I was purchasing some tires at Discount Tire when the telephone on the counter rang and the service person I was conducting business with excused himself to attend the telephone, likely a customer on the other end. The service person was very polite and yada yada yada but I was in front of him and he placed my presence on hold to not lose the customer calling in. How is it any different than someone you are talking with and they decide to answer their cellphone during your conversation?
At that moment I thought, customer service has nothing to do with rendering a service to a customer as much as it is about capturing every possible customer for their money. I spend $1300 on tires and that was not enough to keep the sales person’s undivided attention. I could have easily just left as I do to patients when they answer their cellphone during anytime I am interacting with them.
One such time I had to see a new patient three different times before I was able to complete a physical exam due to the patient choose to talk on his cellphone when I first went to see him saying to me, “I have to answer this call.” So I walked out and went to see the next waiting patient. When I return the second time the patient was still on the cellphone and when he saw me he held his index finger up, suggesting he needed more time. So I left to see the next waiting patient. As I passed the nurse’s station I said to the charge nurse, “I been in to see the patient in room X twice and he tells me to wait until he finishes his phone call.” Of course I could have told the patient the first time not to answer his cellphone while I was present but likely he would have complained. However, after seeing other patients the charge nurse came to tell me the first patient had ended his phone call and was ready for me.
Of course neither of those stories, the sales person answering the phone or the patient on the cellphone, were similar in any manner to the story in the book where a patient complained that I answered a cellphone while seeing him in the emergency department, as that phone I answered, while seeing him, was regarding another patient’s care and not my much better half asking me to bring home a loaf of bread, a container of milk, and a stick of butter.
Keep in mind, healthcare is the only industry dedicated to helping others. Let us not permitted healthcare to become just another industry looking to capture every possible customer just for their money.