Saturday, October 17, 2009


We have holidays to honor mothers, fathers, grandparents, bosses, secretaries, plus the usual weeks to honor various careers. (A favorite topic on MT Chat is “What did your company do for Medical Transcription Week?”) I saw a topic on the web today that asks this question: If you could create a new holiday, what person or event would it honor and how would you want people to celebrate it?

I didn’t even have to think about it. I would create a “Tell the Boss Day.” Let me explain. I read a letter in one of the national advice columns years ago that said something like this: “If you find that someone in his/her employment capacity did an outstanding job, went above the call of duty, helped you in some special way, or represented the company in an admirable manner, complimenting that employee is a wonderful think to do. But go one better - TELL THE BOSS.”

Ed and I have done this many times. It’s the best feeling in the world to go “up the ladder” and tell a restaurant manager that our waitress did such a great job. Sometimes we do this in front of the employee; other times, we don’t know if the employee ever realized our intervention. People tend more to complain than to compliment, so when a customer makes a boss aware of an exemplary employee, I imagine that would brighten the boss’s day too. Everyone involved - the complimenter, the employee, and the boss - can benefit from a major attitude shift toward the positive. Most of the time, it involves just a little effort to pass on the commendation.

At my job, I try to go the extra mile if I can, especially as our hospital’s mission is quality, timely patient care. For instance, if a patient is admitted and a recent office note has not been yet transcribed and the dictator verbalizes how helpful it would be if she had access to that note, I will find the note and transcribe it if possible, then send an e-mail to the dictator that it was ready to view. I will most of the time get a gracious thank-you. On other occasions, I have sent e-mails to doctors asking for clarification on a misspeak in their dictation - and they write back that they are so thankful that I was paying attention enough to catch the error in question. Those are very satisfying moments for me, of course. Any MT will tell you that a compliment from a practitioner is always well received. However - if that practitioner had actually contacted my boss to relay the “job well done” message, that would have been even more exciting!

(Oh, and by the way, this works with parents, too. There is nothing in the world like having a stranger, friend, teacher, or whoever, come up to you, stating, "Your child has such nice manners!" or other such compliments.)

So since my suggestion for such a national holiday is unlikely to be granted anytime in the near future, I propose that we all take advantage of our opportunity to make every day Tell the Boss Day. Pass it on!

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