“is this Ed Federici’s office?”
The office phone rings.
I answer, there’s no one there. Darn telemarketers. It rings again, it’s the same number. I answer again but this time I hear a little fumbling and then a click. I see the same number come up on the screen a third time. Once more I answer, hopefully as pleasantly as I did the first time two times, but truthfully, I’m thinking “really? I have things to do, what’s your problem?” I want to be a little sarcastic and say something like “helloooooooo say something or stop calling me!”, thankfully, I don’t. I hear a nervous voice ask “is this Ed Federici’s office?”
Grateful that I was able to summon the patience to be pleasant, my initial frustration completely melts away realizing that this is not someone with extra time on their hands fooling around. I immediately try to mitigate their fear and speak to them with the familiarity of a best friend. I guide them through their options and help them understand the process. I reassure them that the number they called is always available for them to call or text and that I will try to help them the best that I can.
Making that first nervous phone call for help or even just information can be terrifying, for some, it’s a huge accomplishment and is very brave. Many are reaching out for help for the very first time ever in their entire lives. They may have reached a breaking point that living without help is scarier than making that first phone call. They don’t know what to ask or even what they are asking for.
Yes, you are calling the right place.
Yes, we can help you.
No, you do not have to apologize for not understanding how this works.
No, you don’t have to apologize for crying, I understand.
Yes, you can tell me anything you want, but I’m not the therapist, just so you know.
No, don’t worry about the hang-ups, it happens ALL the time...seriously.
Yes, we are looking forward to working with you!
Yes, we are truly glad you called!
I can feel and hear the relief in their voices when they realize we really do care.
Often the phone calls end like this:
Caller: “Thank you so much for all of your help! What was your name again?”
Caller: “Oh, thank you Toni!, So you’re the secretary?”
Me: “Well technically I am the practice manager, but I’m also Ed’s wife.”
Caller: Laughing! “Oh cool! I’m so glad I called, you made me feel so much better, I can’t wait to talk to your husband!”
Me: “Great! You have my number contact me anytime!”
If you need to contact us our number is:
Feel free to text or call (even 3 times if you must)
If I don't answer I may be on the phone with a brave person making their first appointment. Or it's 3 am and I'll call you back during business hours...I promise.