Who Do You Want Taking Care of Your Mom?

My mom was having a procedure done at a prestigious Long Island hospital the other day. (Don't worry, it went well). We were told to arrive at the hospital at 5:30 a.m. When we arrived, I attempted to pull up to the front entrance and found that there were barriers prohibiting me from doing so. I needed to drop my mom off and get a wheelchair to take her to the registration area. How frustrating was that, not to mention stressful for my mom, who didn't want to be late?

The last time we visited this hospital and arrived at 5:30 a.m., there was a security guard directing people where to go. He raised the barrier and let us drive up to the front entrance. This time, no guard. My mom was starting to panic. I drove around the parking lot for a few minutes and saw a security guard in a truck. He was about to enter the parking garage, and I beeped my horn to get his attention. I pulled up next to him and told him I needed to take my mom to the front entrance. I shared that the barrier was down and I couldn't get to the front of the building. He abruptly told me to just use the emergency room entrance. Gee, thanks for your help. (Not!)

As I was driving back around, I noticed another security guard walking out of a security trailer. I flagged him down and shared my situation. He immediately sprung into action. He walked to the trailer and pushed a button to raise the barrier, which allowed me access to the front of the building. He followed me on foot, and, as I was pulling up, he told me he would go inside and get a wheelchair and take my mom to the registration area while I parked my car. I thanked him for his help, and mom was relieved.

What a difference from the experience a few minutes earlier! How could two employees working for the same hospital handle a situation so differently?After thanking the second security guard for his help, I told him about the experience I had earlier with his co-worker. Our new friend, Joe, shook his head, not in disbelief, but in disgust. He shared that he was raised by his mom to treat every person the way he wants to be treated. I told Joe that to him and his co-workers, patients are anonymous, and even annoying at times. However, this patient was a mother, mine! And I wanted and expected her to be treated as if she were the employee's mother.

I couldn't resist giving Joe a Rave card. A Rave card is a business-sized card I created to give to employees who go above and beyond to provide good service to customers, or in this case, patients. He deserved to be recognized for his actions and told me it made his day to receive it.

I ran into Joe later that morning, and the first words out of his mouth where, "How's your Mother?" He told me to wish her a speedy recovery. We talked a little bit more about the importance of treating patients well, and he shared that when we ran into him earlier, he wasn't even on the clock yet! Talk about going above and beyond!

I don't know about you, but I know which employee I want taking care of my mother!

Randi Busse is a customer service speaker, trainer, and author of Turning Rants Into Raves: Turn Your Customers On Before They Turn On YOU! Her company, Workforce Development Group, (www.workdevgroup.com) provides training and coaching to improve customer service, increase customer retention, and create a culture of ownership among employees.