Professing awareness, or, sure wasn’t a doughnut shop

There's always something.One more chore when I’m galactic emperor:  suburban office buildings–you know the kind, with medical group practices  and title companies and other purveyors of services–would have to have visible house numbers.

Visible as in, you can read them from a moving car on the opposite side of the street.  Before you pass the building.

I’m opposed to capital punishment, so if you violated this edict, I’d handcuff you to a desk for a month. The desk would be inside It’s a Small World.

This is really a rant (or a lament) on the gulf between theory and practice when it comes to how “services” deal on a practical basis with those they serve.  I was designated driver for someone who had to go to one of those stone-and-glass Skinner boxes.  I found myself thinking that some stakeholders–the designers, the builders, the landlords, or the tenants–have never visited the place as customers.

Four floors of imaging centers, gastroenterology practices, OB/GYN partnerships, and so on–thus, likely attracting the ill, the concerned, and those concerned for them–and yet…

  • One “house number”, about eight feet off the ground, and about the size of the number on my own house.  You can barely see it from the curb, let alone the road.  Nearby: eight or ten other interchangeable buildings, all members of  “Who Needs Addresses?”
  • Nothing to distinguish one side of the building from another; until you try the doors, you don’t realize that the east and west entrances are to individual businesses, not to the building lobby.
  • Not a single public-area bench or seat, meaning that patients waiting near the door for rides have to stand.

Something of the same lack of awareness at the office-level: practice’s receptionists did not greet patients so much as shove paperwork on clipboards at them.  Overheard phone call: “This is Dr. Whoozi’s office.  The doctor needs to have you come in 30 minutes early.”

I was reminded of a customer-service job aid I saw taped to the staff side of a cash register at a Wisconsin doughnut shop:

Look at me.
Listen to me.
Smile at me.
Thank me.

An open invitation:

Last month’s edition of the Working/Learning blog carnival was the largest and most-read yet.  Host for the next one (April 20th) is Dave Wilkins at The Social Learner.

If you blog about anything that relates to how people work at learning, or how learning happens at work, I hope you’ll consider taking part.  Then let Dave know.  (Details on how to participate are here.)

CC-licensed to-do photo by Great Beyond.