amount before anything comes back your way. Over the years I have become better at judging other people's needs and listening and asking the right questions. To the extent that I could say I'm actually quite good at interviewing people and getting to the bottom of issues. (At a deeper level, with regard to my personal life, unfortunately I am less proficient).It is so true that many people who are unfriendly, defensive, hard and unkind have issues of their own. And we all thrive on genuine interest, understanding, care and love (in its most broad sense).
That reads a lot like most conversations I have with people!