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Thinking that he was taking advantage of his family doctor for a task ‘beyond the call of duty’ my friend surreptitiously slipped a €20 note as a thank-you gift to the health practitioner.
Kindly, it was returned with a polite reprimand that filling out the forms for a disability pass was part of a family doctor’s routine. However, the point was politely made that offers of cash in a family doctor’s consulting room aren’t the done thing. In fact, it is strictly taboo.
‘The road to hell is paved with good intentions,’ thought the dismayed patient.
Does this mean that those who serve us and often go unpaid beyond their salary shouldn’t be rewarded? After all, we reward good service from cab drivers to restaurant waiters, hairdressers and hotel cleaning ladies with gratuities. Why not health workers too?
Where there’s a will there is a way. I find it doubly rewarding to show a little imagination and generosity when showing appreciation for those who go the extra mile to improve our well-being.
To be honest, over Christmas my wife and I delivered thank-you gifts without any thought given to gratitude being returned in kind.
We delivered gifts to chiropodists, dentists and service suppliers, health workers, garages, health centres, hairdressers pots of flowers, gifts, bouquets and cards immediately before Christmas. By the way, few welcome chocolates which appear to be an indulgence too far at gift-giving times. Quite unexpectedly, we were from that point on treated as extra special clients.
An off-the-cuff question as to her favourite Spanish foods and wines revealed that the family doctor adores Spain’s legendary serrano ham especially when washed down with a quality red wine – again Spanish.
Subsequently, the good doctor on concluding the appointment was handed a gift bag in which there was waiting to be discovered and enjoyed the best quality Spanish ham, a bottle of fine red wine and a bouquet of flowers. It was then that I learnt that giving is better than receiving and a gift such as a donation ~ where appropriate is a two-way blessing from heaven.
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