Thoughts for Thursday

I hope that made you chuckle.

I was thinking about this the other day and I wanted to share it with you guys:

I love the basic human interaction of talking to another receptionist.

See, I work at a doctor’s office. I spend A LOT of time on the phone talking to people. Talking to patients, talking to relatives of patients, talking to other doctor’s offices, drug reps, law firms, pharmacies. You name it. But by far my favorite people to talk to are other receptionists.

I think what is so comforting is that when the phone lines are ringing off the hook and I’m by myself they understand when every two seconds I’m like “Ack.. hold on a sec..” “Uhh hold on let me grab this line real quick” and I get back on the line, breathless from having to quickly say the name of the place I work, plus my name, plus ‘can you hold for just a moment? thanks..’ and they know. They get it. They understand.

It’s these simple little human interactions that make me smile, that make me feel like I can handle whatever this day is going to throw at me. This feeling that I’m not alone, there are other people out there trying to do the same thing, and yeah receptionisting may not solve the energy crisis or world hunger or anything like that, but it gives me hundreds of little chances every day to make someone’s day. To be pleasant. To smile and chat warmly. To offer my own condolences and understandings to other receptionists out there.

So when you’re out there in the world this week, dear readers, smile and greet your receptionist. Make pithy comments about the weather to the cashier at the grocery store. Compliment them on their smile and how friendly they are. If they look like they’ve been there for nine hours straight with a thirty minute lunch break, do something that reminds them they are human, they are loved, and hey, maybe it’s not so bad.

And please, pretty pretty please, try not to get (too?) angry if you’ve been on hold for five minutes. I promise we’re not just sitting there twiddling our thumbs. We’re frantically handling five phone lines, maybe by ourselves, and we’re doing the best we can. Show us some grace, some compassion, and I promise whatever it is you’re calling about will get treated just like the other four calls that might have been in front of you. We all need a little kindness, and we’re only human.

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2 responses to “Thoughts for Thursday

  1. Hey Kathleen, I worked as a receptionist for a hospital, and now I am in graduate school at the medical school applying for its medical doctor program. Based on your post, I thought you may enjoy the book Heart in the Right Place (a memoir) by Carolyn Jourdan. She goes from being a high power D.C. lawyer to a receptionist for her father’s country medical practice. The entire book is about those interactions and being there for people in a more personal way. Sincerely, Alayna

  2. Sounds like a really cool book and right up my alley! I will check that out. Thanks for the recommendation Alayna!

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