Today’s Lesson: Focus on the person in front of you

Today’s lesson is to focus on the person in front of you. I went for a doctor (nurse practitioner) appointment this morning and on the way out, the check out clerk told me that I was scheduled to be back for an appointment in three weeks. However, I knew the NP had said three months, not three weeks. When I let the clerk know, she said, after looking at her screen, that the NP had said three weeks.

She also had a phone call on hold that she twice went back to while (trying to) talk to me. And she looked back toward where another checkout clerk was supposed to be but wasn’t and rolled her eyes. I let her schedule the appointment, but later that morning, I double checked and learned from the nurse, who was with me before I saw the nurse practitioner, it was three months, not three weeks.

I was transferred to a receptionist, who also wasn’t listening to me at first, and did get the three week appointment canceled. Before I hung up, I let her know politely that they should focus on the person in front of them and that it’s not a patient’s fault if they are shorthanded.

I have a feeling that before the day and week is done — if only because of self-confirmation bias, it will be a lesson that I need to learn too. I’ll keep you apprised as the week progresses.

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7 thoughts on “Today’s Lesson: Focus on the person in front of you

  1. Such a great lesson, Bryan! It never fails to bother me if I am in someone’s office discussing something, and he or she answers the ringing phone. I was there first. The person on the phone can leave a message, or you can return the call when we are done. I won’t answer the phone if someone is in my office. I would expect the same courtesy from others, but it so rarely happens.


    1. I learned from the other side of the desk yesterday that sometimes it is hard to focus when your attention is split by different people. But something for me to continue to work on.


  2. When I worked customer service we were taught that if a customer calls while we’re working with an in-person customer, we ask the one on the phone to “hold please” while we finish with the in person customer. And the opposite was true. If we were on the phone and someone walked up we would say “I’ll be with you as soon as I finish with this call”.


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