David Shenkenberg began his career as a humble busboy at Bennigan’s restaurant. Not liking to clean after people, he worked as a file clerk and then as a customer service representative. Although some people hate dealing with angry customers, the experience did not bother him. He empathized with the customers and strove to improve their situations. This experience paved the way for his current daytime role, serving customers who request information from hospitals.
David Shenkenberg’s habit of reading constantly helped him learn new information in business and in life. He also likes to verify the soundness of his ideas with friends, family and co-workers. Some of his best ideas come to him when he least expects it, such as while driving his car, so he always keeps a notebook and pen handy to jot ideas down. Of course, he could use his smartphone, but he is a juxtaposition of high and low technology; although very good with electronic devices, David prefers to use a simple notepad at times.
What was your favorite subject in school?
This question is difficult to answer because I had so many. I enjoyed English, biology, math and history. I had an insatiable desire to learn. I still do.
What was your first job?
In other interviews, I have written about working as a busboy at a Bennigan’s restaurant in San Marcos, Texas. This was my first job. I hated it! After that, I worked as a medical records file clerk in my father’s office. Then I worked as a call center representative for a company that was contracted to handle inbound calls about recalls on General Motors (GM) cars. Although I have enjoyed every subsequent job more than my first, my first job provided me with humility.
Where and how did you first get into the industry you currently work in?
My first experience in my current industry was as a boy when my mother dropped me off with my father, a physician. My father left me to be with the ladies in the medical records department. In college, I worked as a file clerk in his office. As an adult, I worked for his office remotely. I enrolled in a health information technology program in school, and then I got hired by CIOX Health to process release of information requests.
How have those jobs prepared you for what you do now?
First and foremost, I learned about the sanctity of the confidentiality of patient information. I learned to respect not only patient information but also the patients themselves. I learned empathy, which helps me when communicating with patients and other clients face-to-face and over the phone. I also am humble. I am thankful for every day that I work in service of others. I also learned the organization of medical charts and medical terminology.
Describe the best day of work you’ve ever had.
The best day of work I ever had was when I plowed through a hundred chart requests for the first time. I felt so productive!
How do you keep yourself motivated?
I am conditioned to succeed. I attribute my motivation largely to my upbringing. My mother and father always pushed me to succeed.
What kind of business ideas excite you most?
Although there is always the little boy in me who craves something new, I am a mature adult now, and I like proven ideas more than anything.
Have you ever tried any unorthodox techniques to attract attention to your business?
Although I have never worn a chicken suit, I have engaged in techniques that might be considered brave if not original. I have contacted executives directly. In addition to some courage, this took the ability to research their contact information, and people at the executive level do not make it easy for their contact information to be found.
What personal achievement are you most proud of?
In terms of my work, I am always proud of satisfying other people, whether we are talking about my co-workers, my clients or my boss.
What wisdom would you have liked to share with yourself when you first started out?
I would have told myself to get into the medical records industry and into the electronic industry sooner. I would have told myself to be more patient. Good things take time to happen.