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FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN  / Four P's Plus One/   Editorial List

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 Four P's Plus One

In each welcoming speech at our Fearless Caregiver Conferences, I always practice a bit of crystal-ball foretelling of the future. In truth, there is one single event that I can forecast will happen that day and my prediction always comes true. I start off by thanking in advance the attendee who will write my next newsletter column. Or at least they give me the idea of what to write.  This one is in fact such a column.  

During the morning question and answer session, Bobbie and I endeavor to race around the conference room with microphones in hand to quickly reach the attendees as they raise their hands signaling their interest in asking a question.  This is great fun and much-needed exercise (at least for me).

As the session was wrapping up this past week in Palm Beach Gardens, a gentleman stood up at the far end of my side of the room, he waved me off from bringing over the microphone stating in a booming voice, “I don’t think I will need that.” He was correct.  He stood in response to some of the previous questions and comments from attendees about their challenges of dealing with customer service representatives by phone at various healthcare and even government organizations.

His point was that when speaking with these representatives, we are the advocates for our loved ones and need to recognize ourselves as professionals. The people on the other end of the phone talk with many countless people everyday who call in breathless, angry and unprepared to communicate their needs. He stated that the best way to get what you need is by being:

  • Prepared
  • Persistent
  • Professional
  • Polite

I fully agree with this gentleman. If you are not confident and prepared to make your case, how can they even know where to begin to help you?  Your persistence makes the difference between accepting an automatic “No” or “Sorry, it’s not done that way” and getting the help you need. Your professionalism is mandatory in any caregiving situation and not to be too syrupy but “a spoon full of sugar” does go a long way in making your loved one’s situation stand out from the bickering crowd.

I would make one small yet important addition to the list of P’s: Pushy.   Three little words that can go a long way to success are “Who’s your supervisor?”


Gary Barg

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