I had an interesting experience this morning. One that enlightened me as it also made me aware of what I may do sometimes.

I had an eye appointment, one I was not looking forward to, as the eye doctor was doing a type of glaucoma challenge. He had me stop using my eye drops for glaucoma a couple of nights ago so he could check the pressure in my eyes and also check the angles of the two types of glaucoma I have. He also wanted to see the effect of no eye drops to the previous surgeries I have had on each eye to try to relieve the pressure caused by narrow angle glaucoma and plateau iris ( the other type of glaucoma I have in both eyes)

I gotta tell you, having a professional want to play with glaucoma is kind of scary, but I understood his reasoning and I also understood why we were doing this at the Syracuse office and not at the satellite office closer to where we live. The main office has the lasers right there if there is an emergency situation, and with glaucoma it can be the difference between sight and no sight.

So needless to say I personally was concerned about this visit- as I looked around the main waiting room I noticed people of my age and older, from what appeared to be many walks of life, and with vision issues of major concern. After I left the main waiting room I was called back to a smaller waiting room, I think for 3 docs. As I sat back there there were times I was alone and sometimes another person was in this maybe 20 chair waiting room. I watched as staff walked in and out of the rooms and offices in the back of the waiting room and right by me. I intentionally looked at each of them , directly in the eyes and smiled a small smile. In the hour I did this, only 2 of  as least 35 chances did someone look at me, at my eyes and notice and acknowledge me. The 2 who saw me, who smiled back, who asked “How are you today?” it took seconds– those 2 people were male nurses.

The rest of the staff ( mostly female ) looked at me but through me. As if they could see right through my head. Like I was an empty chair. It was amazing! Working in any medical office one needs to remember that something brought these people to come in. Often it is for something gone wrong.

In an EYE SPECIALIST office, these people are dealing with problems, problems with sight, some may be dealing with possibilities of not seeing as well as we once did, maybe people are there who can no longer do what they love ( reading, sewing, looking at magazines, watching TV) maybe some have pain. I was amazed how most of the staff had no compassion in their eyes for the strangers in the waiting rooms, not until it was the patient’s turn to be called. Then the blank stare from the staff focused on the patient they needed. 

Healthcare professionals, public service professionals need to remember that they would not have their job if it were not for the people they serve, the people who come to them, the people who need their help. And every one of those people are PEOPLE- with feelings, with parents, with lives, with problems of their own. When you are at work, your focus needs to be on those you are there because of. A smile back, a recognition, it costs you nothing but gains you much.

I can tell you, I can pick out the 2 faces clearly in a crowd of the 2 who acknowledged me, spoke to me, smiled at me, and interaction that took only seconds- but the rest of the folks who looked through me- they left an impression – not an image.  Tonight I close with a thought- do you want to be remembered? And how do you want to be remembered – as a person—or as a negative impression? Love Cindy