I went to the doctor’s office the other day. I try to avoid them as much as possible because it usually involves a huge chunk of time, money, and a lot of hassle, but I had no choice. I needed someone to look in my ear and the doctor’s office was the only place with the equipment to do so.
After finally finding a local doctor who accepted my insurance, I arrived 20 minutes ahead of my scheduled appointment. The waiting room was filled with chairs, but no people. “Good,” I thought, “I won’t have to wait long.” I don’t like to wait, especially when I paying big bucks for what I need.
I began to complete all of the paperwork that would allow someone to look in my ear for 2-3 seconds and tell me what they saw. I returned all 15 pages, none of which included even one question about why I wanted to see the doctor that day, to the lady behind the window. I took my seat, kept my hands to myself-the less you come in contact with in a doctor’s office, the better-and waited.
Thirty minutes into my wait, another patient arrived. Thirty-five chairs in the room and he sits in the one right next to me. Like I said, the less you come in contact with, the better. “How do I get away from him?” I thought. “Do I get up and move or will that seem rude? Do I pretend I forgot something in the car and when I return from getting it sit in another chair? What if they call me while I’m out checking and I lose my place in line?” After way too much pondering, I decided to stay put. I sat there, pretending like I was searching for something important in my purse as a way to avoid eye and germ contact with the only other person in the room who just happened to be right next to me. I did a lot of searching as another 30 minutes went by, and then another. He got the point.
Finally, the door, the one that gets you closer to the doctor, opened. I got excited because I thought my wait was over. However, the lady in uniform looked at the man and said, “You can come back now.” “That’s odd,” I thought, “I was next and usually they call you by your name. She called him, ‘You.’” As the man approached the door, the lady suddenly proclaimed, “Oh, I thought you were somebody else. I couldn’t see you clearly across the room.” A blind sphincter says what? Who did you think he was? There is one lady and one man sitting next to each other in this waiting room for over an hour and you thought he was somebody else? Who else is there?” I kept searching my purse only this time it was to keep from laughing.
One hour and 40 minutes after my scheduled appointment, my name was finally called and thankfully, by someone who could see. She apologized for the long wait and said, “We were behind because we had two new patients this afternoon. You were one of them.” “Excuse me,” I wanted to scream, “Did you just say I waited for nearly 2 hours with a man sitting right next to me in a room of empty chairs because I am a new patient? Is waiting part of the welcome package? What were you doing for me during those 2 hours?” But I said nothing. I just needed someone to look in my ear for 2-3 seconds and tell me what they saw. She wouldn’t look. She just entered into her computer every piece of information I had written on the 15-page form upon arrival. And I? Well, I waited.