There was a time when the only person responsible for reminding you of the commitments you made was you. You had to carry an appointment or date book. In more recent years you could enter appointments on your cell phone and a little chime would ring to remind you that an appointment was coming up.
Those were manageable ways to make sure you didn’t forget to be where you needed to be when you needed to be there.
But somewhere along the line it became evident to the folks on the other side of the counter that sending out reminders resulted in more people actually showing up when they were supposed to. And, as Jerry Seinfeld is known for saying, “There’s nothing wrong with that.”
Lately, reminders have been coming in like tsunamis. I’ve been barraged with them, coming from Evelyn’s physical therapist and from Safelite, where we will be taking our RV today for replacement of the window that was broken during a recent visit to a Delaware State Park (that’s another whole story).
The reminders come via phone, text, and email. The text messages from Safelite began two weeks prior to the actual appointment. I received one confirming the date, Sept. 27, on Sept. 13 with the next one arriving a little over a week later, Sept. 22nd. The one that made the most sense was the one that arrived yesterday, the day before the appointment (today), containing information about when to arrive and suggesting that, due to limited space in the waiting room, I drop the RV off and come back when they call to let me know it’s done (which is what we’re planning to do).
This morning, at 7:08 AM, another text arrived: “Today’s the day!” it said. It ended with an offer to keep me updated on the progress of the window replacement (“Respond ACCEPT or PASS.” I responded with “ACCEPT”). That was followed by a text beginning, “Great! You’ll receive text updates at important points throughout your vehicle’s service,” which then went on to tell me how I can opt out of receiving texts, should I choose to do so.
I almost feel as though I know these people intimately already, and the only time I’ve even been to the shop was to have the original estimate done.
Then there’s Evelyn’s brain injury doctor and the physical therapist who works in his practice. The phone calls start arriving at 8:00 AM, which I’ve always felt was too early to call somebody unless it was an emergency. They also send text reminders. Starting three days ago two reminders showed up as texts on my cell phone. Another one arrived the day after that. Yesterday, two more. And then, this morning, the 8:00 phone call.
I’ll give them this: there should be no excuse on the part of us customers or patients for forgetting where we’re supposed to be. I can’t fault these folks for not letting us know our appointment details. So now it’s time to get ready to take the RV for its repair and Kianna to her groomers. We also have to return Evelyn’s library books (reminders started arriving two days ago) and make a quick run to the bank (no reminders necessary for that one).
Why is it either “feast or famine?” Either we’re on our own when it comes to remembering our appointments or we experience what borders on harassment. I suppose it’s a good thing when all is said and done. If nothing else, it confirms what we’ve written in our date books.
Oh, look – now our dermatologist is reminding us of our upcoming appointment. (And the beat goes on.)