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What happened to simple kindness?

(54 Posts)
Luckygirl Thu 28-Jan-21 22:34:26

Today I had to go to the breast clinic at the local hospital - I was a bit wary about it because it is a small hospital and they have lots of covid cases - and it wasn't helped by a porter strolling about with his mask over his mouth only.

But what really upset me was one of the clerks behind the desk - she was taking details and asked for my next of kin - knee-jerk reaction I started to say my OH's name (he died in February) and I was taken aback by a wave of grief. I swallowed and pulled myself together, explained to her that I needed to change my next of kin and why. I gave her DD3's name and then realised that I actually do not know her address - I go round all the time, but almost never have to address anything to her. So I suggested DD2 - clerk was by this time in tight-lipped eye-rolling mode. Got through that eventually.

She then wanted my mobile number, and I said that I did not know it off the top of my head, but that she had got my landline number. She insisted that I give her my mobile number and that I should look in my phone and find it. I tried that - not there that I could see. (I almost never use my mobile as a phone - I just whatsapp friends) Then she said: while you are sitting in the waiting room you must put your mobile number in your phone. I refrained from telling her that (in the absence of the number) it was not possible, but was sorely tempted to tell her not to be such a patronising cow.

She could see that I was upset by my initial mistake about my OH and that this had flustered me. I cannot understand why she could not be pleasant and kind. I tried to tell myself that she might be feeling anxious in a patient-facing role during a pandemic but it was not a nice experience.

Jane10 Thu 28-Jan-21 22:37:25

That's rotten Luckygirl no excuse for this rudeness far less lack of kindness. I hope all went well otherwise at the clinic. thanks

Urmstongran Thu 28-Jan-21 22:42:03

What a horrible experience for you Luckygirl at that front desk. She was unkind and insensitive. Sadly, some people are. Fortunately the majority of people ARE nice and kind. You drew a short straw today.

Casdon Thu 28-Jan-21 22:43:08

That’s really hard for you, sorry you had such a bad experience.
I can never remember my mobile phone number either, one little tip I picked up is to put my own number in the Contacts list for the phone - I’ve called mine A1 so it comes up as the first number when I press the Contacts button, which saves hassle.

Luckygirl Thu 28-Jan-21 22:44:20

Thank you Jane10 - I just got flustered after my mistake - I was hit by a wave of grief and it was hard to concentrate. It socks you in the guts sometimes, dropping from nowhere.

All seems well medically I am happy to say - but mammogram with a cracked rib was something else!

Luckygirl Thu 28-Jan-21 22:44:58

Thank you all - other posts have appeared while I was writing mine.

Doodledog Thu 28-Jan-21 22:48:55

I'm so sorry that you had to go through that, Luckygirl. That is appalling behaviour - how dare she tell you what you 'must' do with your own mobile phone? You could contact PALS and ask for someone to have a word with her about her attitude.

I was at the hospital last week, and there was a mix up of some sort, so the list at reception was different in a number of details from the reality of who was waiting to be seen. A nurse was trying to sort it out, and kept coming into the waiting room shouting through his mask and asking questions of the patients, including why they were there (it was a phlebotomy clinic, so everyone needed blood taken, but for various different reasons), their name, address and DOB - so much for confidentiality! A couple of people were a bit confused, and everyone was fed up, as they were running over an hour late, and the car park charges were racking up, but the nurse was getting really ratty as time went on, and I felt sorry for the older people who didn't seem to understand what was happening.

I know staff are stressed, and I have every sympathy, but there is no need for rudeness.

I hope the rest of your appointment was ok, Luckygirl flowers

Callistemon Thu 28-Jan-21 22:51:01

That's awful, Luckygirl
The receptionists at the main clinic at our hospital are very pleasant and there is absolutely no need at all for unpleasantness or impatience - after all they are dealing with patients, some of whom may be bereaved, be anxious about their visit to the clinic etc.
She needs to have some training in how to deal with patients in a kind and sympathetic manner.

I have no clue what my mobile number is.

but mammogram with a cracked rib was something else! the thought is making me cringe!

muse Thu 28-Jan-21 22:54:09

shock What a horrible experience. I should imagine others had come across her today as well. Let's hope she just had an off day.

Then to endure the mammogram. Hope the rib isn't too sore.

Chewbacca Thu 28-Jan-21 22:54:46

PALS @ the hospital would be interested in hearing of your experiences Luckygirl.

