I know that business managers try to train their employees to be courteous to customers (some do, at least). I appreciate that. I do avoid places where I’m dealt with unkindly and rudely. I would rather take my business where I’m treated politely. I also understand the issue of Southern/Texas manners. I know when someone says, “Mornin’. How are ya?” they’re not really interested in a lengthy response. And I answer, in a friendly way, “Good, good. And you?” I’m expecting that they will reply, “Fine, fine.”
That said, it’s an annoying enigma to me to be greeted at the doctor’s office with, “Good morning, Mrs. Lintz. How are you today?”
“Well, I’m at the doctors office. Isn’t it your job to tell me how I am today?” Maybe I’m a little pricklier about it than most. I have a lot of doctors and am in somebody’s office every few weeks. Still.
“How am I? My temperature is 102.”
“How am I? I’m recovering from congestive heart failure.”
“How am I? I’m in kidney failure and may be weeks away from starting dialysis.”
“How am I? I’m at the doctor’s office, for heaven’s sake! How good can I really be?!?”
I know they’re just trying to be friendly, but it seems an odd thing to say at a place where most folks are there because of a problem.
Here are some other choices they might consider:
“Good morning. Good to see you today.” Well, maybe not. It’s like when you’re at a funeral. You do indeed enjoy seeing friends and relatives that you may not have been with in a while, but you’re sorry for the occasion that brought you together.
“Good morning. You’re here today.” Not a great choice.
“Good morning. Are you having a great day?” How great can a day be, if I’m at the doctor’s office? Well, maybe. If my blood sugar levels are down and my kidney function is up, and my iron is normal. I guess if “not a horrible day” can be a synonym for “great day,” then “great day” it is.
“Good morning. Here you are again.” Maybe. Let’s assume that’s said in a welcoming, friendly voice and not a sneering, contentious one. The truth is, I do feel close to the staffs of some of my physicians; I see them more often than I do most of my friends.
“Good morning. Come right with me.” That might be a good choice.
“Good morning. Let’s get started.” Hmmm. Not awful.
“Good morning.” Said with a friendly smile and a kind voice, for me that’s the best choice of all. This is what most of the medical people in my life say to me now, because I have so ragged on them about it.
“Good morning. Would you like to make a payment today?” Not my favorite. At one physician’s office, where I had sent a check two weeks earlier, I was asked that twice, as I came and as I went. Really.
Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
1 John 3:18 (NIV)
I guess I should stop complaining about what they say and be more concerned about what they do. And they do very well by me. I have great doctors with great staffs who treat me with respect. I’ll try to ease up.