Mental Hang Ups

Are there any phrases or expressions that just bug you? Even when used “correctly” there are some expressions that for some reason annoy me. For example:

“Full-heartedly” 

I will never use this phrase (other than above). It’s completely possible to refer to a full heart in some way or another, but wholeheartedly is not only more common, it just sounds better in my ears.

“Notion”

Rhymes with “potion” but for some reason feels foreign to say.

“Goes up” (conversely: “Goes down”)

Elevators and escalators do go up and down, but in other references I will always opt to use: increase, decrease, climb, fall, rise, etc. in whatever conjugation is appropriate. When the level of something rises, it’s not inappropriate to say that the “level goes up;” it just sounds elementary to me and I feel like there’s always a better way to describe something.

Watson creeps down the stairs

“Supper”

I always prefer to say “dinner” (or “lunch” according to some). This word also reminds me of Snoopy.

These are just some of my mental hang ups when it comes to words. Our brains are very strange places to say the least!

What are some of your hang ups?

 

Feeling Left Out

I’m back on the customer service, good communication, former car dealership employee platform.

In late December, I traded in my car for a newer model. It wasn’t a stellar experience, but it also wasn’t horrible. Our salesman and the mangers knew that we were buying the car for me. My name was in the computer already because I’d taken my old car there for maintenance. Me, me, me! (Do I sound whiney?)

We’re even dressed alike!

The new car is in both of our names. My information was first on all of the paperwork. I drive the car every day. I keep the car clean. I will take the car in for scheduled  maintenance.

So imagine my surprise, when thank you emails arrived in my inbox, at an email address that is my name, that were addressed to Brad. I got phone calls on my cell number for Brad from the dealership. The card in the mail, the calendar, the junk they send…. all addressed to Brad (and only Brad). When we picked up my plates and registration, Brad’s name was first. (And they called him to report that the plates were in.)

Then to add insult to injury, I got “Happy Birthday!” emails for Brad, all throughout February. I have no idea why I’m surprised that with my birthday in two days I haven’t received anything addressed to me for my own car.

It’s probably something alphabetical, but it feels pretty sexist. I made the buying decision for this vehicle. I’m also the one deciding whether or not to return to that auto group for future vehicle needs and frankly, it’s not looking good.

The bottom line: Continue reading

Spend Time Listening

It’s been awhile since I posted anything significant about diabetes. I still have diabetes. It still creeps into every aspect of my life, it especially horns in on my sleeping as of late.

I started writing this post then the DSMA Blog Carnival topic for October was posted as: What can diabetes educators/HCP learn from the DOC? and I thought this kind of relates, continue reading for some reflections on my last endocrinologist appointment.

Most of the time I don’t have a problem with the fact that my endo sees only adults making me one of her few Type 1 patients or that I’m treated at a teaching hospital and spend most of my appointments with doctors in training*. But at my last appointment I did.

The doctor in training that I saw seriously lacked patient communication skills. She did all of the things that people with diabetes hate. She picked out a particularly high number on my log and asked what happened. I explained to her that I had an infusion site failure, I took the proper steps to fix it and pointed out where my number stabilized (in reasonably short order). She practically disregarded my explanation and fixated on that number and how to fix it for that time of day until I stopped her and said that I did everything right to fix it and that one number didn’t represent my general diabetes status during the afternoons. Then she said, three different times, “Your A1c went up.”

“Your A1c went up.” “Your A1c is up by .2.” Yes, yes I realize that my A1c increased by .2. It’s 6.1 from a 5.9, please move on. That’s only an average glucose increase from 123 to 128. And the goal on my chart is under 7% and my personal goal is under 6.5% so I think I’m doing ok. Clearly, my doctor in training had no idea what it’s like to live with diabetes. She asked about complications (I have none), she asked about any other issues that I was having and I explained my frustration with massive after lunch spikes, which she couldn’t find on my log to be a problem and said, “We’re okay with the 160s after you eat.” That’s when I said, “but I’m not.”

I see these doctors in training for chart updates and basic reviews of my logs since my last appointment, then I see my endo and they go quiet. Hopefully she learned something when Dr. O was unfazed by my A1c jump and was attentive to my after lunch frustration (that was when she switched me to Apidra).

The two positive things that this doctor in training did were to ask me about my pump since she wasn’t familiar with OmniPod and to talk about my kidney function improvement. She answered my questions about what I could do to continue reducing my nephrology risk (continue keeping my blood sugar in range and keep doing what I’m doing with my blood pressure).

This appointment was awhile ago, and I’ve been thinking about it off and on and been bothered by the communication/customer patient service aspect of it. I know that I’m not alone in feeling frustrated when healthcare professionals don’t acknowledge the day-to-day life that affects diabetes and that things happen beyond our control. The logs that they chose to look at were all of my test results from painting and moving into our new house, a situation that is not my regular and will throw my numbers into strange patterns. Situations that need prepared for and addressed, but not treated the same way as my typical routine.

How the DOC fits in Continue reading

When a customer has to tell you how to do your job…

…you probably aren’t doing it right to begin with.

Let me hit the highlights of a story before I say what I really mean to say:

I wrote a blog post for my wedding planning blog through Wedding Wire about how important contracts are. We’d been encountering vendors who seem to not understand what a contract is even though they wrote them! I didn’t name anyone, but I used our DJ’s most recent communication as an example.

If anyone wanted to find out who our DJ was, they could but for the basic purpose of the post, it was about contracts not the DJ and it was important for other people to understand.

The DJ called me and yelled at me for “bad-mouthing” their company on the internet. Then she bombarded the post with comments bad-mouthing me and successfully attaching the company name to my blog and bringing to light the fact that they aren’t concerned about customer satisfaction. Some back and forth took place on the blog and someone said that vendors have a right to know if their customers will blog about them.

This ticked me off. I don’t tell them that I’m going talk with my friends about them. I don’t have to tell them if I’m a guest speaker at a bridal event. So I don’t have to tell them that I’m going to blog. Freedom of speech!

I was already pretty upset that they tracked me down (not extremely hard) since I blog under a “garden name.” Chances are, I don’t want to be called and scolded when a vendor doesn’t like what I say, especially if I go under a pseudonym.

What should have happened:

The DJ should not have called me. And if they were going to call, they should have kissed my butt about the issue and tried to satisfy me. They didn’t like the shadow of a possibility that I said something bad about them online, so poking the bear is a bad idea. I wanted to say, “I blog lady! You earned yourself a post with this call too!”

The takeaway:

I said it to “Lisa” in the comments and it works overall: every vendor should act like their customers will blog about them.

Every business should conduct itself like their customers will talk about them.

You don’t treat people with a bigger voice better than people without. Word-of-mouth is one of the best ways to earn new business so treat your clients well (and follow the law!). It doesn’t matter that I blog, it matters that I talk about you whether it’s on a blog or with a room full of people.

If you’re itching to read the controversial blog post and my response in the comments you can find it here.