April Wallace: Parents need full-time scheduler

It appears I have an appointment problem. As a reporter, you might think that’s serious news, given how many appointments I make in the average week, but curiously it affects almost none of my professional appointments — the ones for interviews, that is.

It’s almost exclusively on the personal side.

It all started back in November when my dentist canceled mine and my husband’s carefully scheduled early Wednesday morning-before-Thanksgiving dental cleanings.

Being married folks in charge of two very small people, we have to book them together if we care about our 3- and 4-year-olds not wrecking the office while we’re getting checked out. And we do. So we put our heads together and checked more than once with the dental office receptionist and were delighted that we could get in under the wire.

With my therapist husband’s packed schedule and our kids’ rock solid routine for meals, nap and bedtimes, it really leaves very little guesswork. So imagine our unpleasant shock when the dentist decided last minute to spend an extra day with family, our polite consideration for not letting our heathens run loose and our teeth cleanings be damned.

In January not only did I start back to my position as profiles editor and features writer here at the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, I was also set to see my podiatrist. I like to think I’m still young, but I wear custom orthotics now after sustaining a foot injury due to running and other exercise that shattered some pieces of bone in the ball of my foot. To keep it from getting any worse, I have to check in with the doc and have X-rays at least once a year.

But he too ghosted me, and with a new job to start, I’ve been unable to circle back around.

Then there’s my hair stylist. I love the woman and have seen her for the better part of a decade, but she’s never been easy to book an appointment with. I had made peace with the fact that I had to message, call and send occasional carrier pigeons to get in her reclining chair. I even followed her from one location to the next — because a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do!

But this time when I used all communication lines possible and still heard nothing, it took a few days before I realized she had left her current place of work entirely.

Reluctantly, I saw a new hair stylist for the first time in years and, now that I am need of a second appointment, I used the info on her business card to text and direct message her — one went to a supposedly unworking number and the other went unanswered too.

So imagine my dismay when my children’s dental receptionist called to reschedule both their checkups that were meant to take place yesterday — appointments we made six months ago that can’t happen because the receptionist failed to specify which dentist we would be hoping to see. Now we’ve got to wait two more months to get in.

My resolve is so low at this point that I’m almost tempted to take a full day off to address all the appointments at once. But then wouldn’t I be sacrificing even more?

Say, how much more would it cost to have everything done at once. If you get an appointment to have your hair colored, your feet X-rayed and your teeth cleaned while your children’s teeth are too, would you let me know? I could really use that business card.


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