Friday, October 2, 2009

Rate This Blog

Please read this blog carefully because you will have an opportunity at the end to heap praise on its author by answering a few simple questions.

My phone jangled at 8:30 this morning, flashing the message that my doctor was calling. "Swell," I thought, "they must be recalling my pacemaker."

It was Marci - or somebody with a name like Marci - at Dr. Shah's office, with just a few questions.

"Did the staff work efficiently in helping you set up your appointment?" I guess.

"Were you greeted cheerfully upon arrival?" Not exactly; everyone was in a meeting.

"Was the fish tank in the lobby bright and sparkly?" Actually, one of the clownfish looked a little peaked.

"Did the doctor apply enough K-Y Jelly before starting your examination?" Whoops! Not quite.

Have you noticed that everyone who sells you a service is now asking for immediate feedback on your satisfaction? The service manager at the Acura dealership sat with me after charging me $1400 to fix the power seat in my 12-year-old car. "I have something important to discuss with you, Mr. Newton." Uh-oh.

"You know that you will receive a follow up call in a few days to make sure you are happy with our service." No doubt.

"Well, the Acura people value your patronage" - I think he meant my willingness to be patronized, but no matter - "and they consider any service that was less than 'Excellent' to be tantamount to 'barbaric.'" Well sure, I whined, but you just soaked me $1400 for a freaking seat motor!

"We're talking service, here, Mr. Newton. You did notice that the intake manager" - intake manager? Really? - "smiled suggestively when you arrived and offered you your choice of sexual favors?" Now that he mentioned it, the young lady did seem unusually friendly.

The expected call came in a day later, and I responded enthusiastically that everything was "excellent, especially the sexual favors." The pollster never hesitated; she was obviously familiar with the sex part. "And would you recommend our service to your friends?" I explained that I am new to the area and have no friends. "But if you did have friends, sir, you would recommend us, wouldn't you?" Uh, yeah, of course.

You expect this sort of thing from car dealers, but the medical office follow-up is a little weird. Besides seeing Dr. Shah, we frequent an outfit called, not very creatively, the "Diagnostic Clinic," where Judy sees four or five doctors and I see three. We like them all, despite the feeling, eerie but probably accurate, that we are being passed around like a joint at a high school beach party. Between doctors and blood tests and a weekly shot that Judy gets, we visit the Diagnostic Clinic anywhere from 2 to 5 times a week, sometimes more. (Yikes! And we are not even sick. No wonder there is a crisis in health care costs.) The DC has a "concierge" (I swear - it's true!) who greets us, sometimes by name, when we enter the building and who, I suspect, alerts accounting that they can expect to make budget again this week.

Anyway, the DC has a computer that phones before each appointment to remind us to be on time and to bring money. You would almost think that a computer, being all about data manipulation and such, would clump these calls together to remind us that we have appointments on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, but, no, it makes separate calls for each appointment. Then this same computer - or maybe the DC runs parallel processors - calls us back after each appointment and expresses heartfelt thanks for our patronage (yes - patronized by computer - you gotta love it) and hopes with silicon sincerity that we were satisfied with the service on each visit. If we didn't like it, the computer rattles off a phone number we can call to lump it.

Altogether, the DC's computer phones us 10 or more times a week. Add in a couple of car dealers and the odd plumber, and the number of friendly "Hope you were satisfied" calls I get easily exceeds all the calls I get each week from family and friends. If I had friends, that is.

Now, if you wouldn't mind, I have a few simple questions to help improve the quality and attitude of this blog:

Were you satisfied with the title of this blog entry?
___ Yes ___No ___ Title? What Title?

Did you find the opening lines to be an effective "hook"?
____Yes ____No ____Didn't read that far

Were you offended at least once by something that was treated too cavalierly in the blog?
____Yes ____No ____ Constantly (counts double)

Did you achieve any of the following reactions to what you read (choose as many as apply)
____LOL ___Guffaws out loud _____Pity for author's lack of skill
____Embarrassment at having been caught reading this crap
____Intellectual orgasm ____ Any other physically satisfying response

Would you recommend this blog to the following:
Friends (if you have any) ___Yes ____No
Clergyperson ___Yes ___No ___ You must be joking again
Worst enemy ___Yes ___No ___ Gladly
___ I spammed everyone I know with a link



  1. I note that you have extreme issues with patronage...


  2. You're only saying that to make me feel better.

  3. There, there. Don't fret over it...