I often lament that I have no time to blog. The other day, however, I was time-rich. Time loaded. Brimming with time. I had 30 pounds of time in a 10 pound bag. Why? Because I was stuck in a doctor's office waiting room for a good chunk of Thursday. In fact, that particular doctor's office makes it clear by phone and by mail that a typical first appointment can suck 5 hours out of your life.
No, no, you read that right. No need to go back and double-check. FIVE HOURS. Of tests? Of doctor-patient consultation? Of incredibly thorough and invasive examinations? No. Of sitting in the waiting room, staring at the elderly and the infirm. Plus, you're required to be there half an hour early, so make that 5 and a half hours.
In fact, the lengthy document they sent me by mail prior to that marathon appointment made it clear that this doctor's office is not to be fucked with regarding the time issue. The parts pertaining to time are typed in all caps and underlined, so you know they mean business.
"IF YOU WILL BECOME UPSET BECAUSE OF HAVING TO WAIT OVER 1 TO 2 HOURS WHEN YOU HAVE AN APPOINTMENT, PLEASE CONSULT ANOTHER DOCTOR. THIS IS A VERY BUSY OFFICE AND WE CANNOT COMPROMISE THE CARE OF ANOTHER PATIENT TO BE ON SCHEDULE AT ALL TIMES. YOU SHOULD BE AWARE THAT YOU MIGHT BE HERE FOR A TOTAL OF 4-5 HOURS."
Later, in this 8 page, single-spaced document, it goes on to say:
"YOUR APPOINTMENT MUST BE CONFIRMED THE DAY BEFORE YOUR APPOINTMENT. IF NOT, YOUR APPOINTMENT WILL BE CANCELLED AND WILL NOT BE RESCHEDULED A LATER DATE."
Notice that says, "not be rescheduled." Apparently if you don't take this policy seriously, you will be banned forever; the doctor's equivalent of the Soup Nazi credo.
Still later in this massive, cumbersome document, it says:
"WHENEVER WE ARE OFF SCHEDULE, IT IS BECAUSE OF SOMETHING THAT INVOLVES THE CARE OF ANOTHER PATIENT. WE ASSUME THAT YOU WOULD EXPECT EXTRA TIME AND CARE ALSO SHOULD THAT NEED ARISE, EVEN THOUGH IT MIGHT MAKE OTHER PATIENTS HAVE TO WAIT LONGER THAN DESIRED."
...And on and on. Seriously. They find as many ways as humanly possible to rework the phrase, "You will die in our waiting room before your name will be called."
To top it off? The doctor's name is Cheatum. I'm not making this up. It's an even more appropriate name in this case than with most doctors, because this one cheatsum out of time as well as cheatingum out of money.
There's not much to do in a doctor's office except angrily stare at your watch, but I did complete the following tasks:
- Checked in at desk.
- Peed in a cup at the lab.
- Took the vending machine by storm (yes, there was some hand-washing between the urine cup rendezvous and the vending machine attack).
-Read from cover to cover a magazine devoted entirely to shopping. Baffled side note: How is that a magazine? It's 204 pages of ads. I demand stricter rules regarding what constitutes a magazine.
And all that in my first hour.
I did learn a few things during my stay, so the time wasn't completely wasted. I learned the following:
-It's hard to scrape up a decent lunch from vending machines.-When I'm really bored I'll do things that would otherwise never occur to me, like arranging and photographing my vending machine purchases.
-While shopping is fun, magazines about shopping are mind-numbing. More boring than listening to men talk about their jobs. The lesson: Not everything should be written about.
-Peeing in a cup is fun. I'm going to start doing this at home. Does anyone know where I can purchase a large quantity of small plastic cups? No need to purchase the name labels and markers, since I'll be the only one filling these babies. I'd also like to install one of those tiny stainless-steel doors at eye-level in my bathroom wall that I can label with a sign that reads, "Please Place Urine Specimens In Here." Only, instead of that door leading to an adjoining laboratory room, it would lead to my guest bedroom, which is right next to my guest bathroom. The cups could pile up in there til the next time someone tries to come stay at my house for the weekend. That'll teach 'em.
On the bright side, I did manage to get in to see the doctor before the five-and-a-half hour estimated wait time was over; my name was called sometime in hour four. I have a follow-up with that doctor in two weeks, though, which gives me plenty of time to plan activities to occupy me during that waiting room visit. So far I've come up with the following list of ideas:
-Practice my singing
-Paint my toenails
-Do my Turbo Kickboxing workout
-Grab several urine specimen cups from the bathroom and get a headstart on filling them in the waiting room, just in case extras are needed.
That should cover about two and a half hours. Any ideas for how I can whittle away the remaining 2-3 hours?
Dude, love the idea of the urine specimen. I also really dig peeing in cups. Can't get enough.
My favourite waiting room hobby is cell phoning. Only not really. Just pretend to call someone and mutter something like "well, did you bury it?" or "you think it's my fault you got syphillis?"
Bring a radio, set up a bar, and start charging for drinks?
Well, since you asked, you could...
Take a nap.
Fillet a salmon.
Shoot rubber bands at someone, and when they accuse you, look confused and point to the person to the left of you.
Masturbate in the ladies room.
Compose your own waiting room rules for the doctors offices.
Read all of the Highlights magazines.
Ask other patients if they want to see your “belly button treasure”.
Master the art of cherry-stem tongue-tying.
See how many licks it actually takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop.
One word: Sudoku.
I don't think you need those little cups to pee in at home. A juice glass will be fine.
I hope thhere is a REALLY GOOD reason that you would agree to the ridiculous terms of that office. I think I would look elsewhere rather than wait that length of time.
Next time, bring some some Solo cups and sell urine shooters to the other patients.
