The receptionist at work gave notice today; she leaves in two weeks. I will miss her. She has a nice temperament and she always treated me nice. She was one of the few with whom I bothered to bond. Receptionists come and go so quickly here. Like Bedouins they camp here for a little while and then move on. Often there isn’t enough time to even learn their last names.

Being a receptionist at a psychiatric clinical seems a tough job. The dears have to deal with phone calling for appointments and prescriptions as well as check patients in and out. It sounds like the multi-tasking job from hell. Worse, they are the first people the patients encounter when calling or coming in. The majority of receptionists are young women in their early 20s. Angry or manic patients are particularly stressful for persons not trained in mental illness. I  remind them when they are frazzle to remember the reason many are coming to clinic in the first place is they struggle with self-control and/or don’t get along with others or they lack social skills.

I do not hire or supervise the receptionists, so I don’t know why they come and go like comets. I suspect the answer is simple: it is hard work for low pay and they can do better elsewhere.

I’ve been at the same clinic for ten years; I can barely remember most of the receptionists. I’ve learned not to get too close to them as they skidoo. One or two have been need of a psychiatrist more than the patients they handled. I remember one who did not bathe; I recall another who ‘stole patients’ when she went with a renegade staff person. There once was a male receptionist but he didn’t last a month. I suspect his training in the military was feckless training for dealing with folks with schizophrenic thought processes and demands.

I will miss the one soon leaving. I wonder who next takes the hot seat. I am never consulted on what I would want in a receptionist. I hope the bosses and house manager find someone stalwart and unflappable. In my opinion we should forgo the young lady type to hire a lads looking like lumberjack or bouncers from one of the more boisterous bars. Come to think of it perhaps it is best I don’t help in hiring. I would pick the  handsome hirsute hombres and end up doing all the work myself. 🙂

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