Monday, September 22, 2014


I once made sixty to eighty visits per year to the Crowne Plaza at the airport. Now I make about five.

During my last visit I noticed a printed handout on the bedside table containing a long list of clinics and doctors. Given a list, guests tend to call the first number first and then work down. My name was sixth.

When consulted, hotel lawyers always forbid staff from recommending a doctor. Should a guest ask for help, an employee should silently hand over a list, the longer the better. In this way, when the guest sues the doctor, he or she won’t sue the hotel. Lawyers admit that this doesn’t work, but they can’t help themselves. 

Told to make the list, a clerk takes the easy route by consulting the phone book and the internet where she finds clinics, local practices, and entrepreneurial physicians who charge spectacular fees. She won’t find established hotel doctors including me, but I'm well-enough known to be included.

Having produced the list, management forgets about it. As time passes, employees become careless about handing it out, especially since it produces bad feedback. Some numbers no longer work; for others, guests who want to speak to a doctor end up speaking to an answering service or receptionist. Clinics and local doctors don't make housecalls or answer questions. Better to give out a specific number, preferably mine.

It might take years for calls to return to normal, but I am patient. 

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