Nov-Dec '08 | briefing | mail | interviews | articlespsorchat |  don't say this | flaker creativity | flakers' jargon | spouses corner | other places | archives | send mail | ed dewkesearch | acknowledgments | legal stuff | Flake: Confessions of a Psoriatic  | 2008 Ed Dewke

I Need a Simple Documented Explanation
from Dan S.

Hi, Ed.  I have moderate (sometimes severe) psoriasis and I also work with the public, but one-on-one. I go into people’s homes and have learned the hard way that, in private, the unknowing are often a lot more vocal about their fear of me than they might be in a crowded public place.

I have a print-out of your “Don’t Say This” list in my locker and, believe me, I’ve heard way too many of those things myself.

Problem is, I don’t have time for long involved explanations, but when they ask if I’m contagious or will the pets die if they eat my flakes, saying, “No, I’m not contagious,” is never enough. Then they ask, "Well, then what IS that?"

I’m well scripted — that’s not the problem — but it would help me a lot to have a short, written piece by an official sounding source that sums it up in minute or two of easy reading. Something I could hand to the concerned: “No, Ma’am, I’m not contagious. You might want to take a look at this.” I also think that if I had such a document and handed it to them when they’re really concerned (meaning I’m standing there in my tool belt, flaking all over their carpet) they’d likely read it. And that might just make them kinder, more knowing, less fearful and more considerate the next time they bump into “one of us.”

Do you know of such a document?  If so, where can I get copies in bulk?

I could REALLY use this. I’ve had customers call my dispatcher to ask about my skin. He’s told me he doesn’t appreciate those calls.

Let me know! –Dan S.


Ed’s Response: A great idea, Dan. I can think of a dozens of circumstances where such a document could make a difference.

Of course, the most prolific source of published information about psoriasis is the National Psoriasis Foundation. I looked inside their publications list and found one brochure titled Specific Forms of Psoriasis that tells the story. It may, however, be too wordy for what you have in mind.

What I think we need is a two-sided business card (nothing larger) that has the simple one-sentence definition; a statement that P is not contagious; a statement that over 125 million people in the world have P; and a web site URL, probably to the National Psoriasis Foundation, where the recipient of the card can “learn more.”

Maybe other readers of FlakeHQ know where a document meeting your needs exists.  Stay tuned, Dan!  -Ed

P.S. – Is there an extra pocket on your tool belt where you can load a couple dozen really meaningful business cards?

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