Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Sitting at the Front Desk

My best front desk story is about Reno -- a long ago administrator in our smaller office that was helping a young lady with developmental delay. The women decided that we had no right to see and copy her benefits card. When Reno ask for a copy the lady sat down on the floor in the corner of the [full] waiting room and screamed at the top of her lungs "f*** you it's my card .... f*** you b****" etc.... Reno sat their and smiled and still got the card (and we pulled her tooth and she left happy). The contrast between Reno's smile and this ladies profanity still cracks me up every time. I've always thought it would be a good interview strategy for front desk people.

One of these days I'm going to sit at the desk and try to play the part of an administrator in a serious way. While people come to work for money it is rarely the reason they stay. Have a look at one of the top thinkers in lean management and what they say about motivation for improvement at Curious Cat Management. I keep telling myself that our front desk people are often confronted by pissed off people in front of them, pissed off doctors beside them and pissed off nurses behind them. And they sit there with a smile as if they don't realize people are subliminally screaming "f*** you". Today is just a reminder that the front desk is a hell of a job and not easy to do. So before you (and I) go over the top when triple booked just think back to the young lady sitting in the corner of the room.

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