Kittye Thu 28-Jan-21 23:00:08

Luckygirl so angry on your behalf. I’m another who has no idea at all what her mobile number is. I’m glad not all hospital staff are as insensitive as this woman. I was in hospital last year and one nurse was so unfeeling towards me when I had an “accident “ in bed, she made me feel so awful. But thankfully the other hospital staff were absolutely wonderful.
Take care and hope everything is ok with you. 💐x

welbeck Thu 28-Jan-21 23:29:38

on my mobile i have entered my own number without a name and it comes up first in the list of contacts.
which makes it easier to find and show someone who needs it.
if your phone demands a name in order to save a contact, try entering the number in the name field as well as the number field.
sorry you came up against that sort of person. they are a minority, but little things make a big difference.
really their supervisors should be arranging for more training and bringing it up in appraisals.
also i think when selecting staff in heath settings more thought should be given to this aspect.

MayBee70 Thu 28-Jan-21 23:55:13

I’m so angry with that clerk: how horrible. Last week I had to give some details over the phone to update my will etc and they wanted my children’s dates of birth. And I couldn’t remember them. When I eventually remembered the days I was then 10 years out with the years. Because we haven’t celebrated birthdays etc for the past year it had all gone out of my head.

dragonfly46 Fri 29-Jan-21 00:33:08

So sorry to hear this Lucky. That is not what you need at an already stressful time.

LauraNorder Fri 29-Jan-21 01:02:53

How awful for you Luckygirl, hope you’re okay now after such an upsetting day and that your rib heals quickly.
No need for unpleasantness from anyone no matter how busy they are. Probably a good thing to complain so that others are not upset by her.

Hetty58 Fri 29-Jan-21 02:46:08

You really should contact PALS about your experience - and her behaviour. She needs some feedback before she upsets somebody else. Of course we can't think straight when we're flustered.

FannyCornforth Fri 29-Jan-21 04:10:22

Luckygirl that really is appalling.
We all have the capacity to be a bit rude and act out of character, but to be so horrible when it was evident that you were so upset is awful. She must really lack empathy and kindness.

Like Hetty says - put in a complaint. It wouldn't usually be my response, but I had a very similar experience with a dip stick of a physiotherapist, and I really regret not taking it further.
I used to pass him on the way to work and I would have happily jumped out of the car to have a go at him the smug git

Luckygirl I do hope that you are feeling a bit better now and that your rib isn't giving you too much gyp. thanks

Calendargirl Fri 29-Jan-21 07:29:08

Apart from ‘kindness’, I think what she was lacking was ‘empathy’.

If she were a young person, mobiles would be such second nature that she would not be able to comprehend that others might not be so tech savvy. But if so, her training should alert her to that fact, and she should act accordingly. Likewise, being flustered and emotional when relatively recently bereaved. If older, then even more reason to be empathetic.

Putting yourself in another’s shoes is something we should all think about a bit more maybe.

harrigran Fri 29-Jan-21 08:08:12

So sorry you had to encounter such rudeness.
I now carry a piece of paper with my phone number written on and DHs too for contact as next of kin.
DH did teach me how to remember my number, it goes something like this .... the number of the house he lived in before we got married pus the road nember we lived close to and so on confused

rafichagran Fri 29-Jan-21 08:28:50

I think you should complain to PALS. It would be her patronising attitude I could not tolerarate.
Also some people may not have mobile phones, she gives the impression she was being like that because she could. She also overstepped the mark telling you to sit in the waiting room and put your number into contacts.
Hospitals have big notices saying they will not tolerate aggresive behaviour towards staff, maybe that receptionist/clerk should read it and adjust her attitude towards the patients.

NellG Fri 29-Jan-21 08:46:51

What a horrible experience, I hope you're feeling better about it now. I will never understand why people choose to be so unpleasant, imagine being them and having to live with yourself - must be a chronically awful existence. However you are a kind and feeling person who (despite the occasional upset from people like that) can sleep at night knowing that you function on decency and respect and are not fuelled by spite and entitlement.

Lexisgranny Fri 29-Jan-21 08:47:17

Luckygirl That was a most unpleasant experience for you, and I do hope in the comfort of your own home you feel better.

This person’s line manager should be made aware of her shortcomings, her customer relations retraining is obviously well overdue. We do not know why the receptionist reacted the way she did and sometimes it is difficult not to “bring it to work with you” whatever that particular “it” might be, but her re-training should include coping strategies for that eventuality, and there is no excuse for her behaviour.

Aldom Fri 29-Jan-21 08:50:03


Jaxjacky Fri 29-Jan-21 08:52:49

Totally unnecessary and unfeeling, I too would make comment, it may prevent someone else having the same experience. Glad the outcome was positive for you on the mammogram.

sodapop Fri 29-Jan-21 08:55:37

I'm sorry too Luckygirl that was an upsetting experience at a time when a little kindness would have made such a difference.
I hope you are feeling more comfortable and less stressed by now. thanks