Over the past ten years, I cannot count the number of hours I’ve spent waiting for appointments with my daughter.
Physical therapy, cardiology, well checks, ENT, audiology, pulmonary, genetics…you get it. Lots of opportunities to wait.
At most places, I know what my wait time for Jaycee and I will be based on previous patterns. Pulmonary usually runs on time. The eye center requires me to pack for an hour of sitting and waiting. And God help us if we are sent to the outpatient lab!
You’d think I’d be great at waiting by now, and most of the time I can handle it. But a few weeks ago, I waited for over an hour with my daughter to see one of her doctors. During this long and unexpected wait, my mind began to wander.
These are the things I fantasize about doing while I wait in an uncomfortable office chair for my daughter’s name to be called:
- What would happen if I asked for a discount based upon my long wait?
I’m not at all satisfied with her care so why do I have to pay full price for sub-par treatment? What if they agreed? In a restaurant, you might get a discount or free food for poor service if you complain. Why not here? No, I doubt this idea will ever work.
- What if I told the doctor after his assessment of my child how ridiculous it is to wait and wait every time I see him?
I think about telling him how rude and unprofessional it is to keep people waiting as if his time is more precious than mine. I would love for him to sit with my daughter with special needs asking to go home every five minutes in his waiting room. Perhaps he would want my advice on how to more effectively schedule patients since his current method doesn’t work. Even though I could give great advice, I doubt he would want it!
- Perhaps I should start tidying up his waiting room.
I hate staring at cobwebs in the corner and the magazines could be alphabetized. Perhaps my cleanliness will freak them out and they will call us back so my odd behavior will stop. This one might have potential!
- I dream about walking out after a long wait and never coming back to this provider of care.
Maybe I would even give an eloquent speech before exiting that will express the feelings of others waiting. Maybe they will applaud me as I walk out. But, I would probably be charged a fee for not canceling 24 hours prior to appointment time.
- Perhaps I could start up a conversation with the others around me.
Maybe we could all walk out together and teach that doctor a lesson. Maybe he would run into the parking lot begging for forgiveness. Maybe not…
- I envision myself inviting the doctor over for dinner.
When he arrives, I escort him to the living room until dinner is ready. I make him sit there alone while I disappear into the kitchen delaying the meal as long as possible. I will smile as I announce, “You may come to the table now,” an hour later than he planned. Who am I kidding? He would probably show up two hours late anyway ruining my plans!
And as I dream and scheme, I hear my daughter’s name being called. I am brought back to reality and stand up feeling like I have won the lottery as we walk past those poor folks sitting there reading old magazines and looking bored.
Today, I didn’t have to start cleaning the office to get called back. Maybe next time.
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