At Medibank, we are united through our values of Customer First, Own It Do It, Show Heart and One Team. They are part of everything we do, from the decisions we make to the way we serve our customers and the community.
Retail Centre Manager, Laura Mazzone, has always applied these values to her work. Recently, she found herself in a position that brought out that little bit of extra heart in her.
While working in the West Lakes Mid Mall store in South Australia, Laura served a male customer in his late 70s. What started off as a simple inquiry, later became something that moved her on a deeper level.
“He hobbled over to me and just wanted to know when his 12-month waiting period would expire. When I told him it wouldn’t be until April 2018 and that there was nothing I could do, he deflated and went on to tell me his story. It was heartbreaking.”
Laura’s customer told her that he has been on the public waiting list, awaiting hip replacement surgery, for two years. Every day, he said, the pain increases and comfort level decreases.
“He told me he couldn’t bear the pain anymore and that he doesn’t sleep at night. He even went so far to say that the pain is so bad that he just wants to end it his own way. That was the first time I’d heard anyone say anything like that during my time at Medibank. It was gut-wrenching.”
Laura admits that she is a person who has always been inclined to help people in any way, shape or form. With this, it was only natural that she would continue to think about that member after their meeting and explore other options.
“At the time, all I could do was hold his hand and say ‘I’m sorry’. In the days following our contact, I knew I wanted to see if there was anything else I could do. I thought maybe if I reached out further that Medibank or the public system might be able to do something.”
Laura and Tania from the West Lakes store at Wave Warriors for Medibank.
Laura reached out to the hospital where her customer is on the waiting list but had no luck in receiving advice or answers. She also reached out to doctors she knew to see if they had any suggestions for her. In the end, there was not much that she could do for her customer but share his story and their interaction on Yammer for Medibank colleagues to read. Although she could not help him any further, Laura says that the response her post received reminded her of why she loves being part of the business.
“I was amazed by the reaction on Yammer. It was really nice to be reminded that Medibank and senior management are there to support employees. It made me feel like they were really there for me in offering assistance to this member.”
Laura with her Medibank Retail team.
She says that in every situation, she puts herself in the other person’s shoes. This helps her understand things from the other side and allows her to offer the most appropriate help.
“I think if you put yourself or someone you love on the other side, it helps. There are people who are in pain, who are confused and who don’t speak fluent English. My nonna doesn’t speak English and I would want someone to have the patience to explain to her three times that she is being supported.”
Laura with her family.
Laura, with her fiance Elisa, says she constantly feels supported by Medibank in both her role and who she is as a person.
Laura says that she is proud to be a part of Medibank because of support that’s available in all aspects of life, both professional and personal.
“It’s hard not to be encouraged when I’m surrounded by people who are equally passionate and caring. I’m in a relationship with another woman and the fact that this is supported is incredibly touching. The business and the people in it encourage me to go above and beyond. It’s a great team to be a part of.”