That's Why They Call It a Waiting Room
I had an appointment with my neurologist today (on a nice, rainy day). I didn't allot time for the rain (and the ensuing traffic snarls) and then I got lost (the hospital has two buildings and I went to the wrong one; luckily a nice nurse noticed I was wandering around with a confused look and pointed me in the right direction), so I was surprised that I was only a couple of minutes late, but it ended up being irrelevant because the office was running 45 minutes late. An elderly gentleman mused aloud that his appointment had been for 1:15 and voiced his surprise because his appointment had never run late before. He finally got to see the doctor at 2:00. My name was called at 2:28. I sat in an empty examination room until the doctor came in at 2:34. My visit ended at 2:38. Yay for American medicine. (It was a routine checkup, for those concerned. I'm fine. I don't go back for six months.)
The tardiness of the office did
give me a chance to listen to a cross-section of humanity in the waiting room, though. There was an assortment of characters there today. The woman sitting next to me stared straight ahead the entire time and didn't say a word until a younger woman came out in tears and then they both left. I'm afraid that wasn't a good visit. :( Another gentleman sat in a chair for ten minutes before getting up and pacing; he finally ended up leaning against the wall by the door the rest of the time (either because the chair was uncomfortable or he had problems sitting; it was
a neurological clinic, after all). Another charming clan that occupied about half of the waiting room centered around a man in his fifties wearing sweatpants, an Iowa Hawkeyes t-shirt, an eyepatch and a Harley Davidson baseball cap, accompanied by his wife, two other unidentified family members and a woman in her seventies who I'm guessing was his mother. His mother was that type of person (every family seems to have one) who had something critical to say about everything. She criticized the soap opera on television. She criticized the doctor running late. She criticized an overweight woman who left the office in a wheel chair. The one that really caught my attention was when she whispered to her son "I think that guy is goofy
" (with an emphasis on "goofy" that implied weird, not funny). At the time, an advertisement for a sitcom was on the television and her son asked her if that's what she was talking about. She said "No, that guy standing by the door." The entire waiting room went completely silent because even though the woman was trying to speak quietly, everyone could hear every word she said (except maybe for the gentleman in his late seventies sitting to my right; he seemed rather hard of hearing). There was an awkward silence and the guy by the door kind of shifted around and put his back to them and the clan went back to talking. Very charming family.
I had planned on stopping by Goodwill after the appointment to drop off some boxes, but by the time the appointment ended I had time only to stop by my apartment for a few minutes before heading to work. Oh well. Guess I'll have time after my CPR class next week.