When I was being a parent, I was not a strict disciplinarian, but I did require civility. One of my pet peeves was the indefinite response to a question or statement in some cases, "Whatever." Any time one of my kids responded with "whatever," I said, "No, not 'Whatever'..." and then made them explain in detail. It made them use their brains and focus. After a couple of weeks, they stopped saying "Whatever" and gave intelligible responses. I realized that my small victory was a drop in the ocean and that society was on the way to ruin because no one gave a damn about truth or accuracy. The last week has proven me right again. My missus requires specialized medical care. Her primary care physician is two towns over, about a forty mile round trip. Last Monday she had a scheduled appointment with him and so we made the considerable preparations for her trip, got to the appointment a few minutes early and tried to check in. "Oh you must be mistaken, there are no appointments scheduled today." says obviously straight out of career college medical tech behind the counter. I showed him the appointment card from our previous visit showing that clearly we did. "Must've been a computer glitch, no sweat, we'll get you in first thing on Friday." I pointed out that she was scheduled for surgery on the third of next month and that some tests were required. "We'll get all that done on Friday." "For sure?" "For sure, man." First thing Friday turned out to be a two hour wait, followed by a screwed up EKG on the tech's part, but he let us leave knowing full well that the strip was useless. Phone call, Friday night 19:30: "Hello, Biddlin, this is Dr. F*****, listen, I was just going over the ekg and my new tech screwed it up. I'm gonna give you a referral to a lab where they can get it done right." "In time for the surgery?" "Sure, you should have no problem." Saturday morning, I have a 13:00 appointment with a Firestone dealer to get 4 new tires, so I feed pets, fix breakfast, get all of my missus' meds laid out and make sure she's ok and leave a little after noon. At the appointed time, I have a computer print-out to prove it, the guy behind the counter, said "Hi, how can I help you?" I identified myself, showed him my appointment confirmation and he looked back blankly,"OK, you set it up online?" Oh dear lordy no..."Yes, that's how I got the appointment confirmation." "OK, so you want 4 tires today?" "Yes, it's all in the form I filled out last week to make the appointment." "For the Towncar, right?" (Argghhhhhh) "Yes, should I have driven a different one?" small chuckle from another customer, frown from "Ken" at the counter. "Well, see you need 17/60 R and I don't have 'em in stock, but I can get 'em from our sister store in Stockton in three or four hours, but we won't have time to put 'em on today. How about tomorrow at 1:00 pm?" "OK, tomorrow I'll be here at 1:00 and you'll take the car in the bay and put the tires on and do an alignment, right?" "You got it, boss." same routine Sunday morning. Arrive at Firestone on time. Car doesn't see the service bay until 2:30 They ding a rim and center cover. I leave without violence, but just barely. Monday morning get missus up and dressed arrive at lab at their 9 am opening time, first at the counter, Dr's order, medicare and insurance cards in hand. Receptionist, gazing at lab order:"This don't look like somethin' we do. Let me get one of the techs." She returns and assures me that the tech will be with us shortly, move aside. Ten or so minutes later a lab coated person comes to the desk, looks at our order and asks, "Is this from your doctor?""Yes, that's why he gets to put MD after his name." "There's no need for sarcasm, sir." "Is there some problem with the order, miss?" "We don't do this test here. I'll ax this over to our central office and someone will help you." She walked away apparently to a fax machine, returning a couple of minutes later to take me by the elbow and drag me to a wall phone:"She'll answer in a minute." and walked away. In fact someone did answer, they hadn't seen a fax, "Tell the tech to refax it." "The tech is gone, I'm in a hallway with my paraplegic wife so I guess I'll have to shout for someone.""Whatever, I can't help you if I don't at least know the fax number or get another fax." "HELLO!" 45 seconds pass. "HELLO" 30 seconds pass. "HELLO" "You need to calm down sir." from the new tech who finally came to scold me. "I need you to speak to this person, please?" She reluctantly takes the phone and the two "caregivers" agree to put me in the middle again. "I'm going to fax the order again (like it's my fault) you behave and wait for her." hands me the phone again. Ten minutes later the "scheduler gets on the line and gives me the first appointment, two weeks hence. come home, get missus who is in tears about having to postpone the surgery and from hours or travel and pain all for nothing settled in, or at least subdued and spend the rest of the day cancelling surgery and other pre-op tests. With the exception of her 65 year-old doctor, NONE of these "professionals" apologized in any fashion for causing us such gross inconvenience, much less acknowledging their own failure to provide good service. The lab staff seemed offended that I expected them to solve the problem without putting me on the phone and just walking away. The one thing all of the people I dealt with, except Dr. F*****, have in common: They are all under 50 years old. They have no social skills beyond online etiquette, no pride in their work and exhibit little interest in improvement. I think the next time one of the dears says something like"Sarcasm isn't necessary." my response will be,"Would you prefer profanity or should we just get down to personal insults and physical threats."