Unexpected efficiency

I have been experiencing problems with my left eye to the point that I’m finding work more annoying than it should be. As this has been ongoing and getting progressively worse a trip to the doctor was in order. “You only get one set of eyes” said someone who never watched scify movies.

My first planned stop was a walk-in clinic. PEI does not for some reason cover visits to an eye doctor as part of its universal health coverage, so keeping up with my el cheapo persona, I thought it best to discount any generalized causes before I paid out of pocket for privatized medicine. I half expected the doctor to tell me to stop running and going to CrossFit because almost every doctor I’ve met seems to be against pushing your body to it’s natural limits.

As it turns out it was a complete waste of time as the doctor simply flashed a light in my eye and sent me on my way. A very friendly yet perfunctory experience not unlike Taiwan.

As an aside, I find interesting the start contrast between visiting the offices of the public walk in clinic and the privatized eye doctor. It’s stark. The staff in the eye clinic are obviously paid far more (all wearing matching smart watches), the environment more relaxing, and you can actually see a doctor, and keep seeing that doctor within reasonable periods of time.

The problem with all this was the timing of the clinic visit. I used the Skip the Waiting Room system to book my time with the walk-in clinic doctor. It’s an effective, yet surprising, privatized efficiency infusion to a social system. I started the registration process shortly after it opened online and no doubt due to it’s popularity I wasn’t given a spot until close to closing. With my 15 minute lead time I was told I wouldn’t have to leave until about 3:10pm. I figured later.

Unfortunately I had somewhat of a scheduling conflict. I had a short meeting at 2pm discussing the possibility of helping various tourism SME’s develop a more cohesive experience strategy for their business. Businesses here have seemingly endless options for marketing expertise but few seem to be talking about customer experience or service design or other jargony speak. Intense competition in Taiwan makes staging an experience a necessity for survival for many businesses; but they call it something else and seldom hire experience designers specifically. Since I am a poor capitalist and dislike the word consultant, I envisioned doing this advising somewhat for free, much like what I do at StartUp Zone.

The meeting was short, a 30 minute meet and greet, so I decided to keep both appointments. That turns out was a mistake.

We were just in the midst of discussing customer journeys, and all that boring stuff you need to mention, when I started to get sms notifications to come to the clinic – a full 45 minutes earlier than expected. This doctor would seem to be quicker than most.

So I had to quickly wrap things up, bid adieu, and race out the door. No doubt never to hear from this government official again.

In the future when booking appointments with doctors here, I’ll be sure to block out either the whole morning or afternoon for the visit. I experienced a similar problem with a visit to Dr. Flemmings office with Camren recently, when a short visit became multiple hours due to delays and his fastidious attention to detail.

Lesson learned.