It may not always be my fault (though sometimes it is), but I assume and accept that it is always my responsibility to find a solution, if I can.
By Steve Moran
I am thinking it is a result of too much travel, being too busy, and juggling too many balls in the air that I have been sick more this year than any year I can remember. Recently, I had all the classic signs of a sinus infection and within a few days it got significantly worse. Unfortunately, I had 12 straight days of travel lined up, so I headed off to urgent care.
The outcome of that visit was a fresh prescription for antibiotics. I checked the status of my prescription online after an hour and it said, “The Pharmacist is reviewing your prescription.” Another hour later and it said the same thing.
Your Doctor is Stupid
After running through the phone tree, I finally got a clerk in the pharmacy who looked up my prescription. The very next thing out of her mouth was an exasperated, “Your doctor is stupid.”
Apparently, my doctor had done something wrong when she inputted the prescription. Ultimately, they called the doctor, got it straightened out and I was on the way to mending.
We live in this era of hypercriticism and the blame game is more popular than football, basketball or soccer. The goal is to always to blame someone else (my pharmacy clerk). Here is the problem . . .
It is clearly not the fault of the pharmacy that this happened. There is no doubt about it. The problem is that they were the only ones who could fix it since they were the only ones who even knew there was a problem.
Blaming the doctor — who’s fault it actually was — did not make the pharmacy look good. It did not make the pharmacy clerk look good and it did not make the doctor look particularly bad since it really was a simple mistake.
Senior living is an uber-complex organ with many parts that are highly dependent on each other but without central control. It is at its very best when each element works to protect the other elements, to make them look good.
It is easy to blame someone else, it even can feel kinda good to see someone else blow it. The problem is that even being right does not mean you get any credit for that. Because mostly, if you have the ability to solve a problem and don’t, you are — rightly so — holding the blame bag.
At the end of the day, we have this unique opportunity to protect each other, to make each other look good. In doing so, we serve residents, their families and team members in a glorious way.
There is one caveat to this. Occasionally, you will come across a person or an organization that is actually doing bad things. They really don’t care and really are causing real harm to people. When this happens it is worthwhile to say something.
Weirdly, just in the last week, I twice found myself doing this. The first time was with the snippy pharmacy clerk where one-on-one I suggested that she did not make herself or the pharmacy look very good. Then the very next day, I had an unusually snippy flight attendant, whereupon I was able to try to create a tiny teachable moment . . . one-on-one.
It’s Always My Responsibility
It may not always be my fault (though sometimes it is), but I assume and accept that it is always my responsibility to find a solution, if I can. As a result, I am happier, I have more friends and . . . I would hope . . . the world is a better place because of it.