Is there a job that you would absolutely love to have but that doesn’t even truly exist? I can think of several that are really a bit “out there” but would be total ‘nirvana’, nonetheless.
Perhaps an independent “taste tester”, whose razor sharp taste buds are so sought after that she can choose EXACTLY which products she will and will not put in her million-dollar-a-year-mouth. “Hello, Ms. Miller, this is Ben Cohen. My buddy Jerry and I got to talking after we saw you on the cover of TIME last week and we were wondering if you would ever be interested in signing on to test our new line of specialty ice creams? As part of our organization, we would INSIST upon providing you with the sports car of your choosing, a vacation chalet in the Swiss alps, and a $500,000.00 sign-on bonus in addition to your 7 figure salary. So … what do you say….wanna come eat ice cream everyday? Does a bear poop in the woods? Do chickens lay eggs?
Only slightly more realistic yet definitely more “worthy” would be the position of “National Hiring Czar”. I could see it unfolding something like this … “Hello…Ms. Miller, this is Don. For some reason, “my people” haven’t been able to get past “your people” and I couldn’t find a Twitter account for you, so I decided to give you a call myself. I hear you’re the ultimate expert on making sure we don’t have any cold, unfriendly sourpusses in jobs that involve interacting with the public. Can you tell me a little bit of your background and how you came to be the most sought-after consultant in this field?” “Why, yes, Don, I’d be happy to. You see, I’ve been in “front-line” positions with the public from the very start of my 35 year career in the medical field. During the training for said career, I had the great fortune of some psychology courses that helped me to further understand the workings of the human mind. I was also blessed with an extra bit of sensitivity and intuitiveness when it comes to looking at my ‘fellow man’ and trying to see what might really be in his heart and what he’s really needing or seeking down deep. However, probably more important than any of that, Don, is the fact that I myself have been a patient in the medical world for even longer. My abrupt and involuntary ‘patient life’ began in late high school and continues to this very day. I learned early on how to be a “good patient” despite fear and/or pain and how to most effectively deal with medical personnel. More importantly, I learned what qualities are essential in the ‘front-line’ folks, from a patient viewpoint … and likewise what qualities are abhorrent. These critical qualities may seem so simplistic and common sense … and they are, to those of us who were raised to appreciate the value of kindness and compassion, even in the face of someone else being nasty. Here’s a prime example of what I’m talking about, Don.
I spent most of yesterday at my first visit in the offices of a prominent specialist in a large city. Unbeknownst to anyone in this office, I have a long and rather traumatic medical history. I have been through many, many procedures and some surgeries, some extremely painful, some which made me miserably sick and even almost killed me at one point. Throughout all of this I have always put on a “brave face” and a smile no matter how many times someone couldn’t get their needle in the right place or didn’t really listen to my symptoms and then further delayed proper treatment. Even though I am a nurse and very familiar with both sides of the medical world, I have acquired such a case of “white coat syndrome” as a result of all this history, that my level of anxiety at times like yesterday reaches a fever pitch. Oh you would probably never notice this because I still smile and crack jokes. But inside I’m a fragile mess and basically just need those folks taking care of me to smile and be nice and to help me feel like everything’s going to be OK. My level of tolerance for anything less is becoming lower and lower and I find myself less willing to put up with shoddy or mediocre treatment. My pen has become my “sword” and I find myself much more willing to wield it the older I get.
So, here I am at the specialist’s office. The front desk receptionist was very friendly. The next gal — the insurance/registration/co-pay lady was nice — the impersonal, “fake” kind of nice but still pleasant. It was the third gal — the one who did the bulk of the work-up in preparation for the doctor — the one who was gathering and measuring the most important information and therefore the one who needs to be the most friendly, charismatic and welcoming in order to put the patient at ease to help insure the accuracy of said data, etc. This is the kind of employee whose hiring I would veto if, in fact, I were your National Hiring Czar, Don. This gal was so cold, unfriendly and mechanical that I wouldn’t have been surprised to see an On/Off switch on the back of her neck. As I tried time and again to lighten the mood and smile at her, I was met with absolutely nothing but disdain. This only increased my anxiety and made me feel very insignificant. Insignificant is not the word I would use to describe the importance of “customer service” in today’s very competitive field of medicine. Hospitals and doctors are competing worldwide for the ever-shrinking dollar and therefore it is critically important for all staff to be trained in the art of hospitality and common courtesy.
In my dream job as National Hiring Czar, I would never allow such people to interact directly with the public, because it certainly appears that they have no desire to nor skills for such. No, these folks would be kept behind the scenes shuffling papers..or paperclips..or other inanimate objects. I would INSIST, had I the position, that all those working with the public would, first of all, open that hole beneath their nose and SMILE, would be kind, sensitive and very welcoming. It may sound piddly to you Don, but this is serious business….and I know business is your ‘gig’. As National Hiring Czar, I would also like to travel the country giving inservices to all kinds of corporations, big and small, educating their HR departments on who to hire and who to NOT for any of their front-line positions. So, that’s what I’m all about Don and pretty much how it all came to be. ”
I doubt very much that this position will ever find its’ way into existence any more than the fantastically unrealistic ice cream job, but ….. a girl can dream, can’t she!
This post was done in response to the “Daily Prompt” requiring the use of the word “insist”.