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Ruth the Host: Coming to A Practice Near You

Welcome Mat

My husband and I went to our favorite restaurant for Father’s Day last week and had an unusual, but delightful experience when we were visited by Ruth.

We had been to this restaurant a number of times since we moved to Cary last fall, but had never met Ruth. A petite, grandmotherly woman with a heavy German accent, Ruth came to our table soon after we settled in. My first impression was that she was the owner of the restaurant. She chatted with us for a moment, then asked if she might sit down at our table. We welcomed her and she explained her job as the restaurant host.

Ruth visits with the restaurant patrons, getting to know the new ones and catching up with those she’s met before. She makes sure that everyone feels welcome, is cared for and is thanked for choosing the restaurant.

As we visited, Ruth told us a little bit about herself and about coming to the United States from Germany when she was 24 years old. Three days after she arrived she was taught about money and placed in a restaurant as a cashier. When they realized she could not speak English, she was moved to the coat room. She was appalled to be a “hat check girl” because in Germany, only old, old ladies were assigned to the coat room! Her stories were fascinating and funny and we thoroughly enjoyed her time with us. We know now what nights Ruth works at our favorite restaurant and you can be sure we’ll return on a night she’s working.

What if medical practices had hosts? Someone to make sure patients in reception areas are not forgotten (it happens in every practice). Someone to talk to the patients whose visit to the doctor is the highlight of their week. Someone to spread the word about the doctor being late, or that flu shots are available, or that the diabetes support group venue has been changed.

Who can resist someone who’s glad to see you? Whether it’s a restaurant or a medical practice, we all crave being known and being welcome.

Image via Wikipedia

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