The power of kindness

I had an important reminder today – being kind is powerful.

I received a medical bill today, something I knew should have been covered by our insurance – something expensive.  I admit, I was annoyed because this isn’t the first time this sort of thing has happened and it often takes several calls to the provider and/or the insurance company to get things resolved. Not fun.

I decided to start with the insurance company this time around, placing the call and keying in all the pertinent account numbers and birth dates.  It always takes me to the same person, so I asked her how she was doing, and stated that I had a mystery I hoped she could help me solve.  We talked while she found the right claim in the system, explained she could see that it had been billed with the wrong diagnosis code but that she couldn’t tell me what that was.  I could have gotten upset (it is silly that she could see the error but not explain it to me), but I shared the details of that visit and asked her, “What do I do? You’re the one who can point me in the right direction.” She put me on hold, for a little while actually, and came back to say that she’d reprocessed the claim and it was going to be paid in full.  Then, remarkably, the thanked me for not yelling at her.

“Most people who call here are quite unkind,” she shared.

“I can imagine,” I said, “because they only call when there’s something wrong, and there’s often the potential of a lot of money involved. I bet it’s very rarely because of anything you personally did, but you’re the only person they can talk to.”

So, I don’t think she did anything for me that was “above and beyond” her job, but I thought the reminder of the impression kindness can make on a person whose job it is to handle problems all day was an important one.  Something I’m going to try to keep in mind as the holiday shopping season arrives – with it’s increased traffic and lines and general frenzy.

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2 Responses to “The power of kindness”

  1. Tom
    November 19, 2008 at 7:42 pm #

    What a great life lesson. I should try it more often at work too!

  2. AdamR
    November 20, 2008 at 3:04 pm #

    This is so true on many levels. Treat other people like Humans; not like they are Functions in a Larger Machine. Tell the Drive-Through Person, ‘Thank You’ for serving you. Call the Store Attendant by their Name (it’s written on their name tag). Smile. Make Eye Contact.
    Be Kind. Rewind. :)
    Makes you want to randomly call your Insurance Company or Bank and just let them know that they are doing a good job!!
    Good Words, Patti!!

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