On Tuesday, Nov 20 I entered a contest via Twitter with Penguin Books. Lucky me, this time I won! One thing I enjoy about winning a prize is that typically, by the time of arrival at my house, such a long time has passed that it feels like winning all over again. With Penguin, the book arrived on Thursday, Nov 22. Two days later! Never have I received delivery of a prize in such a short time. Now, that is impressive to me.
I had to write and give kudos to Penguin Books about their extensive engagement with their customers. This fast delivery should not surprise me. They are consistently professional, personable and filled with excitement about anything related to literature, or their (potential) customers. They truly do interact with people on a personal level through their social media mediums. I had the pleasure of meeting some of their staff at the Word on the Street Toronto event this past summer. When I mentioned my Twitter handle, there was a genuine smile of recognition along with the words of being happy to meet face to face. I had already felt valued by the brand through Twitter, and this interaction made it even more meaningful, true and real. That is something you can not fake. Penguin Books is not just a brand; it\’s people who love books like I do.
So what did I win? A hardcover edition of Jeffrey Simpson\’s Chronic Condition: Why Canada\’s Health Care System Needs to be Dragged into the 21st Century, speaking about the state of the health care system in Canada (obviously). Here\’s a snippet of the book synopsis from the Penguin Books website:
Medicare is the third rail of Canadian politics. Touch it and you die. Every politician knows this truism, which is why no one wants to debate it. Privately, many of them understand that the health care system, which costs about $200 billion a year in public and private money, cannot continue as it is—increasingly ill-adapted to an aging population with public costs growing faster than government revenues.
In Chronic Condition, Jeffrey Simpson meets health care head on and explores the only four options we have to end this growing crisis: cuts in spending, tax increases, privatization, and reaping savings through increased efficiency.
Should be an interesting read. My beloved in North Carolina and I quite frequently discuss the differences between the US model (he has insurance coverage through his work place) and the Canadian model (I have Provincial coverage as well as through my work place). We both agree that neither model is perfect, both need revisions, and that health care for citizens is of utmost importance for the strength of a nation. But we do disagree on some of the ways that improvements could be made, and what should remain. For me, when I hear that it costs him $20 to see a doctor (GP, not a specialist!) for a 15 minute appointment, whether a requested follow-up or not, I am baffled and outraged. Fortunate for me, I have been to a doctor twice in the past year. Would I have gone if it would cost $20? Probably not for what I had (but that is hind-sight speaking since I now know it wasn\’t something worse.)
A friend of mine has been to her Family Doctor at least 12 times this year for a serious condition. Could she financially afford to have still gone if it would have cost her a $20 fee to step over the threshold? Would she have gone when her condition was still in a stage of beginning, rather than a crisis? Would she have continued with the follow-up appointments, and tests, that were needed? No, she would not. And I can understand. As a friend would I have given her the money to ensure her health? Of course. Would I do that for my neighbour? A complete stranger? I already do. Because I am Canadian. Frankly, I like that.
But I digress… this is not about health care… this is about Penguin Books making me feel like I am a valued customer – even when I am not giving them money, but receiving a free product as a prize. Give them a visit, or a follow. If you love books, you will not be disappointed.
Disclosure: I was not compensated or requested to complete this post by Penguin Books. All opinions expressed are my own.