We all know how doctor’s clinics are notorious for long lines. Anyway, there’s a saying that if there’s a long line, you’re in the right place because that doctor is good right?

Well, the other day, I wanted to see my doctor for a checkup and anticipating that there would be lots of people, I decided to be there an hour before he started seeing patients.

As soon as I got there, I noticed the secretary manning the desk was a new one. She looked strict and unwelcoming.

To my surprise, she did not want to let me get listed because according to her, my doctor was fully booked already. We were greeted with a stern and uninterested “I’ve already turned people away, even those who came before you.”

Mama (my nanny) wanted to retaliate and comment at her snide remark but I told her to let me handle it. Despite her frowning at me, I smiled politely at the secretary and communicated calmly that prior to arriving at the clinic, I had been trying to call to get a schedule but to no avail. To that, she responded with an impatient “Even if you call, we don’t accept phone reservations.”

Still keeping my cool, I replied that we had come all the way from Muntinlupa and braved the traffic to get there and besides we arrived well before the cutoff.  

-no reply-

I said that if my doctor could not accommodate me then I would understand but I would like to take my chances just the same.

-no reply-

At this point, Mama wanted to use the PWD card and insist on special considerations given my condition but I stopped her. Even the other patients waiting in the clinic agreed and raised that I should be prioritized but I motioned to them that it was okay.

Fact: I don’t usually use my disability as a defense or a way in (except with police, lol) because I feel like I will lose in the conversation whenever I do that.

So as a final attempt to get through to her, I said “I’m willing to wait even if I would be the last person on the list” I added while also suggesting that if someone on the original schedule would not show up or back out, I can replace him so the day’s quota for patients would be intact.

After what felt like a full minute of her just thinking and me just smiling politely, she gave in and listed me!

When the doctor came in I made sure he saw see me so I waved and greeted him a good afternoon.  

To that, my doctor replied “Hey Jozelle! I’ll see you inside. :)”

I looked at the secretary and she was shocked. I smiled at her and said thank you.

And lo and behold I was right. A few people didn’t come to their reserved schedules.

A few hours later, I walked out of the clinic with my prescription in hand and an admittedly deserved sermon from my still smiling doctor. :p

I had to wait quite a bit but hey at least I got what I needed!

A lesson of communication: Don’t go off into a monologue to forward only your needs. It’s a two-way street! Let others see how they too can benefit from the exchange.

Day to day communication is like branding. Don’t always highlight and force feed your features and instead let the benefits take center stage.

Just like what Steve Jobs said “marketing is about values” so go back to your core and discover what role you play in the lives of your consumers and take root in that.


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