As this winter marches along, the cold snaps are cold and the, snow is deep, I enjoy a sun room that is attached to my house. It has a wall unit that heats it in the winter and cools it the summer when it’s too hot to have the windows open. A few weeks ago, it stopped blowing hot air during one of our below zero, winter wonderland days. I called the heating company that put our furnace in, and they decided to do a tune up on that while they were checking out the wall unit. The tune up on the furnace went fine, but when he opened the wall unit he was like a driver without a map. He put an alligator clip on this wire, took it back off and put it on another. His monitor beeped and he looked at it with confusion. He open the manual that was stuffed inside the unit, and read, and read, and read…again with that lost look in his eyes. Finally! Finally…he shrugged his shoulders and said, “I dunno.” He told me that he would send someone else that knew more about these units than he did. He assured me that it would be a couple of days.
2 weeks later. I called the furnace company and asked them why they hadn’t called, or sent another tech out. She sounded confused. It must happen a lot there. She scheduled me another person to come out that week. During this entire time I was heating the sun room with my main house furnace, and it still had a chill.
The new man came. He hooked up his doodads, pulled wires, looked at the manual, and looked me 30 minutes later and said, “I dunno.” He assured me that he would send someone, or he could do the research but he would have to come back. I made him schedule with me right then, so that it wouldn’t be another 2 weeks.
He arrived for the 3rd appointment, and had answers that time. He gave an estimate for parts and labor…in writing, and assured me that it would be a couple of days until the parts came in.
3 weeks later. I came up with my own solution. I called them and again asked them why the were not communicating. She sounded confused. She left a message later and confirmed that they were supposed to order parts and were doing that now. I was done and had lost my patience.
3 weeks later they called and stated that parts were in and they wanted to schedule. I laughed. I told her to send the parts back and that I wouldn’t need them. “Really!?” she asked. She sounded confused.
People or services that we hire, whether food, or utilities, computers, or medical should not be allowed to get away with a non-solution. “It’s not my table”, or “I don’t know what the problem is”, or “That is the best we can do”, or just shrugging your shoulders should ever be acceptable.
Our Audiologist have a policy of communication and resolution. They are in constant contact with the patients because resolution in hearing loss is ongoing. There are moments of success and moments of adjustment. The key is consistent dialogue and education. A this-didn’t-work-and-this-is-what-we-are-going-to-do-to-fix-it attitude and approach can go along way with patients when things aren’t going perfectly. The front office staff has been given the same empowerment to fix the problem and ask for forgiveness later. Our practice will find a way to help. In that, we have no confusion at all.