If Time Is Money, My Exchange Rate is Too Low

July 14, 2005 @ 5:34 am | Filed under: ,

Just a little recordkeeping here…

June 24, hospital outpatient clinic visit. Arrived at 1:15 for a 1:15 appointment. Taken to exam room at 3 p.m., saw doctor around 3:20. We adore this particular doctor and I know the long delay was not his fault. Just the nature of the outpatient clinic. I’m pretty sure the appointment times are established in a parallel dimension in which the laws governing the passage of time bear no connection to those in our own dimension. Just a theory. I could be mistaken.

July 5, different hospital, pediatric surgeon’s office. Arrived at 1 p.m. for 1:15 appointment. Was informed by jovial secretary that there had been an “oversight”—the doctor wouldn’t be in until 2. “Oversight” is, of course, a synonym for “really big scheduling mistake I, the secretary, made but would prefer not to cop to.” I know this because I heard her murmur the truth to another patient whom she seemed to know very well. We, being new patients at this practice, were not privy to the inner circle of truth regarding clerical screw-ups. As for the doctor “coming in at 2,” that translates to “entering the building at 2:25” in actual Earth time. But I’m sure he was on time according to the clock in that other dimension I was talking about.

July 12, back to the first hospital. Different doctor (also a guy we really like), different department. Neurosurgery this time. Arrived at 11:00 for an 11:00 appointment. Shown to exam room at 11:25, visited by doctor at 12:10.

During the past two months, I’ve racked up over a dozen hours of waiting time in various medical offices. Shouldn’t there be some kind of “frequent waiter” policy that earns you, say, a $20 deduction from the hospital bill for every X minutes spent in the waiting room? Ooh, and double points for wait time in the actual exam rooms, because it is so doggone hard to keep a toddler occupied in one of those tiny little semi-sterile spaces in which the most interesting objects are the sharps container and the biohazard wastebasket.

At the very least I think you should get a card that permits you to cut to the front of the line in the hospital cafeteria. And free pudding. Yeah.

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