Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Waiting Room Sanity (Part 1)

I took myself to the doctor's office today, to see if we can get to the bottom of some long term pain I've been having.  After checking in with the receptionist, I realized that I was starting to go through my regular waiting room ritual.  In fact, I use what I would call my Waiting Room Etiquette.  Here's my typical regimen for a waiting room, and I recommend you do the same.

1.  Always arrive right on time.  Not early, but right on time.  Even when you are on time, you will wait somewhere along the way.

2.  Bring along your current insurance card every time, for if you accidentally hand over an expired card, it will create computer and staff chaos.  It will get ugly and be accompanied by the threats of massive bills to be sent, followed by mountains of mail and paperwork that will be required to un-bill you when the correct insurance card is located.

3.  Scan the waiting room and make some rapid calculations:  sit as far away as possible from any other human in there.  Take into account strollers and large bags too.  They could be just as cootie-laden as the people.  Do not worry if other patients are deciding that you are unsociable.

4.  Take your coat off and hold it in your lap, not touching any armchairs or other things harboring germs.

5.  Do not even think of reading one of those waiting room end table magazines.  You can't even imagine the multitude of sicknesses or diseases that have touched those pages.   It is better to be bored and just people watch.  Stealthily of course.

6.  Do not make any eye contact with the other patients waiting in there.  You do not want to take the risk of hearing the LONG version of somebody's gross ailments, what tests have been done, how many pints of fluid were drawn, etc. etc.  If you weren't sick enough already, you will be.

7.  Do not allow yourself to dwell on the fact that whoever was sitting in your chair before you may have had head lice, body lice, bedbugs, or any other type of livestock infestation.  In fact, don't even sit at all.  You can wander around, making it look like you are reading the interesting articles on the bulletin boards.  Of course you wanted to know where you can drop off all your excess plastic milk jugs, right?

In way more time than you have to waste no time at all, you will be ushered into your own private chamber or horrors examination room, and there a whole other set of etiquette rules apply.  You must be prepared for how to intelligently conduct yourself in there.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's post!  Waiting Room Sanity (Part 2)  

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