I know, I’m not alone when I say, I’ve left late for a doctor’s appointment, driven at what seemed like warp speed, prayed for all green lights and for the Sunday drivers to be behind me so that I could be on time to my appointment. I’m not talking about that doctor’s appointment I made on the same day as I was going because I just had to get checked out before I died of an upper respiratory infection. I’m talking about the doctor’s appointment I made months ago, and they sent me my self-filled out reminder card in the mail, followed by the standard reminder phone call from the doctor’s receptionist reminding me I had an appointment with the doctor in a day or two. Rush, rush, rush to phew, I made it in time. Time for the doctor’s appointment? No, time to sit and wait in the so appropriately named waiting room for a while only to be moved into the exam room only after getting interested in what Doctor Oz was saying on their television. Not the okay, I’m here in the exam room so come on and examine me. It’s more like, come into the exam room and begin my examination. I always start with the walls. Oh, that’s an interesting poster. So that’s what they call the muscle and gee, I can’t even pronounce that muscle; or wow, that tendon extends far, it’s cool the way it wraps around that bone like that. Who creates these posters I wonder, and did they go to art school or medical school? I have already reviewed these same wall hangings last year and the year before and the year before. You get the point. After all, you’ve been there. My mind begins to drift, why can’t they update these rooms and the standard decor more often? If I worked here, I swear I’d make it part of my daily tasks to ensure the people in these waiting rooms, oops, I mean ‘exam rooms’ would have more to look at and read. Plus, I would lobby Congress to pass a law forbidding them from not letting me choose if I want to hang out in the doctor’s waiting room longer, because hello, I’m watching TV or be moved to a tiny, boring exam room to wait in silence. Oh, oh, oh, and I could have them throw in a law forbidding them from keeping their patients waiting. Ha, ha, ha, yes, that’s what I would do. So, let me check out the flexible life-size model of the human spine. Okay, I just killed another 30 seconds. Oh, there’s the doctor. Damn it; he was just walking by my room. Why doesn’t this doc leave magazines in this room for me to read? My other doctor does. Heck, why didn’t I just grab one from the first waiting room? Because, Doctor Oz, was on and of course, I’m interested in what he has to say so I didn’t even care about the magazines. Well, at least I’m interested in him the times when I find myself somewhere I’m forced to watch and wait. Maybe I will go out there and grab a magazine. No, I will feel funny doing that, and what if the doc comes in while I’m gone and thinks I’ve left. Then I would have to wait even longer for my exam as the doctor and office staff look for me. I wish I had a pen and piece of paper. If I did, I would write a note and leave it for the doctor. Be back in 90 seconds it would clearly state, and I would adhere to what I wrote. Surely I could grab a magazine and be back within 90 seconds. I think I will check out social media. Damn, I knew I should have charged my phone before leaving work. I can’t use up the last of my battery sitting here, what if I break down on the way home and need to make a phone call. Surely I wouldn’t be able to find a pay phone like I used to, and if I did, Murphy’s Law, would rear its ironic head, and I would find it broken. Of course, I’d only learn that after it took my fifty cents; (hmmm, I remember when it was a dime) and didn’t give me the right to a phone call. No, I will just sit here. How long have I been here? Oh my, I got here 20 minutes ago. I could have stayed at work an extra forty-five minutes I guess and not charged my time. Is my watch wrong? Perhaps the doctor’s watch is wrong. Maybe every timepiece in this office isn’t working and doesn’t keep regular time, and the staff doesn’t even realize it. Should I tell them they should check their timepieces to ensure they work properly? No, I can’t do that. The repercussions of me appearing to them as a smarty-pants regarding my wait are too risky. I will just sit and wait. How long have I been here? I should just stop looking at my watch. Let me put my phone away. Man, I have a lot of stuff in my pocketbook. What’s this receipt? Oh, there’s my bracelet. Oh, that’s right I still have to stop at the grocery store. Oh wait, is that the doc? Damn it, nope. Why can’t 2:15 mean 2:15? I could be at work right now finishing my work. I despise charging my time for this. I wonder what’s in these cupboards. Watch, I will look and get caught. I wonder what they do with people sneaking a peek. What’s the worst that could happen? What if it’s they make me wait even longer before they see me? Nah, it’s not worth the peek. It would kill another few seconds, but there’s no way I want to upset the doc. How long have I been here? Wow, I’ve been here 25 minutes, but it feels like 45. I guess the one scheduling these appointments so close to each other has an unending bank of hours to charge when they take time off. Couldn’t they have just called me and said, hey, why don’t you keep doing what you’re doing and instead of 2:15 come on in for 2:45? I don’t think that would be so hard. They called me a day or two ago to confirm this appointment so technically they could call me back and say, “we didn’t want to make you charge all that time just to sit here and wait so stay where you are for now and come on in later.” Ah, that would be nice; if only, I could dare to dream. Sitting in here is making me tired. Maybe I could just lay down. I’d feel funny, but I can’t stop yawning. Why didn’t I charge my phone? What time is it? I guess there’s something to be said for doctors that used to make house calls. Why don’t they do that anymore? I sure wish they did. There’d be no waiting then. Certainly the doctor wouldn’t show up to my house, and my family would say, she’ll see you shortly, have a seat and check out the fabulous magazines she has. Then I’d take another twenty minutes…(what time is it), oh no, let’s say thirty minutes before allowing the good doc to see me and ask what’s ailing me. Where is the doctor? Oh, I think the doc is coming in. Damn it; the doc went in the room next to me. Well, the doc is getting closer, that’s good. How long have I been here? Why do I charge my time for this? Ugh. Sigh. Oh, hi Doc. I’m well; how are you, I say with my best smile that says, ‘Oh, have I been waiting way longer than I wanted to? Nah, I hardly noticed the wait. In actuality, I want to scream, and it’s because you’ve kept me waiting and I charged my time off for this! Why did you make me wait so long? Instead, I say, I’ve been having this pain right here. No, not there, here. Yes, that hurts. Well, I was on vacation, and I fell. What, I need to go for an x-ray and then come back to get the results. Okay, I will wait to get an x-ray. The x-ray tech comes and gets me right away, so I know their watch is working correctly. I get my x-ray and get to go back to the waiting, I mean, exam room. For some reason, the next pop-in doesn’t take as long for doctors. Thank, God, again. Thank you, God. Okay, lay it on me Doc, is it broken? What! The x-ray shows no abnormalities? Just rest and you’re sure I will feel better soon? That’s it? Sure, I will hand this to the receptionist on my way out. My copay amount, the receptionist, asks. Thirty dollars, I quickly reply. No, I don’t want to keep the ‘GIGANTIC’ receipt with the medical codes on it, I can’t decipher. I look at my phone to see what time it is. Great! It’s dead. As I take my first few steps toward my escape, I hear the gentleman behind me ask the receptionist, “Could you tell me what time it is?” I can’t help but to notice the lady behind the desk, glance at her watch and sweetly reply, the time. I walk out the door with an, ‘I’m free’ spring in my step and can’t help but to give the world a snarky smile as I say out loud, “I guess her watch works.” Why did I charge my time for this? Damn it; I don’t haven’t the time to get groceries. Why did I charge my time for this?
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