Gabe just got back from being in the US. One of the things we do when we go back are all our appointments – hair, dental, doctor, etc. Before he left, we booked all that stuff for him.
I have slowly started to wean myself off my US appointments. For all of 2011, I managed to get by with going to get my hair highlighted and cut in Charlotte when I was visiting. And, with the 350 CHF price tag that a certain popular English-speaking salon has here in Geneva for highlights, I concluded that it might be cheaper to fly back to the US for these services.
Luckily, I found a wonderful hair gal who is super reasonable, so in 2012, I didn’t need to plan any hair-centric transAtlantic trips.
In 2011, I also managed to make two dental visits in during my trips home. However, I decided, like the hair, it is time to find a more local solution. So, now I am walking a little better, last week, I made an appointment with an English-speaking Geneva dentist.
This leads us to today’s lesson:
Lesson #1 – just because you find out a doctor speaks English, doesn’t mean their receptionist will. Oh well, its okay. I am used to it with my foot surgeon’s office and nurses. And, I have basic French so while it is not pretty, I can accomplish things like taking an appointment. So, I asked for a check-up / cleaning. Success.
And, last week, I went. And didn’t get a cleaning. Fail. Which leads us to Lessons 2 & 3:
Lesson #2 – do not celebrate an appointment as successful until you leave. As I sat down, I was in awe of how cool the office was. Everything was pristine and cheerful. I envisioned how many friends I would tell about how awesome this dental office was. However, I should have remembered my episode at the pedicurist and not to celebrate too early.
Lesson #3 – which I now know after yesterday, a dental appointment does not constitute a cleaning. I was greeted by a superbly English speaking dentist who asked me what was wrong. I presented her with my digital x-rays and just indicated nothing was wrong, that I was just in for a cleaning. And she responded, “Well, you should have made an appointment for a cleaning. This was an appointment for a check-up.”
So my French could have been better. I think I asked for the equivalent of a house cleaning instead of a teeth cleaning when I was on the phone. And I was in the wrong assumption that the cleaning / check-ups are combination. Nope. Separate altogether in Switzerland.
So, take heed, fellow ex-pats. Maybe your French is better that mine. But in case you are like me, ask for a “le détartrage” to avoid a little embarrassment.
Next week, I’ll go back for my actual appointment.