People can hear you….really

Richard Charpentier Notes from Rich 7 Comments

Have you noticed that everyone thinks they’re in their own little bubbles these days?  Cell phones, conversations that should be private, people speaking when they should hold their tongues?  Is it just me, or have we forgotten we’re not the only person in a space?

Yesterday I went by a local lab to drop off a standing order get my blood drawn.  Not a favorite activity by any means.  I hate needles, and the whole process gives me the willies.

Fortunately the lab was pretty quiet.  Only one other guy in the waiting room with me.  Normally the place is packed, so I was happy.  In and out quickly.  I signed in, handed over the blood work order, and took my seat.

The employees behind the counter were having several conversations.  Loud conversations.  Talking about other workers they don’t like, personal stuff that doesn’t belong in an office place, the standard unprofessional conversation that shouldn’t be going on in front of clients.  I’m sure you know what I mean.

One of the conversations caught me.  A woman came out of the back area where tests are done and said, “The last old lady in here….?  Yeah, she didn’t want me to draw her blood.  She asked for someone else, and I told her I’m it.  So she doesn’t get her blood work today.  That’s her problem, not mine.  Some of these people that come in here…….”

The conversation devolved from there.  Clearly, she doesn’t like her work, the clients, or any other part of being there.

A few minutes afterward I was called back.  Guess who I got?  “Ms. I don’t like my job so much.”

Needless to say, she wasn’t good at drawing blood.  She dug around in my left arm for a while with a needle and then told me she just couldn’t get the vein.  Funny, every other time I’ve been there I get the same guy, and he gets the same spot every time.  Good for him.  So, she moved on to my right arm, dug around for a while, and finally got a trickle.

My left arm is sore……..

Overall it didn’t make for a great experience.  And getting in on all of the background conversation wasn’t inspiring.  I know why the last patient didn’t want this woman to do her blood work, and it wasn’t because the patient was overly picky.  The employee in question was the issue, and it’s great to know through her own statement that it’s not her fault, it’s ours as the client.

So, next time you’re behind the desk in a public space, remember there are people listening.  Or if you’re on your cell phone in an open air cafe?  Yeah, we can hear you there too.  Or when you walk into a gallery and totally trash on a piece you don’t like…..yeah, you’re heard there too, and I really enjoy explaining our artists work to folks who come in just to be unpleasant.  🙂

Comments 7

  1. I would have submitted a complaint to the lab supervisor regarding the chatter and the phlebotomist. This is unprofessional behavior and borders on being unethical.

    Despite all of the years of being poked with more to look forward to, I still get light-headed whenever blood is drawn. Your experience gave me the chills!

  2. Amen! Turn her in! This would make a great Talk of the Town or Letter to the Editor in the Courier. Go for it. Please! You’ll probably be astounded at all the people who will respond in their online edition.

  3. Next time you have to have blood drawn, ask who is working and reschedule if she is on duty. Nothing personal – you are just one of those quirky patients that is not into pain!

    Bad enough being sick – competence and professionalism in the medical field is a basic. I would also report it to the doctor as he/she needs to know what/who they are referring you to.
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  4. Post

    Wow, generated a lot of comments on this one. 🙂 Next time in the lab I might pass along the heads up on the unprofessional attitudes. You have to admit, this stuff is more common every day!

  5. Damn, that woman needs someone with a nervous hand to draw HER blood. Hmmmm, as miserable as she sounds maybe they ought to be a bit more severe with her….

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