February 13, 2013 by Dragonfly Diva
Have you ever had a situation where you were faced with having to rapidly adjust your schedule for the day or week due to another person’s lack of communication or a weak business practice? Did you just deal with it or did you address your frustrations with the situation by talking to this other person or business about doing a better job in the future?
I was faced with this very situation today. I made what I thought would be a very routine call to our pediatrician’s office to get a refill prescription for my son’s medication. Normally this involves leaving a message at the nurse’s desk with the details and a call back number if she has questions. Today it turned into a huge mess that is wreaking havoc on my schedule early next week and impacting my son’s time at school. All because of a policy that the nurse who called back tried to say has been in place for sometime, but has not been put into practice – at least with my family, from my perspective. Her call instantly put me on the defensive because now I am being inconvenienced, my son is being inconvenienced and we have to go to not just one extra doctor’s office visit, but two (and pay co-pays each time) that we were not planning on.
I kept my irritation reigned in and maintained a professional approach to sharing my displeasure – at least I think I did. 🙂 And I did offer to her that I understood she is not the one who made the policy, she is only the bearer of the bad news today. But then I went on to share that perhaps they should add parent communication regarding new policies, and clear instructions to the physicians who are supposed to inform parents of the need to schedule particular types of appointments to their agenda for their next staff meeting. The leader in me who tackles communication issues on a regular basis with my staff and the businesses we work with came roaring out, and shared that tidbit before I could slam my mouth shut. Would you have done something similar or would you have let it go? Maybe I would have let it go if it wasn’t so blatant that their policy and their practices are not one and the same, or if the detour to get the prescription didn’t involve two separate doctors appointments and a last-minute change of plans in my week’s schedule. Or, if it truly was my fault for not following through with the doctor’s office policy and scheduling certain appointments.
I’ve been both on the receiving end of a situation like this (being the bearer of bad news, and having a client who is unhappy with the situation) and the giving end, as the disgruntled client. In the end I still prefer giving or receiving feedback regarding my business practices so that I can improve in the future, but that is just me. Your thoughts?