Dealing with angry people
The other day, I witnessed a bad treatment by staff towards a customer, that I just would like to share. I don't know if this is the wokeness that has landed in Sweden too, or if it's some other kind of social phenomena, but I just think is so wicked and inhumane.
When I went into the local doctor's office, where I live in Stockholm, to register for their services, a man stood before me by the cashier. He was older than me, dressed in sweatpants, and very upset. He demanded to get his money back with a fierce despair, that I so recognize in myself having had. But instead of neither giving him a refund, nor explaining to him why he couldn't, they called for more staff and soon there was about six nurses and orderlies trying to circle around him and usher him into a room. This of course, made the man even more scared and angry. He demanded to speak to the manager, but the others seem to just shy away and avoid the issue. Then, I interfered.
I explained to him, how if he's been inside the doctor's office, even if it was to just get a referral to go elsewhere, he still had to pay. And that if he paid enough times to the sum of 1200 SEK (120 USD), he will get the rest of the visits for free for the remainder of the year, according to the Swedish system. I also said, that if he was on social welfare, he could get the cost reimbursed by them. He seemed to become a little put off by the welfare suggestion, like most people, since nobody wants to live on welfare, less having to depend on them, yet, he stopped yelling. Because I addressed the issue.
The medical staff at the office rather wanted to shut him down, call him crazy for being angry, and by doing so, shaming him and aggrevating the situation. When did it become so unwelcome to voice your honest feelings and be allowed to request your money back for a service you didn't like? When I think about it, it's very typical Swedish state standards in Stockholm - a snobby way even acquired by immigrants, to always call guards and dismiss anyone remotely upset, instead of listening and treating the other with respect. It certainly isn't being Aloha, or being of service, the American way, that I have come to treasure so much. It's Swedish.
We should lead with compassion. Always!