When the Professional Isn’t

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There are many caring professionals who I call friends.  But when in a stressful situation, it only takes one uncaring individual to make matters worse.  What can you do when that happens?  My answer is hold them accountable.  If not while you are in the middle of the crisis, then later when you have time.

There are some professionals that can be very intimidating to ordinary people in stressful circumstances.  The professionals who have given me high anxiety from time to time include the medical, legal, financial, and one dishonest car repair company.

What to do if you have called on a professional for help only to be further traumatized by their lack of care:

Keep in mind not all who get a degree are good at what they do.  Some may be smart in their field but not great at interpersonal relations and have attitude issues.

Document, document, document.  Write down or record all conversions and let them know you will do that.  Put whatever you can in writing by email or certified letter, explaining the result you expect.  Have witnesses in verbal settings taking notes.

Know your rights:  My mom was in the hospital.  There was a patient bill of rights posted on the wall.  I referred to it when a nurse was to overrule me.

Get it in writing:  The insurance rep said we would need to wait for the annuity to mature.  I wrote down the maturity date given me and called again on that date.  I was told we still needed to wait.  I then requested a supervisor put in writing the policy information to me that day by email.  In one hour I found they had made an error and the money my family was owed would be coming in one week.

Don’t be afraid to go over their head to the next level or fire them, if you don’t get results.  I fired someone by never meeting with them again.  A better choice would have been to use the situation as a teachable moment with some feedback as to why I no longer need the service.

Check behind them:  Had a car in the shop after a bad accident.  The front desk said it was being worked on each time we visited.  Finally we asked to see our vehicle.  They had not done anything after a month of having it.  I don’t know how such deceitful people stay in business, but they don’t get mine anymore.  Now when I need a new Car Guy, I ask for referrals.

Get a second opinion.  When I was frustrated with a diagnosis, a doctor suggested I get a second opinion.  He is still my doctor and a friend, because he had good listening skills when I was upset.

A message to all you professionals out there:  Be advised when someone says or shows they are upset, to put on your listening ears and say as little as possible.  This is your opportunity to be the good guy.

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