Wednesday, February 16, 2011

823 More On MBAs

823 More On MBAs

The medical center called with some questions, and since the phone was unplugged they left a voicemail. Thewomantalkedsofast it was hard to understandasingleword. New Yorkers talk fast. We’re used to fast talking, both as speaker and listener. But this was off the charts.

When returning the call, the answerer was as s l o w as the f i r s t woman w a s f a s t.

Questions: are you still at this address? What are the last four digits of your social security number, any change in your insurance? That kind of thing.

“Okay,” she said “you’re now pre-registered for your appointment.” This is new. But so is the ownership of the medical service, an out of town hospital which has split the practice up and into little doc-in-the-box locations scattered around town.

The medical lab had been under the same roof as the doctors’ offices. No more. So a natural question would be “where is the lab?”

“Uh... I don’t know. I can give you the phone number.”


Turns out the lab is across town at one of the doc boxes, but not the one assigned to this patient. So, two trips instead of one. Big improvement, as promised early in the year by the (probably now former) administrator.

Question: “Could you have told us that in advance?”
Answer: “uhhhhhh.”

The problem, as usual, is the back office MBAs who are trained (like chimps and Cocker Spaniels) rather than taught that “if you can manage one kind of thing, you can manage anything.”

No you can’t. A medical practice is not an auto manufacturer is not a software company.

This particular medical company is attached to a hospital which is attached to a university which is attached to another hospital. The university has a business school. It’s not exactly Sloan or Wharton or Harvard. But it’s SOMETHING. You’d think in this kind of closed circuit environment one tentacle would wash the others.

Too much to hope for. Not part of the training.

It’s nice to know the MBAs can use their noses to play “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” like any trained Smeals ¹.... er, seals. Good that they can get jobs. But if they screw up the others as they screw up this one, it bodes lousy for our future in addition to our present.

And do you know why Shakespeare recommended killing all the lawyers? It’s because the MBA hadn’t yet been invented.


--Reuters and others are reporting big demonstrations on the streets of Tehran. What do you call that? A good start.

--Valentine’s Day has come and gone again. Sales of roses went through the roof, as usual. But now, Mr. & Mrs. can get back to normal as the bell rings for the start of a new round.

--Someone with some audio skills could do the world a favor. That would be editing out and saving the side-effect warnings on drug commercials and piecing them together in a montage. Fastest way to make sure people don’t “talk to” their “doctor about “CavaShon,” the new wonder drug for curing butterflies in your stomach.

1. Smeal is the name of the business school that is part of the university under discussion.

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2011

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