• Servers vs Surgeons

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    by Charity Ohlund – guest blogger, former waitress and former medical office manager

    To put it mildy, I’ve had an interesting and varied career path. To put it bluntly, I never decided what I wanted to be when I grew up.

    I’ve worked as a banker, marketing person, web site developer, sales person, concierge and writer (to name just a few).  I also spent several years as a server at an upscale steakhouse. Immediately following that job, I became the office manager at a cosmetic surgery and medical spa center. It was this transition that first allowed me to see how differently customers behaved when they were at a restaurant.

    Now, of course, the majority of my restaurant guests were delightful. But it’s the real jerks that tend to sear into our memories, right? Once I started working at the doctor’s office, it become obvious to this former server that restaurants bring out a certain jerkishness in people that doesn’t often show up in other places of business. Maybe it’s that hospitality leads jerkish-inclined folks to imagine that for about an hour, they have actually joined the ranks of aristocracy by simply obtaining a Discover card.  Or maybe it’s that the welcoming atmosphere of a restaurant reminds customers of home and they just fall into treating employees like they treat their wives, husbands and children –  like dirt.

    So  just for laughs, I’ve compiled this list of things that you would never hear a customer say in a plastic surgeon’s office:

    1. What do you mean there’s no availability for an appointment tomorrow?  That’s unacceptable.  I come there all the time!  I’m a very important patient.  Let me talk to the doctor.  I’m sure he’d want to know I’m trying to make an appointment.
    2. I’ve been waiting in this little room sitting on this little table for more than 10 minutes!  I will not pay you for your services today.
    3. I know you are a plastic surgeon but I’m just not really in the mood for a facelift today.  Can I just get an angiogram instead?
    4. That doctor across the street does a WAY better physical than you.  Cheaper, too.  I sometimes wonder how you stay in business, doc.
    5. I don’t feel this anesthesia at all.  Did you even put any drugs in there?  Take this back up to the anesthesiologist and tell her to make it a strong one this time.  I’m paying good money for that.
    6. (Whistle) Heeyyyyy, doctor.  You married?  You look hot in that white coat.  What size are you?
    7. Will you watch my kids for about an hour and a half while I ignore them and enjoy myself?
    8. Well, the skin graft is taking too long.  What am I paying you for anyway?  I fully expect a free skin grafting coupon for next time.
    9. It’s my birthday.  Do you offer any discounts?
    10. No, I don’t need anything else.  I know you closed an hour ago, but I want to sit in the exam room for a few more hours and just relax.  I’ll let you know if I need anything.

     

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