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Monday, March 3, 2014

Rules of Acknowledgement

Every patient interaction begins with acknowledgment. Where it goes after that is often unpredictable, but always entertaining.
Average Patient approacheth. CP inclines head slightly, gently nods, and says "we shall be right with you." So far, relatively normal. However, this is where things take their turn.

AP: I just have a quick question.
CP: As I am certain it is, someone shall be with you momentarily.
AP: Where do you all keep the Tylenol?
CP: You're right. That was quick. Someone will still be right with you.
AP: Can't you just tell me?
CP: I could. Can't you just wait?
AP: No. I'm in a hurry.
CP: And I am with another patient/on the phone/checking a prescription/slapping labels around right now. You shall have to wait. You interrupted me with "just a quick question" and I made no guarantees of a quick answer.
AP: You could have told me by now.
CP: And you could have turned around and noticed them on the shelf behind you by now. Instead, you chose to combat me with words and you lost. Next time you shall wait as instructed or I shall taunt you a second time.


AP: <crickets>
CP: We will be right with you.
AP: <silence>
CP: (whispering to tech) can someone grab the counter?
Uber Tech: Sure. How may I help you?
AP: <nothing>
UT: May I help you?
AP: <just sitting there reading a magazine> Nope. I'm good.
UT: Okay.

90 seconds later...
CP: We acknowledged you and asked if you needed help and you told us "no". How were we supposed to...
AP: I am a physician and I deserve respect!
CP: You're psycho and you need medication. Here's a script pad. Please write something for yourself. Then go sell crazy someplace else. We're all stocked up here.

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