Recently, there was an occasion to visit a hospital. I was in considerable pain and went to the hospital quite early in the morning. I was the first patient – good for me; I got the first appointment to see the doctor in question. I had to wait for over an hour to meet the doctor and even that I did not hyperventilate about. In fact I was so grateful I would meet the doctor first and that awareness brought in a great deal of relief.
The nurse and the doctor were very courteous, gracious people. They offered me the best of services. After meeting the doctor, I was asked to take my papers to the reception and make the payment with the cashier there. I go there. Earlier, I had seen this young man enter, and take up his seat while waiting for my doctor.
I go to him. I present my papers.
He looks at me – his eyebrows arching like a question mark. I present my insurance card.
“75 dirhams.” He mutters. I hardly hear him.
“Excuse me.” I say.
“75 dirhams.” He is a lot more louder.
I give him a 100 dirham note. I attempt at giving him a sunny smile of mine, though I am still hurting. Ouch, it is lost on him! He gives me the change – 25 dirhams. I look at the notes. One 10 dirham note is torn. I mean really torn.
I tell him, “Could you please change this note for me?”
“What?” He literally barked. “Why?” An irritated expression dons his face.
“It is torn and I want another note in place of this.” I say firmly. I also tell myself, be patient, Asha. You are a patient here. And hold your temper in check.
He mutters something under his breath and thrusts a better note into my hands.
Not torn. I heave a sigh of relief, happy to get away from such a grouchy person.
I thought a lot about this young man. Maybe he got out from the wrong side of his bed. Or it must not have been his day – he has my sympathies for the day had just about begun for him. Notwithstanding that, behaving discourteously to a customer is uncalled for. Unlike other customers, those who come to hospitals are in pain and discomfort, and harbour within them fear, anxiety and a host of other negative emotions, thoughts and feelings. How nice and reaffirming would one feel if the patient is dealt by smiling nurses, technicians, other support staff and doctors! Am sure, half the ailment will disappear in the face of such sunny, warm and delightful countenances and behavior.
Ah, speak about customer service!