Sunday, November 24, 2013

The TRUTH about the turkey!

According to a recent news report, a certain brand of turkey refused to respond to the chemical concoction used to fatten them up for proper consumption this year. This means people who eat these turkeys may not gain the customary ten pounds this holiday season. Think of the repercussions of this audacious event. If we don’t gain, then everything associated with these turkeys will actually lose!

The gym will not realize the substantial increase in people who pay them a retainer in case they ever decide to work off those few extra pounds. The doctors will lose revenue because high blood pressure and other obesity related illnesses will decrease!  Drug companies won't be able to sell beta blockers or appetite reducing agents, and their income stream will be reduced to mere pennies on our dollars!

Magazine readership will wane because there won't be a need to read about how to “lose ten pounds of flab in 3 days!" Advertising sponsorship's will lose because with fewer people browsing the magazine section, eye catching headlines will be scrutinized by ardent readers instead of sensational impulse buyers.

Then, because magazines are floundering, internet usage will reach all time highs, giving the government leverage to tax its usage. The people who can't afford it will be unable to access what has become the primary source of vital information. As a result, the economy which thrives on its growing middle class will actually see a decrease in its educational standing. More people will move into the global marketplace ill-prepared to govern, to make sound decisions, or to function in a civilized society. Ultimately, all of the expected and accepted rules of protocol will be lost as we spiral downwards and further away from the civilized society we all have grown to know and trust.

I say we stop this madness by demanding that protocols be enforced to ensure that the chemical balance in our meats is never lacking again. We must unite and demand that just as there are standards of conduct for humanity, there must be standards that reverse the trending towards an uncultured society!

First, we must understand that a civil society must not be deterred from its existence by allowing an entire generation to be dependent on the electronic media for its intellectual property. The importance of traditions and values must be passed down generationally by the retelling and subsequent reinforcement of etiquette and manners. This will cause a surge in concern for the well being of our neighbors, and rekindle a sense of responsibility for a government that is governed in accordance with common sense and morality.

Then, the news that reaches newsstands will give equal coverage to things that pertain to a civilized society, which, in turn, will diminish the unnecessary laws which intrude into the simplest aspects of existence. Everyday living will be simpler because life will hold more value than the accumulation of things, resulting in a decrease in crime. The reduction in crime will diminish the fear of venturing outside. Neighbors will be more than the people we talk about. They will be people we talk to!

As we meet more people, our primary relational cores will be strengthened, and the internet will be just another recreational venue because we will get the most value and information from going outside to socialize person-to-person and voice-to-voice with others. As our outdoor activity increases, doctors and pharmaceuticals will once more be focused on preventative medicine rather than masking symptoms for diseases they can't cure. Gyms will resume their place in schools and as training and recreational facilities.

Then, we will not need to worry about the leanness of our turkeys because everyone will realize that fresh and lean is better for everyone, including our foods! And when we gather around the table in our more civilized society, the rules of protocol will always lead to expected etiquette's and acceptable manners that give us all so much to be thankful for!

Happy Turkey Day!

I am Pamela Coopwood, and I am “Speaking of Protocol”

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Excuse me, but is your rudeness interfering with my rights?!

“If I hurt your feelings in any way I just want you to know from the bottom of my heart that I don't care.” Author Unknown

The world is tired of people. Tired of serving them. Tired of pleasing them. Tired of being polite! We see this everywhere but are still surprised when volunteers, public servants, or health care professionals disrespect people.

I experienced this firsthand during a recent doctor's visit. As man approached the receptionist, she acknowledged him by shouting, "What are you here for?" Stunned by her rudeness, everyone looked up as he, in turn, answered her in a quiet and controlled voice. Ignoring obvious social cues, the receptionist loudly repeated the purpose of his appointment. Those of us who understood simple courtesy looked away to minimize his shame. Others, fully engaged in his private affairs and unconcerned about the rules of protocol and etiquette, gawked or laughed as they waited to see what would happen next. To their disappointment, he maintained his composure, finished his business and took his seat.

It takes very little to destroy another person’s dignity. An offensive greeting in an intimate setting is perhaps the worst form of public humiliation. How sad that some medical personnel and other guardians of privacy information are not polite or discreet when serving patients and customers! According to Dr. Jenna Ward, senior lecturer in organizational studies at York University, “Most medical receptionists receive little training in handling people or in diffusing high-pressure situations. Yet, they are the stitching that holds a practice together, emotionally and administratively...mistakes could result in serious health implications for the patients.” Thankfully, professionals can learn common courtesies and appropriate behavior through protocol, etiquette, and customer service training.

So, how should we respond when we come upon a rude medical receptionist? And, what should we do if our business is broadcast to the waiting room?

1. Get a copy of The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and make sure you understand your rights. HIPAA requires that providers, such as doctors, nurses, pharmacies, hospitals and nursing homes keep your health information private, even at the check-in window.

2. Remember, you deserve civility. Proper protocol and etiquette demand it. The receptionist should be friendly and polite at all times. You should not be made to feel that your presence is a burden, period.
3. Follow the posted instructions. It is annoying to answer the same question repeatedly when a few moments to read the signage would answer most routine questions. After reading, if you need assistance, ask. Simply state that you HAVE read but have further questions!

4. Guard your privacy. If your response is better answered in private, you can say, "I would rather not answer that here. But, if we can speak privately, I will gladly provide the information you're requesting." Alternatively, state you would rather discuss your health and medications with the doctor in a more private setting. Then, wait for further instructions or request to see a manager. Yes, even doctor’s offices have managers and supervisors!

5. Acknowledge the breach. If you are subjected to loud or embarrassing questioning, quietly state you would like your information to be kept confidential and not discussed in a public area such as the waiting room.

6. Don't return rudeness. A courteous response will lend to your credibility if you are forced to complain about the problem. Others will also attest to the fact that you did not do anything to provoke ill treatment.

7. Inform your physician. They know the value of a good reception and cannot afford to lose patients because of ill-mannered or discourteous front desk personnel. Keep in mind, more than one person has completed medical school! If the problem persists, take your business elsewhere.

Treat everyone with politeness, even those who are rude to you - not because they are nice, but because you are.  ~Author Unknown

I am Pamela Coopwood, and I am “Speaking of Protocol”