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I'm Your Mystery Shopper.

Yesterday I happened to call a hospital where I toiled for 20+ years. You know the one.   It used to be the finest hospital in its area by a wide margin and still thinks of itself that way,  though the state's new quality database says otherwise.  It's doing the usual things passing as hospital strategy - shiny new buildings, highly-paid consultants, scripted customer service programs.  Acquiring hospital practices from any willing seller.  Tweeting and Facebooking.  Branding, logos, taglines.  Heck, they even hosted the Stanley Cup for a day.

Good for them.  Until it's time to execute against that pesky brand promise.

See, the stunningly misnamed "Information" Desk answered and promptly transferred me...to the wrong department. Several transfers later and with each getting further removed from my desired telephonic destination, I spoke with a woman who assured me she didn't know the number I needed, had no directory in which to look it up and, in fact, had no idea who I was talking about or where such a department might be found.  Emphasizing her point, she hung up on me.

Someone having a really bad day?  Probably.   Someone who missed the "We Care" memo?  Maybe. 

An unfortunate, isolated incident or a "race to the bottom?" We'll see when one becomes the other.

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