Monday, July 18, 2011

I Belive in Kindness

Rude:  1. being in a rough or unfinished state; 2. lacking refinement or delicacy (offensive in manor or action); 3. marked by or suggestive of lack of training or skill; 4. occurring abruptly or disconcertingly

Discourteous:  1. lacking courtesy

Unkind:  1. not pleasing or mild; 2. lacking in kindness or sympathy

I believe in kindness.  I believe that when dealing with others, to treat them the way you would want to be treated in the same situation.  I do not believe in creating unnecessary stress on another person when a situation is already stressful.

I had a situation this morning arise in which a woman was rude, discourteous and unkind to me in front of my four year old son.  I took him to his dentist appointment this morning.  I have become concerned he may have a couple cavities forming and I want to get them taken care of as soon as possible.

The dentist office we are assigned to by the insurance company has a policy that they call 24 hours in advance of your appointment to confirm it.  If they cannot reach you, they cancel your appointment.  When I got to the office this morning to check my son in, I found out they could not reach us (they had an old phone number on file) and canceled his appointment.  This in itself frustrated me, but what made matters worse was the way the front desk women spoke to me.

As soon as she saw the appointment was canceled, her tone immediately changed and she started speaking down to me.  She spoke to me in a way that made me feel like I was an idiot for coming in when my appointment had been canceled.  When I expressed my frustration with the situation (in a very calm way) she shrugged her shoulders at me and told me there were no more available appointments until September!! She also told me I could sit around and wait to see if the next appointment showed up (literally the words "you can sit around and wait" came out of her mouth). 

I was absolutely dumb founded that she was being so hostile towards me.  My son was already tense at the thought of seeing the dentist and I was trying to remain as calm as possible.  At one point, I had enough of her tone and called her out on her rude behavior.  Again, I did this in a calm way as to not upset my son and try to keep my composure in front of him.  I did not want to fly off the handle and show a bad example.  The woman seemed shocked that I had called her out on her bad behavior, but nothing changed.  She just kept repeating over and over the office policy on appointment cancellations.

This is a reminder to us all that it's not what you say, it's how you say it.  No matter who is at fault in any given situation, if you are in a service industry and have an upset customer it's really better to try and temper things rather than add fuel to the fire.  If she had been more apologetic (even though it wasn't really the office's fault) that the appointment had been canceled because they couldn't contact us the confirm, I still would have been frustrated but at least I could have seen the situation for what it was.  Instead she made things worse by being unwilling to show kindness while trying to find the best solution.  In fact she didn't try to help resolve the problem, she sat in her chair staring at my while I tried to decide what to do.  I just wish she had been more sympathetic to my frustration and tried to help be part of the solution instead of the problem.

In the end, I was able to get his appointment rescheduled for early August (as an appointment seemed to magically appear on her computer screen) and he has also been put on the cancellation list. I left feeling beat up, abused and at lost for words trying to explain to my son why he wasn't going to see the dentist today.

Please remember to always show kindness as you never know a person's current situation and....

stay tuned.....

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