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    Of Waiting And Berating

    | Gardena, CA, USA | Health & Body

    (I am visiting my doctor’s office. There is some extensive road work going on in the surrounding area, so several people have arrived late, including me. The office is extremely busy and crowded, and the receptionist is looking very harassed.)

    Receptionist: “Unfortunately you arrived more than 15 minutes late for your appointment. The doctor won’t be able to see you now. However, if you’re willing to wait, we can fit you in at the next available window, or you can reschedule.”

    Me: “Okay. I’ll wait.”

    (I take a seat and begin to read. Meanwhile, another lady goes up to the receptionist.)

    Receptionist: “Unfortunately you arrived outside of the 15 minute window we allow for your appointment, so the doctor won’t be able to see you now. If you’re willing to wait, we can fit you in at the next available slot, or we can reschedule you.”

    Customer: “That’s ridiculous! I was only two minutes past the 15 minute window! I shouldn’t have to reschedule just because of two minutes!”

    Me: “Then maybe you shouldn’t have been 17 minutes late.”

    (The customer glares at me, but continues to rant at the receptionist.)

    Customer: “Why should I have to arrive on time anyway? You doctors don’t understand what it’s like for us, always having to wait! We always have to wait for you doctors; it should go both ways! You should wait for us! With as much as I’m paying, you should wait for us!”

    Me: “Look, lady, I was late for my appointment, too. That was my fault, and I accepted it like an adult. In case you hadn’t noticed, this clinic is very full today and the doctor is too busy to wait for you to decide to show up! Now you can either sit down and wait like the rest of us, or reschedule and leave!”

    (The customer goes and sits down. She continues to rant about how unfair this is, and how much more important her time is than the rest of ours. After about 10 minutes, she stands up again.)

    Customer: “I can’t wait this ridiculous amount of time!”

    (She reschedules with the receptionist. The best part? They found an open slot for my appointment only 15 minutes later!)