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Monday, August 3, 2015

Don't Leave a Message After the Beep

The whole reason for the existence of an answering machine is to accept phone calls and gather messages when you can't be there to answer them in person. The whole point of voicemail is the same. It's like mail, only a verbal version, like audio books. If the reason for their being is to provide you with a message, should you not heed it? Should you not at least listen to it?

Calling a pharmacy after receiving a voicemail without actually listening to the voicemail, is the same as calling the person who sent you an email, without having actually read the email, and asking, "What's up? I see you emailed me. What did you need?".

Apparently, the only way to get through to people, is to leave them multiple messages.
"Hi. This is CP's Pharmacy calling. Listen to the next message we are going to leave."
"Hi. Here's the message. Don't come down here! We don't have your medication in stock. Come tomorrow!"
"Hi. CP again. Make sure you listen to the other messages. Very important."
"Hi. Don't call us. Don't come down here. Wait until tomorrow. Don't waste our time."
"Hi. We've left you 5 messages now. I'd better not see you until tomorrow, or else."

Maybe we could treat them as they treat us. When patients call in, or stop by in person, we can just ignore everything they say. Maybe pretend to have an absence seizure and blink off into space before saying: "Sorry. I was too busy doing other things. I didn't listen to a single word you just said. Why are you here? Why are you calling me?"

Better yet...
CP: Hey, I see we have 36 refills in our queue this morning. They all came after we closed. Let's call each person and ask what they need refilled, when they need it, and what else they may have wanted.
UberTech: I like it. Ooh. Let's role play. You be the patient.
CP: Hello?
UT: Yes, Is this Mr. Gozinya?
CP: Call me Peter.
UT: Okay, Peter. I see you called in a refill last night.
CP: Uh-huh.
UT: Okay. What did you need refilled?
CP: I left it on the computer. I typed it on the phone.
UT: Oh. I saw your name on our list but didn't actually look at the drug or prescription number. Can you give it to me again?
CP: No. I threw away the old bottle as soon as I called it to you.
UT: I see. I see. Would your wife know what it was? Maybe one of your kids there? Or one of the dogs I hear in the background? Ooh! The parrot I hear squawking?
CP: No. Isn't that the point of me leaving it on your computer? So I don't have to worry about it anymore?
UT: You would think so, but never underestimate the power of laziness and stupidity to lower the bar on themselves.

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