So here's my rant. Ready? It's kind of a 1st World Problem. But it's also a comment on professionalism and how we can impact something much bigger than ourselves by our actions.
Part of my "other duties as assigned" job description includes sharing an important calendar with a co-worker. This calendar is the lunch schedule that we make available to medical supply companies and drug representatives. The companies set up a time to bring in lunch for the staff and in turn get to share data and information with the prescribers in our office. (There are things I could say about this practice, but it is what it is and it has drastically changed over the ten+ years I've been the keeper of the calendar.)
There are extremely professional men and women who work for these companies. A good representative is friendly, courteous, respectful, able to read body language, succinct and cares more about people than getting data pounded into a provider's head. These professionals make their company look good.
And then there are some completely clueless individuals. We've refused a lunch appointment a time or two because of unprofessionalism and lack of common sense. And, trust me, their actions certainly impacted their company.
Tuesday we had a no show lunch. Over the years we've asked people to call the day before to confirm. A full half would not. We tried e-mailing and getting a confirmation. That worked better.
But we still had no shows or last minute cancellations.
So this is part of a representative's job...setting up appointments to promote their product or service. In our office we do our best to make sure all the providers know who's coming and make it simple for them to see the person during the appointment time. I am still shocked at the way people look at these appointments. For starters, a dozen or so people plan on lunch coming to the office. Four of these people are busy prescribers who often only sit still long enough to wolf down food between patients. No lunch might mean a doctor goes hungry or gets behind in their schedule because they have to leave the office. In our clinic we place a calendar out with the representative's name and company on the appropriate date. So a no show or late cancel is known by everyone. Oddly, that doesn't seem to make a difference to the ones who don't care. My co-worker and I don't like to babysit or hound reps. But we like to know people are going to keep their appointments because a dozen co-workers looking at us wondering where food is kind of sucks.
So Tuesday's lunch was set up a mere 14 days before. Shouldn't have had a conflict come up. Right? Right. So he leaves a voicemail at 9 o'clock that morning on a co-worker's voice mail that he needed to chat about lunch. At 10:30 she called and got his voicemail. At 11:30 she got real concerned when he hadn't called back. Long story short. Since we didn't call him back before 10:30 he thought it would just be okay to just not come because he wasn't "feeling good" and "since he didn't hear from us" he thought it'd be okay. Really? Those details were shared after my co-worker called his company and asked how she could get hold of him and explained the situation. He finally called her. Then he said he'd make it up to us by bringing a really nice lunch someday.
Yeah. That's not going to happen. One of the doctors and a PA were ticked. Neither will use his company. (There are other providers to choose from that do a better job, so it won't impact patient care. This is also a company that has not had a great track record with patient response and active involvement with our office and he was trying to put them back on our to use list.) Like the doctor said. "If he can't handle an appointment with professionalism then how can we trust him with patients who need their supplies?"