Surveys show that bad news travels much faster than good.

One oft-quoted survey reported that when people have a bad experience with a business, they tell, on average, seven people about it. But when they have a good experience as a customer, they tell only one person, on average.

That comports with my observations, and with what I’ve learned about human nature. I guess we like to complain. Another truth about human nature is that people generally get what they expect.

Maybe you’ve heard about the new guy in town getting a haircut from barber Lee Smith.

“So what kind of town is Forsyth?” he asked Lee.

“Well,” replied Lee, ”what was your old town like?”

“Oh it was great,” said the new guy. “People were so friendly and helpful and I really enjoyed it there. I hated to leave but needed to get closer to family.”

“Well I’ve got good news,” said Lee, “you’ll discover that Forsyth is just like that. A very welcoming place. You’ll love it here.”

The next day another newcomer visited Lee for a haircut. He was also curious about his new town.

“What’s Forsyth like?” he asked.

“Well,” said Lee, “first, tell me about the town where you used to live.”

“Oh it was awful,” replied the newcomer. “If you hadn’t lived there 40 years, they didn’t accept you. They’d talk about you and gossip about you. It was a terrible place to live.”

“I hate to break it to you,” replied Lee, “but you’ll find this town is about the same.”

Yep, Lee understands that people generally find what they’re looking for. So here’s the question: what do people expect when they visit Monroe County Hospital?

Starting this week and in the weeks to follow, you’re going to find testimonies from your friends and neighbors telling the experiences they’ve had at Monroe County Hospital. If you’re like me, you’re going to be overwhelmed and maybe even pleasantly surprised by their stories. 

We asked the Reporter’s Facebook family a few weeks ago to share some of their stories from Our Hometown Hospital. We were immediately flooded with messages and phone calls and emails, all with great stories to tell about how the hospital helped them. Several said point blank that the hospital saved their lives.

This week’s kick-off testimony, found on page 3A, tells the story of little 6-year-old Trinity Marshall. She lives in Jackson, but when she was attacked by a pit bull, her mom took her to Monroe County Hospital because she had heard good things about it. She was impressed by how quickly the nurses and staff patched up and took care of little Trinity. But she was most impressed on their subsequent visits as Trinity had to follow up with a series of rabies shots. She was always seen quickly when it was time for her shots, and they worked hard to make Trinity, who was terrified of shots, comfortable. When it was time for her last shot, the nurses discovered it was Trinity’s birthday and bought her gifts and a cake.

“They treated her like a queen!” said Trinity’s mom. Now that’s hometown hospital service.

There will be more great stories to come. People don’t always share good experiences they have at local businesses. But they will now. If you’ve got one to tell, email me at or call 994-2358. 

By the time we’re done telling these stories, I think Monroe County Hospital will be in good shape for a long time to come.