Today I braved the cold to keep my doctor’s check-up appointment. First time I have been out for a few days so I was enjoying the window-shopping, people watching and just noticing things hoping for something that might be particularly interesting or maybe spark a story.
I sat in a straight chair in the small reception room, thumbing a magazine and “noticing.”
Then I really looked at the two women who were sitting across from me. They were dressed for being “on business” and chatting about several pieces of paper they shared. Then my eyes fell on the over-sized, bulging black sample case on the floor near the feet of one of the women. I have seen drug detail sales men and women many times in doctor’s offices but I had never seen representatives from a company that billed itself for providing, “innovative hospice care” and had that slogan embroidered in white on the side a large black canvas sample bag.
It took me back. Then I was curious. And, since I was the only other person in the doctor’s waiting room I spoke up when it was polite to ask, ” I see your sample kit. May I ask – just curious – how do you market hospice care?”
They were surprised by the question but since I was friendly and just sounded interested – one of the women confidently responded about the quality of their service and that they like to come in to educate the doctors on what they offer. “We sometimes have to explain the Medicare benefit too.”
Now here was something I knew about, ” Oh, that should be pretty simple – they take it all – at least that was the requirement when my husband signed the forms to enter Hospice Care.” “Well, yes.” they replied.
There was a lull in the conversation and since I felt we were at ease with each other – so I lobbed another gambit. “Would you mind a suggestions?”
“No” They both nodded me on.
“I suggest you put something over that sign on your case.” They did not say it but I heard the “why” they were thinking so I laughed – “it struck me as being a bit out of place in a doctor’s office where patients are here hoping to get well.”
” You know you have put your finger on something. As it happens – they have changed the name of our company – to XXX Healthcare.” “Really?” I gasped.
At that moment the doctor who was seeing them arrived on the scene. They gathered their sample cases and went in for their meeting.
I just sat there and laughed.
At least I was laughing,