And by "minor" I mean "chronic pain everyday for three months."
So this week I went into Barnes Jewish Hospital for a minor procedure. First, a nurse prepped me with an IV and connected me to various beeping boxes. When she saw my tattoo under my gown she looked at me like a scolding mother and said, "Scott, now why in the world do you have your name tattooed on your chest?!"
"Well, nametags make people friendlier." I replied.
She laughed. Like, really hard. So hard that she probably thought I belonged in the Psychiatric Ward on the 7th floor! But when she asked about my job, I explained the entire nametag-books-speaking story.
Then she laughed even harder.
Just then another nurse came in and said, "No, wait! Scott, didn't you speak at my daughter's middle school a few months ago?"
"Oh...yeah. Rockwood South. That was me," I sighed.
And just when I thought my level of embarrassment couldn't soar any higher, three more nurses walked in - all of whom were wearing adhesive nametags! I tried to make out the letters. "Uh... Debbie ... Claudia ... Jan ... how's it going?" I said.
"Pretty good Scott! We heard all about you from Dr. Edmundowicz. He instructed us to wear nametags during your procedure."
"Heh heh, good one Doc. Thanks for that. You don't know how great that makes me feel." I said. "Now...can I have some drugs so we can get this god-awful procedure over with?"
And before I could say "Goodbye, my name is..." I felt this strange sensation on the underside of my palm...and BAM! Oooooooh....I was gone. God it was beautiful. I woke up about an hour later feeling like a million bucks to discover the nametag-clad nurses and my Doc standing over me.
Thankfully the tests didn't show anything serious - just stress. And for someone who HATES going to the hospital (doesn't everybody?) it was truly wonderful to have such great people - who even wore extra nametags - taking care of me.
Ultimately the lesson is: even if it means bending the rules, do whatever it takes to make your guests feel comfortable.
So, thanks BJC. Thanks a lot.
Oh, and just send my bill to Katie Couric.
LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How friendly was your last hospital visit?
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Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag