Another Day in the Waiting Room

Warning: I am in fine form today. My words are sharp and on target, though far from politically correct. If you want watered-down PC crap, go somewhere else, because I don’t subscribe to that mumbo jumbo.

Today as I walked out of the elevator on the third floor of my doctor’s office, I knew I was in for quite an entertaining wait. There was already a line in the hallway of grumpy old farts, and I do mean grumpy. I was a bit ticked at myself for not being first today, but I soon realized that would not have been possible with this crowd. (Also, I’d like to be clear that not everyone in my book gets the opportunity to be called a “fart” by me; just the crotchety, idle seniors who would be labeled “jerk,” “meanie,” and several derogatory terms in their younger days. They are afforded the niceties of being labeled a “fart” by attaining an amazing age despite their lack of social grace.)

Scanning the hallway, the first one in line was an old bow-legged man, as wide as he was tall, shifting back and forth, hands in pockets, with his wife standing statuesque next to him with her arms crossed. Next to them was a white-haired woman sitting on the floor spouting off her dislike of the situation non-stop.

Thankfully there were two more people buffering me from them, because I sincerely wanted the freedom to laugh to myself over their antics, and they didn’t disappoint my desire for premium material.

The seated woman just kept coming with volley after volley of anti-doctor, anti-society, and anti-Bush statements that took everything I had to both not laugh out loud and tell her how unfounded and idiotic her ideas and feelings were.

“I have a 1:00 appointment, so I should be allowed into their waiting room at ten minutes till, let alone making us wait until a quarter after. Most people arrive early for appointments, so they need to accommodate us with seating,” she continued. It was now 1:08, and we still had seven minutes more to go… fun!

After just a few second, she started up again with, “They should put chairs out here in the hall if they are going to lock us out here for so long!” No… the hall is only 4 feet wide. If you put a chair against the wall, you are left with 2 1/2 feet. If someone sits down, their legs take up another foot. Boy did I want to make her feel like a genius for saying that. If the fire marshall just so happened to be hanging around, he would have, too.

She wasn’t about to begin sitting there quietly yet. Compelled to continue entertaining the four of us who remained silent with, “This is all because they double-book patients. They schedule people before the office opens, make everyone wait for hours, and everyone loses money but the doctor. There should be a law that says you are reimbursed for unnecessary time spent in doctors’ offices. In fact, my husband once told a doctor that he did not appreciate waiting for three hours to be seen. The doctor dismissed him and refused to ever see him again! Eight years in office, and the Bush administration still hasn’t fixed this problem.”

Wow! What do you say to that? There is nothing nice you can say. The best option is to put it out on the Internet for everyone to laugh at, in my opinion.

When the door finally did open, they started squabbling and complaining to the office staff who opened the door. The old man ignored the electronic kiosks on the wall and went straight to the window saying that he is an old man and shouldn’t be expected to know how to read. How being old and being illiterate are connected, I have no idea. He can’t possibly mean that he can’t see well enough to read because one of them drove there! I don’t even want to think about that now. Then it comes out that he doesn’t have an appointment; his pancreas is acting up, his ears are running and his nose is clogged. I wonder if he thinks the first is related to the other two, because I don’t see any connection.

As soon as he gave his name and grudgingly sat down next to me, remarking gruffly that I was smart for bringing a “toy” with me as I was already busy writing the first couple of lines of this post. I informed him that I had work to do, and thus the laptop. He was already on my nerves, and he didn’t say another word after that.

Next up to the window was the previously seated woman. She was complaining that she was already fifteen minutes past due to be seen for her 1:00 appointment and had been sitting in the hall since 12:45. After getting her name, the office woman told her that her appointment was at 3:00 today. “Well, I looked at my calendar before I left, and it said my appointment was at 1:00.”

Well, “la-dee-dah!” Good for your calendar. Ohhh, that would have felt good. I was in fine form by this time from hearing all the griping. Craziest lot of old whiners I’d ever seen in the waiting room with no good reason. It’s one thing to be in the hospital waiting for a scheduled CAT scan or MRI for 4 hours after emergency after emergency keeps bumping your test further back and another thing entirely to be upset after 30 minutes when you are at fault. The employee was much nicer than my thought (though I imagined her saying my thought out loud) and informed her that they could try to work her into the schedule as soon as possible if someone doesn’t show or is done early.

About that time, I got called back to my room and I smirked as I heard a nurse toward the front griping about him and my RN going off about him and having left him a message that the door opens at 1:15. I got the feeling it wasn’t the first time he’d ticked off the staff.

Doubtful it was going to be the last time, too.

  • Jerry

    LOL!! That was funny, Jesse. Good read. But it’s kinda hard to write about that stuff without sounding like you’re whining about whiners. 😉

  • Jerry

    LOL!! That was funny, Jesse. Good read. But it’s kinda hard to write about that stuff without sounding like you’re whining about whiners. 😉

  • http://www.perfectlypetersen.com Jesse Petersen

    Who’s whining? This is a public service for people to see themselves in other people.

    I’m sure a good shrink could make a fortune with the people that pass through and work at that office.

  • http://www.perfectlypetersen.com Jesse Petersen

    Who’s whining? This is a public service for people to see themselves in other people.

    I’m sure a good shrink could make a fortune with the people that pass through and work at that office.