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by Abigail Van Buren

Large, Loving Family Extends From Present Back Into Past

DEAR ABBY: I am a receptionist in a large, busy medical office with lots of people coming in and going out, and phones constantly ringing.

Which person should I take care of first? The one on the phone, or the patient who is waiting patiently in front of me?

I try to take care of everyone in a timely manner, but there are days when it's impossible to please everyone. -- OVERWHELMED

DEAR OVERWHELMED: After determining it is not an emergency, ask the person on the phone to please give you a telephone number, and say you will return the call when you are free. Then, deal with the person who made a trip to the medical office.