Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Oh help me, dear doctor, I'm damaged

I'm trying to think of another profession in the world where you can be chronically late, for every single appointment, and be completely immune to criticism. The only other person I can think of who is late every time is the cable guy, and he takes tons of criticism!
Actually, he doesn't. The poor person on the customer service helpline who's been there since 5 AM has to hear about how you have to take your dog to the kennel and pick your children up from day care and reorganize your senile uncle's sock drawer, blah blah blah. The point is, that industry gets intense criticism.

Doctors, on the other hand, have never had an unkind word said to them. For all they know, we like waiting in two separate rooms for 40 minutes apiece. I'm almost disappointed when the doctor finally comes in. After all, I only have to leave to put money in the meter twice!

I had a doctor's appointment the other morning. I specifically requested the very first one, so that there would be no running-late/previous-patient nonsense. I was amazed. Only in the waiting room for 10 minutes and the nurse was calling my name. "Mr. Jonathan?" That's me!

The nurses, I must say, are right on the money. They check your height, weight, blood pressure, temperature in about 30 seconds flat. I love the efficiency. We went through that whole business in which I learned that I, in fact, have shrunk another half inch since my previous visit to the doctor two weeks ago! I'll be 4 inches tall in a few months or so and then I can finally take that trip to Lilliput!

Anyway, my excitement brewed as I made it into this empty series of corridors so quickly. I was positive that the doctor was just sitting alone, right inside his office, perhaps doodling or playing with a rubix cube, eager for his first patient to arrive. I was led into my little room and hopped right up on that paper runway (germs could never penetrate that!) and commenced with what, I was certain, would be no more than 4 minutes of thumb-twiddling.

Three September 2003 magazines, a thickening beard, and one vernal equinox later the doctor opened the door and spent approximitely 16 1/2 seconds actually speaking to me. He quite resembled that guy who used to do the Micro Machines commercials back in the 80s.

Based on the time I have spent actually in the presence of a doctor in my life, I estimate that they see anywhere between three and four-thousand patients per day. Either that or they spend their entire mornings attempting to read their own handwriting.

Whew. What a rant! Serenity Now!


Ray said...

What's considering how much money he made for that 16 1/2 seconds of work....probably two Mahalo Paychecks...and several hundred greenhouse PTG QCs worth.

Lons said...

The last time I went to see my doctor, and this was a return visit because his original course of action had not actually led to my feeling any better, I could hear him kibitzing in the next room with a patient about some crap for like 20 minutes.

I always make the mistake of actually telling this person what is wrong with me. This is wrong. The way to trick a doctor into talking with you and listening to what you have to say, apparently, is to first engage them in meaningless small talk, occasionally slipping in medical queries.

It's Mom said...

Hilarious. Sorry I didn't get to read it sooner. I'll be laughing a while over this one.