Service of When “No” Doesn’t Need to be “No”

February 15th, 2024

Categories: Appointments, Medical, Medical Administration, No, Restaurant, Surgery

Image of bar stool by Daria Nepriakhina from Pixabay

A rule stickler

An out-of-town acquaintance in her 50s went to a favorite restaurant in NYC near her hotel.  It was late and the moderately expensive restaurant wasn’t full. She asked the hostess if she could sit at a table and the 20-something told her that because she was alone, she could either sit at the bar or in the lounge. She chose the bar even though she doesn’t drink.

She returned for dinner the next night asking a different hostess, an older woman, if she could sit at the bar and the woman asked, “would you prefer to sit at a table?” Hmmm.

Administrator will determine when your appointment will be–not you

At almost the same time another friend got a call that his imminent cataract surgery was rescheduled for a month away. He wanted it over with. He tried to persuade the receptionist to do better. “Not possible,” she said.

During his lunch break he walked over to the doctor’s office and one of the technicians measured his eye and did the pre-op procedure and rescheduled him for two weeks away. He learned that something had come up for the doctor the day he was originally to be operated on.

Is a declaration of “no” and inflexibility a sign of power for some? Do you push back when you hear “no?” Has “no” turned to “yes” more times than not?

2 Responses to “Service of When “No” Doesn’t Need to be “No””

  1. Lucrezia Said:

    While i reserve the right to change my mind, I prefer to be known to possess a decent grasp of both language and intent. “No” and “Yes” are powerful words to be used judiciously. One does not earn respect by constant wavering and ignorance of what policy to follow.

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I get the feeling that in the instance of the 20-something who refused to give a single diner a table at the end of the evening that she was new at the job and had been told not to “waste” a table that holds two on one person. She didn’t have the judgment to realize that there were plenty of other free tables should couples stroll in last minute.

    The second instance was an example of laziness with a dash of lack of empathy.

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