"Dealing with people is probably the biggest problem you face,
especially if you are in business."
A Series of Unfortunate Interactions
When did someone train hapless receptionists and customer “dis-service” representatives to begin every sentence with, “Unfortunately…?” How does “fortune” (or lack of it) factor into providing basic or promised service?
“Unfortunately, Sir/Ma’am, we don’t offer that product, even though our website says we do.”
Am I “fortunate” when a representative CAN do something for my benefit? Should I feel lucky that someone is doing their job?
I was scheduled to have important surgery. The procedure was scheduled two months prior and insurance information was exchanged, phone numbers, addresses, surgery time and location. 12 days before the scheduled procedure I received a phone call from the scheduling nurse.
She first asked if I received her voice very well mail one week ago. “No, I did not.” I replied. “You must not have turned your phone on,” was the curt response (if you read that with a reprimanding tone, you are on target for her attitude).
My wife tells everyone that I have my phone with me always, and on… even at night. When you have clients across many time zones and have grown children who have night time crises, you keep the phone working and near at all times.
Next, the caller said, “Unfortunately, I am calling to tell you that your insurance denied the surgery. The doctor doesn’t work with the hospital system that your insurance covers.” Wait, this information has been known for almost two months.
I asked, “Why are you telling me this now within days of the operation?”
“Well, as I said on the voice message last week that you claim you never received, unfortunately, we are cancelling the surgery. Unfortunately, you will have to find another surgeon yourself.”
“On my own? Can you recommend someone who works with my insurance? You’re my doctor’s office. You diagnosed the condition. You scheduled the surgery in early November. It’s January 2. The surgery is next week!”
“Unfortunately, Sir (in that reprimanding tone again), that is not our responsibility.”
I don’t know who hung up on who.
“Unfortunately” has become the go-to excuse for unmet, or poor service...