Too Much of “Good” Customer Service is Unhealthy

This happened at the hospital today, while we waited for my brother-in-law’s cardiologist to come.

The Filipino guy at the reception, perhaps because it’s a Friday and there were only few patients at the out-patient department, was in a pretty good and helpful mood.

First, there was this Emirati couple, who came in looking for Dr. SG. The friendly receptionist told them that Dr. SG will be on his annual leave in a few days, and wont be able to follow-up their case, and asked them if it was okay if another doctor saw them.

The couple: “What? Dr. SG no more?!

The receptionist realized that the couple didn’t speak English, and apparently didn’t understand what he just said. But he wasn’t just about to give up.

Receptionist: “No, Dr. SG is here. But in few days, no more. He fly to another country (making gestures with his hand). He come back after one month. You see another doctor now.”

Couple: “We see Dr. SG.”

Receptionist: “Please wait.” He then made a phone call, and asked for the nurse who speaks Arabic. “Please wait, Arab nurse coming, explain to you.” Then, he gave them his sweetest smile.

Five minutes later, the couple left. Few more minutes later, the Arabic-speaking nurse came in. The receptionist looked around, and ran towards the elevator, hoping to catch the Emirati couple, but to no avail.

Receptionist to nurse: “Too bad. I wanted them to see an Arab doctor because Dr. SG wont be around for their follow up, plus they don’t understand English, and Dr. SG doesn’t speak Arabic.”

The nurse left, probably thinking that the Emirati couple should’ve been shown to Dr. SG, and let the doctor himself decide how to arrange for their follow-up visits.

The receptionist then looked up his desk, his eyes searching for someone. He then spotted the man he was looking for, sitting at the end of the lobby, along with several other people, including us.

Receptionist: “Sir, are you okay now? Is your bladder full already?”

Heads turned. I had to suppress a giggle. The man stood up, placed a hand over his lower belly, and said “no“.

Ten minutes later, the receptionist, out of pure concern, called out again, “Sir, is your bladder full already?

The man, realizing that people were looking at him, got embarrassed, yet said “no” again. So when the receptionist asked him the same question again for the third time, the man got up, walked towards the receptionist, and said, “Why do you have to publicly ask if my bladder is full? I will come up to you myself when it’s full. It’s a very uncomfortable state to be in, so why would I just sit there with a very full bladder?

The receptionist humbly apologized.

He meant well, and had only wanted to provide quality customer service.

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10 Responses to Too Much of “Good” Customer Service is Unhealthy

  1. masood says:

    Great and hilarious!

  2. Pingback: Too Much of “Good” Customer Service is Unhealthy | Tea Break

  3. Amir says:

    Hehe..poor guys. At least he was helpful, some places over here, unless you pee on the floor, and not even then sometimes, you get ignored.

    I remember once when I was at the hospital, there was guy that looked like he was used as a punching bag, all bloody and whatnot….after about an hour of waiting I found him sleeping on the floor! The bare floor…of a hospital…..

  4. serendipitouslife says:

    Thats funny!
    Still its better to be over courteous than hostile in hospital industry (ofcourse a little tact would help).

  5. Haleem says:



    Here in Canada we have free health care.. or so they say…

  6. Yazi says:


    atleast he was trying to help to best of his knowledge and ability, a little proper training might polish him. Here at home u rarely find people going out of their way to help accommodate people

  7. nadia says:

    Masood ~ Thanks, Jaan. At least we weren’t bored there while waiting for the doctor 😉

    Amir ~ That’s horrible! Was that a government hospital? Perhaps it’s either there were very few medical personnel at that time, or he looked poor. Happens in most hospital…so sad though.

    Serendipitouslife ~ True!

    Haleem ~ Lucky you 🙂

    Yazi ~ Oh yes, he surely was trying his level best 😉 He’s probably thinking ke bhalayi ka tho zamana hi nahi raha, hehe.

  8. Ordinary girl says:

    I have noticed that Filipino are just too sweet like this! 🙂

  9. nadia says:

    I agree. They tend to be very courteous and friendly.

  10. Annie Ahmad says:

    As Salamu Alaikum Wa Rehmatulahi Wa Barakatuhu

    a nice and funny post indeed… i think in places like dubai, where people from different cultures and speaking different languages live together…. these incidences can be experienced.
    When I went for Hajj in dec 2009, after having completed the Tawaf-e-Ziarat and returning back to Mina for night stay we couldnt figure out which way was our camp(maktab) and it was quite an effort to take help from the policemen as they knew no english and could only speak arabic.

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