My first Sunday Confessions post is about kindness because I think so many people forget how to be kind. I run a doctor’s office. My doctor specializes in headaches and migraines but treats general neurology as well. If you know anyone that has migraines, or if you experience them yourself, you know how awful they can make you feel. Some people can’t even function while suffering a migraine. Well, I see these people all week. When they get made because they have to wait too long, they want their meds, they want an earlier appointment or they just want some letter for work excusing them from missing too many days because they’re in pain…they are not usually kind. This type of rudeness or impatience is SOMETIMES understandable. They are in pain. I get it. I’m in pain too sometimes, but I’m not going to be mean to everyone I encounter.
It gets VERY frustrating when all I do is say hello when a patient walks into my office or I answer the phone and right from the beginning the patient is mean. What the hell did I do to you? Answer the phone too nicely? A lot of the time, it isn’t even the patient that is mean. It is their spouse, parent, sibling or whatever loved one is taking care of things for them. People yell at us for not giving them medication refills when we haven’t seen them in the office in two years. People yell because we can’t schedule their appointment sooner than next week because the doctor is OUT OF THE STATE. People yell because they had to hold for two minutes and fifteen seconds while we tend to the patient that is standing in front of our desk. People yell just because that is all they know how to do. No one taught them to be kind.
I thought it was common knowledge that when you’re kind, people like you more. People are way more willing to go out of their way for someone that was kind to them. Sometimes I get so angry with patients that I tell them just because they were so rude I’m not going to be in any rush to help them. Man are they willing to apologize and make my day then. I really do appreciate the people that call back after they realize how ridiculous they were and apologize. It really is nice. My favorite patients are the ones that are sweet and kind from the start. They say please and thank you and they understand how much we deal with. They’re wonderful. They are the patients that I go out of my way for. They are the patients that get their charts piled on top of the mean patients in my stack of things to take care of.
I work for one of the best headache specialists in the country. As busy as he is, he only has myself and my coworker running his office. It can get crazy sometimes. When a patient comments on how nice, helpful or organized we are it makes my day! The fact that someone actually appreciates what I’m doing for them is the best thing EVER. Some patients even send thank you cards or little gifts. It really is the sweetest thing. I especially love that my boss – one of the smartest and busiest people I’ve ever known in my entire life – says thank you to me before I leave EVERY SINGLE DAY.
After all of my complaining about the meanness I deal with almost daily, I really hope you get how important kindness is. When someone is kind to you it makes you want to be a little more kind to others. Everyone needs to spread that around a bit more.
What kindness did you experience today?
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