A client didn’t show up for a consultation and I could not get a hold of them. Thinking little of it, I rescheduled for a later time.
The next time I talked to them, I swear to god, this is the conversation that ensued.
Client: Why didn’t you call 911?
Me: What? Why?
Client: If you had a disabled parent and you couldn’t get a hold of them, what would you do?
Me: I would wait for them to get back to me.
Interestingly, I actually have a disabled parent who can’t easily answer the phone - the client didn't know that.
Client: You should have called 911!
Me: I’m so sorry, did something happen?
Client: No, but you said you couldn’t get a hold of me. Something could have happened. You should have called the emergency line to do a check on me!
Me: I’ve never called 911 because I couldn’t reach someone. I’d only call if I suspected an emergency.
Client: If you can’t reach me, assume it is an emergency.
Me: Are you always available when there isn’t an emergency?
How's this for a compromise: whenever I can't get a hold of you, I'll call 411 and ask why I work with these people.