Wednesday, September 24, 2008

i applied at a call center

photo by ZoofyTheJi

I applied at a call center here in Cebu (which shall go unnamed) for a position as company physician. I was told my credentials were fine but they had issues with my lack of experience. My interviewer was afraid that sick, tired, uninhibitedly "vocal" call center agents would take in my "young" appearance and eat me alive.

While no one has certainly managed to eat me alive just yet, I have come across brash patients from the call center industry who act all uppity. They treat nurses and aides with little respect and expect hospital staff to be obsequious. As if speaking better English makes a person better than everyone else! I'm not talking about all call center agents, of course; not even most of them. But I would say many do come across as hilas.

For all that attitude, however, there's a group of people that's even more annoying: the expats.

Again, I'm not generalizing, but many of the expats I came across during post-graduate internship act like they know better than the doctor. That may be possible, of course, but that brings us to the question of why bother coming to the hospital in the first place. One Caucasian man once came to the SUMC ER and asked for a prescription for his back pain. He did not want to be examined, he did not want to answer any questions about his illness, he just wanted a prescription. When told that we couldn't do that, he said that he'd been treated by doctors from his home country who diagnosed him at the snap of a finger, without asking questions or sticking instruments at him. After several minutes of a pointless discussion, I finally told him that what we did at the hospital was interview a patient, examine him and then prescribe the medications we thought were necessary. If he didn't like that, he could go somewhere else. He did up and leave eventually...without paying his bill.

I mean, I've heard lots of patients complaining about doctors, but do y'all have any idea how annoying and presumptuous and stupid and obstructive you lot can be? ;-)

Maybe it all boils down to a lack of trust. A lot of people nowadays do not go to doctors they know and trust but make do with whoever is affiliated with their health insurance companies. Because they pay big premiums, they sometimes act like they are the ones who actually sent the physician to school. Doctors, too, seem to care less, because these are not "their" patients and do not particularly take to those who listen to them with eyebrows raised.

It gives me so much pleasure to treat patients who actually answer all my questions, listen to my explanations, ask to be clarified about my instructions, and do not fail to say a heartfelt "Thank you" before leaving. You'd be surprised how so few people say "thank you" nowadays. I dream of a practice where my patients know me and trust me, and treat me the way doctors were treated in the olden days -- not necessarily with reverence, but at least with respect, and certainly not as servants at the beck and call of the one who holds the checkbook.


bricalz said...

Tru dat!

ness said...

gaya, asa na ka? nag start na ka sa call center?

kung wala pa kay lingaw please check out the TBR yahoo groups email kay naa koy gi post didto na call for articles sa next TBR. nagpamember na ba didto? murag i have not seen your name there yet.