You can try all you want, but you never really figure people out.
Take Brendan. He spent a good few minutes chewing out my front desk staffer Linda. “You’re incompetent!” he shouted at her.
Linda tried to explain. “We can’t administer the Botox for your sweating today,” she said, “because it hasn’t come in yet.”
What Linda did not say—there would have been no point—was that the reason his Botox hadn’t come in was that Brendan had ignored several calls from his pharmacy, asking for the information (and co-payment) they needed to release the Botox.
No, Brendan certainly didn’t want to hear that. Nor did he want to hear that we had called in advance to ask him to wait till we let him know that the Botox was in. But here he was, hyperinflating his lungs.
“You’re just damned useless!” he explained.
OK, we all have unreasonable patients from time to time. But what I’m describing is behavior that’s not just aggressive and unpleasant but incomprehensible. Would you like to know why I call it incomprehensible?
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Because Brendan has been coming in for axillary Botox injections every six months for five years! He knows the drill. He knows the staff. He’s always pleasant as punch. Just not today. Why? Who knows?
What’s true for patients can of course also be true for employees. Model workers, superb team players, reliable folks who show up in snowstorms, who come right back to work…