Friday, September 14, 2007

Consciousness Raising Exercise #25

Dr. B is a successful surgeon whose wife manages his office. Dr. B is a thoroughly professional physician, who dictates hospital reports over the phone into a digital dictation system.
Dr. B's dictation is superb. Transcriptionists love doing his work.
Unfortunately, Dr. B's wife is the control freak from hell. An obviously insecure woman, she is fiercely protective of her husband and has alienated most of the clerical workers and billing staff at St. Elmo's Hospital.
Dr. B's wife is also terrified of computers and insists on doing things "the old way." She is both confused and threatened by the fact that her son spends most of his spare time at a friend's house where there is a computer in his friend's bedroom.
Dr. B's wife maintains her husband's appointment book with entries made in pencil. She has created so much "busy work" for her administrative assistant that John now wastes an hour a day performing ridiculously counterproductive paperwork.
For the past two years, John has been begging Dr. B and his wife to get a computer for the office so he can organize their files, clean up their billing, and use an electronic scheduler to handle their busy patient calendar.

Dr. B's wife has steadfastly refused to cooperate.

Meanwhile, Nerds With Words has been transcribing Dr. B's office reports and personal correspondence. The agency's owner has had to drive 30 minutes across town each time Dr. B's wife calls to say that she has a tape which may contain only five minutes' worth of dictation.
The people at Nerds With Words have been begging Dr. B to dictate over the phone into their digital dictation system in order to avoid losing productive time away from the keyboard. But Dr. B's wife refuses to make any changes, stating that her husband doesn't like to dictate over the phone. Lately, Dr. B's wife has started to insist that the folks at Nerds With Words make minor corrections -- such as changing a comma to a period -- and deliver the corrected document to her office within two hours.
One day, when Dr. B's wife is off visiting relatives, the owner of Nerds With Words arrives to deliver transcribed documents and sees Dr. B standing in the office, reviewing a chart. He asks for a minute of Dr. B's time, explains how much Dr. B could help him by dictating over the phone, and asks for Dr. B's cooperation. Dr. B tells the agency's owner that he will need to discuss the matter with his wife, who makes all decisions about running his office.
When Dr. B's wife learns of this conversation, she erupts in anger and tells the owner of Nerds With Words that he had no business going behind her back to talk directly with HER HUSBAND, DOCTOR B, M.D.! At this point, the agency's owner is willing to sacrifice Dr. B's account in order to avoid any more grief from the surgeon's wife.
Since Dr. B has never signed a contract with Nerds WithWords, the agency's owner sends Dr. B a letter explaining that he is raising his rates and that, effective the following month, a $10 service charge will be assessed for each pickup or delivery. Dr. B's wife retaliates by taking John out shopping for the computer of his choice -- on the condition that John start transcribing Dr. B's dictation.
In 100 words or less, explain what is wrong with this picture.

No comments: