We returned from Italy – 2 glorious weeks spent eating pizza and gelato and seeing the sorts of beautiful things that enrich your soul – and had a day to recover before my first appointment with my new doctor. The second new doctor. Or so I thought.

See, when I called to ask if he would be willing to allow me a whopping TWO people (husband and translator) in the delivery room instead of the one typically allowed, in my elation I just agreed to the first appointment proposed by the secretary. I repeated the day, date, and time several times to make sure I had it right. Afterwards I realized that due to the distance to/from the doctor’s office the appointment conflicted with work. So, I called the next day to change it.

The doctor works in an office with a handful of other doctors of various specialties. There are a few front-desk secretaries and then each doctor has his/her own secretary. The secretary I spoke to was the doctor’s specific secretary, due to my unusual question. However, when I called back to change the appointment, of course I got a front desk secretary.

(in French)
me: I called yesterday to make an appointment with Dr. ___ but I need to change it.
secretary: what’s your name?
me: Suzanne ___
secretary: when is it?
me: Wednesday the 21st at 9:45.
secretary: you don’t have an appointment then.
me: yes I do, I made it yesterday.
secretary: no, you don’t.
(back and forth like this several times)
secretary: I can make you an appointment for then.
me: I don’t want the appointment then, I was calling to change it.
secretary: your appointment is for Tuesday the 20th at 11:45.
me: uh…ok. Tuesday the 20th at 11:45?
secretary: yes. (in a “you idiot” sort of voice)

Here I would like to give kudos to the doctor’s secretary for being easy to understand on the phone. This other lady was really difficult to understand but I thought I got it.

So, after having poor Tiffany re-arrange her schedule to drive me, we head out to Vitrolles, which is a little town outside Marseille. First, the office doesn’t have a real address so our driving directions from Google didn’t work at all. We ended up in some random neighborhood. After calling the office to get some additional directions, which were still vague, we were off again…but I should mention that, because Tiffany pretended to be me on the phone in order to get the directions, the secretary said I did not have an appointment on Tuesday the 20th at 11:45, my appointment was Wednesday the 21st at 9:45. I decided to go to the office anyway on the off chance they could squeeze me in. Also, I was FUMING about the mix-up, which I – to this day – sincerely believe was NOT my fault.

So, I marched into the office and confronted the front desk secretary. I explained, to the best of my ability, that I made an appointment for Wednesday but I called to change it, and she said I didn’t have that appointment and made me one for Tuesday and could the doctor please go ahead and see me since I was here. She was basically like “I don’t care, and no.” So poor Tiffany had to re-re-arrange her schedule to drive us back out there the next day for the appointment I thought I had but was told I didn’t so cancelled and then told I did have. The doctor was so, so nice and understanding and complimented my French but said he completely understood why I would want a translator, so silly that all the other doctors made a big deal about it. Jake & I both really liked him and wished we had found him at the beginning.

And, despite 2 weeks of almost nothing besides pizza, gelato, and a few pasta dishes, I lost .3 kilo.

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