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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

I'm Sorry.

Please allow me to apologise. I am sorry.
We hear this all the time. Some say it is human nature. Some will say it is conditioning. Some will say it is our parents' fault: always say "please and thank you "and apologise. I also think it is Corporate America's fault. If you say you are sorry, it will help defuse a situation. Maybe. My problem is that we offer apologies for everything today.

Your refill is too soon? I am sorry.
Your doctor didn't call in your prescriptions yet? I am sorry.
We told you to call us 2 days before you need your refill because it is a special order item and now you are out of it? I am sorry.
You think 20 minutes is too long to wait at 5pm on a Monday? I am sorry.
Your insurance changed and you left the card at home? I am sorry.
You planned a vacation and forgot to refill your medications until now…as you are en route to the airport? I am sorry.
Your prescriber wrote the prescriptions wrong and we had to call and he hasn't called back? Yep, Sorry...

Only I am NOT sorry. I am tired of that being our immediate, conditioned, pre-programmed response to people. I'm not sorry. Is that wrong? There are better ways to empathize with our patients. That's what we are trying to do-empathize with them. But it's erroneous. It's not MY fault so why am I the one who is saying I AM sorry?

Instead of "I'm sorry", let's try something else.

Mad Hatter: What do you mean he didn't send it? I was right there when he did it!
CP: Wow. That sucks dude. I feel your pain. Call them back and give them a swift kick in the ass. Next!

Mad Hatter: I am flying to London right now and need this filled ASAP!
CP: Well ASAP would be about 25 minutes. Thanks for giving me some time. I was afraid you wanted it, like yesterday.
MH: I do want it yesterday.
CP: Well, in the immortal words of Chad and Jeremy: "Yesterday's Gone". Safe travels. Next!

Mad Hatter: Why is this so expensive? Didn't you bill my insurance?
CP: Yes.
MH: That's it? Yes?!
CP: Yes, sir? Yes it is expensive. Yes we did bill your insurance. Yes they seem to suck at paying for really expensive things. It is the harsh reality of the world in which we live. Things cost money. I'd love to pay $1138 for a new Ferrari but it's not going to happen. You have the right to pay for it. You also have the right to leave it here and not pay for it. Please decide quickly as there are others behind who are waiting to make this difficult decision. Next!

Mad Hatter: I wish to register a complaint.
CP: Next!

Mad Hatter: I'm sorry that last guy was a twatscrew.
CP: No worries. And don't apologise for him or his behaviour. He's a big boy. Besides, always being right means never having to say you're sorry. (My apologies to Ali Mcgraw).

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