Monday, September 25, 2006

Back to it, people!....please?

So, new block started today. And I am doing ARICM – a delightful and unpronounceable acronym which we call ‘arikim’. It involves:

Anaesthetics

Respiratory

Intensive

Care

Medicine

(Ooo would you look at the text formatting on that. And please appreciate how hard it is to spell anaesthetics. This is one case where I like the American way of spelling – to be an anaesthesiologist would be damn cool.)

It may be new block today, but its also… drum roll please…..MISSION MONDAY!

(Go read Carmen’s blog, she is fabo! And even mentioned being enough the other day. Could I puffy heart her more?)

The mission for this Monday was to be sweetness and light and smile at everyone – especially people providing you with a service. Score! I knew I could do this one. I am ridiculously good at smiling at people, especially when finding directions or going to a new place. And what was I doing today? Off to a new hospital…

Yes, I did get lost when looking for the undergrad centre on campus. Yes, I did smile and ask nicely for directions, and everyone was so friendly and helpful. Being lost doesn’t seem half so bad when people are kind to you.

<>I do it automatically. If you ask nicely - ‘Would it be possible…?’ ‘I’m a little bit lost, do you think you could help? I’m looking for…’ people are much more willing to go out of their way to help you. And saying thank you doesn’t cost anything, and it makes someone feel valued. Which they most certainly were today!

When I worked in jobs providing a service (as a sales assistant in a gift shop at Wakehurst Place, a receptionist at the local physio department and a barmaid) I always gave the extra bit, you know, smiled more, did everything I could, tried to make the customer/client/drunkard feel listened to and appreciated. And I always felt so appreciated when people said thank you. It really made me smile.

Always seems as though it’s the people who ask in the nicest way who are most appreciative. Maybe because they don’t expect you to do everything, so they are genuinely pleased when you go the extra mile.

One of the loveliest pubs in Selly Oak, where I live in Birmingham, is nice because of the staff. Apart from one or two rather yummy student lads, ahem, they have one of the nicest bar maids ever. She’s always bubbly and smiling, and has a chat with you. Last time we got on to the relative calories in a gin and tonic or vodka soda lime (I’m a drinker of the latter, in case anyone wants to buy me a drink anytime…). That’s the kind of thing that makes the difference.

O, and my personal top tip for being the nicest shiniest version of you that you can? Smile when answering the telephone. Always works for me! I have a stupendously good telephone manner. In one of my hospital placements, I booked some teaching on the telephone with a doctor’s secretary, then rang up and booked room for it, while sitting with the rest of my group. They spent the rest of the day clamouring why couldn’t I be that nice to them!

Finally, I do one more thing to make myself feel I am not a bad person. If a homeless person offers me the Big Issue, I always say ‘No thank you’ if I am not buying one. Its common courtesy.

Currently reading: A Game of Thrones, Geoge RR Martin. I am finding this one hard work. I had heard good things about the Song of Ice and Fire series (of which this is the first book), but it is mostly political type drama, with lots of plotting, and murder, and devious twists. Not sure I will bother with the rest of the series, because I like good old adventure fantasy. Sword fights and wizards, dragons and dwarfs. O, and anything Discworld!

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