Stare at the other poor souls in the doctor's office and invent fictitious backstories about them.
"Over there is Jim. Jim is 54 years old. He suffered from severe depression after his wife left him from one of those recliners that massages you as you sit in it. Now he's seeing the doctor about the strange bumps on his taint that developed after a fling with a transvestite prostitute. He also likes to play Scrabble."
IF YOU WILL BECOME UPSET BECAUSE OF HAVING TO WAIT OVER 1 TO 2 HOURS BEFORE I START THE TEDIOUS PROCESS OF BRINGING YOU TO ORGASM, PLEASE CONSULT ANOTHER BAR PATRON. I AM A VERY BUSY AND VERY INTOXICATED AND I CANNOT COMPROMISE THE ACHIEVEMENT OF MY OWN ORGASM TO TEND TO YOUR SELFISH NEEDS. YOU SHOULD BE AWARE THAT YOU MIGHT BE HERE FOR A TOTAL OF 4-5 HOURS.
YOUR DESIRE FOR MUTUAL GRATIFICATION MUST BE CONFIRMED THE DAY BEFORE OUR HOOKUP. IF NOT, YOUR FULLFILLMENT WILL BE CANCELLED AND WILL NOT BE RESCHEDULED UNLESS I AM REALLY HARD UP.
WHENEVER WE ARE OFF SCHEDULE, IT IS BECAUSE THE IMAGE OF MY MOTHER IN LEATHER HAS INTRUDED INTO MY FANTASY. I ASSUME THAT YOU WILL EXPECT EXTRA TIME DUE TO YOUR UNFAMILIARITY WITH THE TOUCH OF OTHER HUMANS. EVEN THOUGH IT MIGHT MAKE OTHER MORALLY COMPROMISED FEMALES WAIT LONGER THAN DESIRED, THIS IS THE PRICE I MUST PAY FOR CARING WAY TOO DAMNED MUCH ABOUT BEING WITH YOU.
Don't bother with the little trap door. Your guest bedroom already smells like piss. Sorry about that.
Even though 5 hours is a criminally long time to have to wait at the doctor's office, when one is harboring the steaming froth of venerial diseases and dumpster-sex bacterial infections that you are, one should do whatever it takes.
By the way, I looked up Dr Cheatum on the internet, and it says he "specializes in the removal of impacted foreign objects from all bodily orafices, but specifically the rectum and vagina." Niiiiiice. I see why you left that part out.
Well, I always said I wanted to make an impact.
You could always start "live blogging" along with commentary. I'm sure the staff would love that.
doctor nazi, indeed. i can see it.. walk up to the counter...sign in, hand them your insurance card..step to the left.. oooh..not quick enough.. card handed back.. "no doctor for you!"
i like the food photography. maybe next time you can arrange and photograph what other people are eating (i'm sure they won't mind) and maybe you can make an art out of it!
I HEAR you about the pee. I LOVE it, but I encourage you to stock a red wax pencil in your guest bathroom, because there is such a "pride in ownership" when you put your name on YOUR cup of pee. Also, at the doctor's office, you could have fun putting other people's names (celebrities?) on the cups as well.
Wow... This must be some freakin' doctor that can force his patients to be that... uhhh... patient.
I'm not a big fan of peeing into those little cups. I guess I just don't have very good aim.
I knew I could count on Commonwombat to mention the reason you were at the doctor's waiting that long. I am glad someone finally got around to addressing that.
I'm going to invent a way to collect urine specimens without having to touch or spill them. I'm going to be rich.
Why would anyone willfully CHOOSE to go to this doctor? I'm sorry, did we somehow end up in communist Russia circa 1982? Are we also going to have to wait in line for bread and mutter "paristroyka" under our breath.
BS. You should come to Orange County where someone may sue the doctor for making them wait too long, thus causing undue mental anguish. ...I'm just saying, I never wait at the doctor for more than 5 minutes.
(and if I do have to wait, I start playing with all of the gadgets in the room)
Undercover Celebrity: You're right--under normal circumstances I'd never stand for that kind of wait time; I'd just switch doctors. But this is a joint doctor, who will hopefully tell me why my hands hurt. Apparently the speciality is so rare that there are only a few of these doctors out there. Part of why they rant on and on about their waiting policy is there are patients who routinely travel from a state or two away to see this guy, and those are the people who throw the biggest hissy if the wait gets too long...since they're still pissed from the hours of driving they did to get there. So I have to just suck it up and count myself lucky that MY drive was only 1 hour.
A few years ago I was spending 3 - 4 hours at a time, twice a week, every other week, taking mom to chemo treatments.
I was able to take my laptop and write two screen-plays during that time.
But I should warn you, if you try and take your laptop through the airport after going to the hospital, the wipe tests will come back positive. This will give you time to get to know some Canadian Mounties pretty well if you are looking to meet any.
Smuggle a Playboy and Playgirl magazine into the place, mix them in with the others, fire up your video camera and capture people's reactions.
Then post it on YouTube.
Whatever you do, don't laugh.
Sounds like the military Dr. Office I go to on a regular basis, except mine doesn't have vending machines or non-military reading material. YIKES!
Sounds like he might know what he's about, but no one else thinks he shows up on time, either.
One of my quacks succeeded in making me more sick for six weeks, and was ready to renew the bad prescription ...
Mom and dad:
Wow. You guys are thorough.
No doctor is worth this type of,....ABUSE! Find yourself another physician. I don't care HOW big his reputation is, this person has NO RIGHT to treat his patients like this.
I think you should bring some instant pudding and make desserts-in-a cup while you are in the bathroom. Dessert for 8!
I bet you could find another doctor in less than 5 hours.
this better be the guy that rush limbaugh sees ... tons of drugs or why the hell else is he so popular?!
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