Friday, April 30, 2010

I have this specimen

I have two words for you.....Fri and Day.

Hope you have had a good week.
Things going okay here.

My son Noah had another beauty yesterday. My wife had her best friend from high school and her family over to the house yesterday. She has two kids. Her son is 4 and her daughter is 2.
Her and her family are from Miami, and, for now, their first language is Spanish. So the boy is bilingual, but it is apparent that he struggles more with English.
So we are all outside, and I am throwing the football with Noah (6 years old). And I start talking to Paulo but either he doesn't know I am talking to him or he doesn't understand what I am saying. So Noah says, "Dad, he is half-deaf."
I said, "What?!!!"
And he says, "Yeah, I think he is half-deaf because I have been standing real close to him and talking and he doesn't do what I am telling him to do."
So Noah is saying this to me and Paulo is standing about 2 feet from him, and he is serious as a heart attack. He has fully deduced that if he doesn't do what Noah is saying or turn when he is talking to him that he is "half-deaf".
I have to try to not full-on barrel laugh right in front of him and try to explain to him that Paulo just probably doesn't understand what he is saying.
Oh my Gosh, when I told Hilda and her friend, we laughed so hard. That Noah.....hilarious.

I had a funny/awkward thing happen to me this week that I thought I would talk about because I can always bring funny/awkward stuff back to what we do at our offices.

Remember my vasectomy story. Well if you didn't, here is the link.... , instant classic. And it would have been worse if I now didn't have an editing department telling me "You can't say that."
I believe in being real. But I digress.

After the vasectomy blog was the "post-op" blog in which I told you that they wanted me to bring in, let's call them "progress samples", #21 and #30. They give me two sample jars and said see you soon. Easy right?
Seemed fine at the time. But this week was somewhere around #21. Actually I lost count, and I didn't tell them. I found it hard to mark on the calendar every time me and my wife...well you know.
So anyway, I am not going to tell how challenging (and fairly anti-climactic) it was to get the sample in the jar. (I told you I believe in being real, and I told you that the editing people believe in editing). But this isn't the funny/awkward part of the story.

Now, they tell you to just put it in a bag and bring it in, "The people up at the front know what to do."
So here I am with my sample in a brown bag, and I am going to bring this in. I park and walk up to the front door. Now this urology office is big - 14 urologists. So the reception area is real big. I walk in the door and there are at least 10 people at this desk. I am not talking about staff, no I am talking about patients and the people with them.
I wait my turn and the nice young lady (about 24 or so) asks if she can help me.
I said, "Yes, I have a sample to give you."
Now, you realize I am trying to make this as not weird as possible. I am saying to myself, "We are all adults here. They do this all the time. It is not weird for them so why would it be weird for me. So walk right up and talk normal."
So she proceeds to say (it kind of seemed that she yelled), "Is it urine or semen?"
Did she just ask me, out loud, in front of all these people if I have urine or semen in this bag?
Again I say to myself, "This is very normal, everyone does it."
I say, as calm as possible, in a much softer tone than she used, "semen".
Now, I hope all of you reading this are thinking....AWKWARD?
I am flat out dying in that room. I don't look around, but I am sure everyone has just taken one step away from me.
I give her the sample and fill out the paper work and walk out shaking my head. Thinking, does everything at this office have to be like that?

So I started thinking. Do we do this at our office?
Do we do something everyday and lose the fact that it could be weird for our patients?
Do we make people say what is hurting them at the front desk or in the reception area where it could be weird?
I mean this lady at the front could have found out my name, punched it in the computer, and realized I had a vasectomy about three months ago and could have figured out what was in the jar.
I guess, also, she could have taken the bag, look in it and figured out real quick what the sample was.
She could have said something like, "Is this a sample after a vasectomy?"
I would have said, "Yes", and she would have known what it was.

Do people drop off their denture to be repaired in the front or do we take them discreetly to the back? Or do we say out loud, "We will call you when your denture comes back from the lab."
And they leave shaking their head saying to themselves, "Does it always have to be weird at that place."
I think where I fail is when I am talking to a parent. They have a teenager so they don't come back with them when they come back to get their teeth cleaned. I go out to where they are sitting, in the reception area, and talk to them about their kids. Sometimes it is, "They look great, they need to see an orthodontist" or it could be "your kid is just not brushing his teeth, and he has five cavities".
I try hard to put myself in my patient's shoes. Some of them don't care, and I try to read them as we start to talk. If I feel like they are uncomfortable talking out in the open, I will bring them in the back.
But you never know, they could be saying to themselves, "Act normal, they are talking like it is normal so let's try for this not to be awkward."

Is your staff doing the same thing? Are they respecting people's privacy up there?
Or are they saying or even YELLING, "Urine or semen"?

Do a little looking in the mirror this week. Remember that it is always a good thing to make you and your office staff better. Let's start there.

Have a great weekend.

I am halfway through my first book on my Amazon Kindle. The book is called Water for Elephants. I have to tell you that it is weird reading from the Kindle but I think I will get use to it.
One thing that I always do is I forget who the characters are. So I flip back and find out who this person is. This is hard to do with the Kindle. There is a way of making I might do this with the next book.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a funny story but the urology clinic receptionist should have been more discreet and sensitive when inquiring about the nature of the visit. Maybe next time, in anticipation of such an awkward moment you could affix a label/post-it note to the bag with your name and "6-month post-vasectomy sample" written on it or something like that. When you present the sample simply point to the self-explanatory label, preempting Miss Loud Mouth from the start.

Awesome blog, keep up the good work.


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