By David Jensen
Copyright 2016 by David Jensen
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Unless one lives deep in the woods somewhere where they can do what needs to be done, we live in a world where many non-family circumstances and influences tend to put even more stress into our lives. But there is a time when we have to sit and do nothing, no matter how much there is to do. And that is when we need to go to the Doctors or Dentist offices!
While reminiscing at the Doctors office here in Germany one day, it occurred to me that one has the time to deeply dwell on inconsequential things, due to the somewhat lengthy time spent in the various waiting rooms. It is a perplexing situation as I have nothing to do while sitting in the waiting room due to two factors. 1) Talking on your cell phone is forbidden and you become an instant pariah should you forget to turn the ring volume off. Even the simplest of sounds like receiving an E-Mail or a WhatsApp message will bring about looks of disgust from the many other waiting patients. I believe even flatulence would be more accepted among the others than the ringing of a phone! 2) I would never touch any of the various Magazines or Daily Papers which lay on the table to help bored people pass the time. I will explain more on that subject after another observation that I’ve made throughout the years.
I cannot for the life of me understand why the Nurses and secretaries at the ENT Doctors office always talk to you in a very quiet tone, sometimes barely a whisper, when they already know that you have a hearing problem. Even the Doctor himself converses in such a low tone that one has to try to understand what is said. This and the fact that they need an up-to-date hearing test every time you have an appointment! As if a wonder-healing had occurred by me by walking through their doorway arch. Even now that I walk around with a hearing aid, they still need to test my ears.
Now to return to the great subject of Daily newspapers and old magazines, and believe me, when you finish reading this and really contemplate about it, this is a real money maker for all the Doctors! In case nobody has noticed, due to the fact that they themselves are reading all the boring old issues of Better Homes and Garden, Women’s Day, or some automobile magazine, the magazines in the waiting rooms seriously have to be the biggest harbingers of Bacillus, Viruses and many other assorted diseases! Here is the best example that I personally have observed in the waiting room of my family Doctor. Into the waiting room walks a man who we will call Man Nr. 1. Even as he enters the waiting room, he is suddenly plagued with a catastrophic cough which is accompanied with a running nose. Thankfully due to his respectable upbringing, he covers his mouth with his hand when coughing. And then snatches the nearest, (and hopefully newer than two years old), magazine and begins to flip through the pages while continually coughing into his hand and proceeding to flip more pages of the magazine. He is finished and puts it back on the table, only to repeat the procedure on a new old magazine. Man Nr.2 comes in and grabs the magazine that Man Nr.1 had just laid back on the table. He looks at the cover, and when he starts to read, he licks his finger at the turn of every page! And sitting across from him in the waiting room, I am absolutely stupefied! I think; “Someone call the Health Department to quarantine that magazine!” And people, this sort of behavior happens all over the world, every day, in most of the Doctors waiting rooms where something to read is available to pass the time till one is called into the Dr. Office! I always laugh to myself when I hear someone say they don’t know how they became sick with other illnesses.
So the next time you are in the waiting room by the Dentist or Doctor, forget your nervousness, simply sit there (without a magazine), and enjoy the show! Once you have observed it yourself, you will be amazed! And you will definitely not touch another magazine in a waiting room. Guaranteed or your Money back!
Here is another tidbit which I thought about while waiting one day. Are the Nurses and assistants at the various Doctors offices, also their Doctors patients? Or do they mostly tend to separate Job and Private life by going to a different Doctor? If one lives in a small town far from the next possible Doctor, they really have no choice to go somewhere else. Over here in Germany with the social medical system, a Doctor can write you sick and for the first Six weeks the employer continues paying them as if they were working. If the sickness takes longer than Six weeks, then the social system takes over with your pay check, although only 60%, but it’s better than nothing! Okay, back to the point I’m trying to make. A Doctor probably wouldn’t write one of his own assistants sick, because he figuratively shoots himself in the foot by having one less worker in the office!
These are the ones who definitely will not pick up a magazine. They have everything they need right in their hand. And while the utilization of the telephone function is forbidden, they are the ones who are constantly typing in Facebook or WhatsApp! With both thumbs flying over the screen, as if their lives depend on getting as much as possible typed before being called by the nurse. And while they are so deeply concentrated on typing, most times the nurse has to call their names twice! Then they tend to get up from their chair as if their name being called is disturbing their “Hobby”! Again I think: “Are you here to see the Doctor or to type on Facebook”? The nurse should call their name only once, and then call the next patient in line! And put them at the back of the list! Then they would have more than enough time to finish their typing. I am not against the utilization of a cell phone while waiting in the various Doctors practices. I play some stupid game called Bubble Pop, or if I am feeling smart I’ll play one of the various word games from Mirriam-Webster.com. But when my name is called then I snap to attention and go to the Doctor. That being said, my cell phone is not as full of bacteria as the magazines!
At the optometrist to get my yearly check-up, I looked at all the different paintings that were hanging throughout the waiting room and hallway, and I suppose my eyes weren’t that bad off because on all the paintings there was one thing they all had in common. Why do the wall posters and/or paintings by the Optometrist have such small unreadable print? Because most people cannot read such small printing, like the morning newspaper, that’s why we are there in the first place!
They are the ones who come in to the waiting area, simply grab any magazine off the table and then look straight at the clock. Most of them will have already made some disgusting sound or stupid comment as if they have been waiting there all day. Sitting down, they might be able to constrain themselves to looking through maybe five pages of the Streptococcal infected magazine from last year, before looking at the clock again. They are the ones fidgeting in their seat, as if afflicted with ADS and always glancing around to see if they can find another one of their ‘Species’ to affiliate with. With these sorts of patients, it is almost guaranteed that after ten minutes, they will possess the audacity to go to the front desk and ask if they have been forgotten, or just how much longer they will have to wait! When their name is ‘Finally!’ called, they are most times incapable of taking the extra two seconds needed to lay the “Famous Magazine” on the table in an orderly fashion. Either they will toss it onto the table, or worse, the really ignorant ones will leave it on the seat. This in turn will naturally promote another problem, for the next patient who comes into the waiting room will believe that the seat is reserved when one goes to the toilet.
Now this is my favorite category of ‘waiters’ because first of all, they make their appointments in the late afternoon, when the normal working person has to make his appointments, instead of first thing in the morning or sometime early in the day. The fact that they have nothing to do all day/every day is for them irrelevant as far as making their appointments.
The category one elderly patient: these are the ones that are very similar to the ‘Impatient Patient’. Probably due to the fact that they have just entered into retirement, and ergo, they seem to have no time to wait! Because they fill their appointment calendars totally full with things to do, that for some reason, they think they had no time for when they were still employed! The category two elderly: they have for the most part, calmed down and slowed down and are starting to enjoy their retirement with less stress. But they are the second category of the “Past 65” club. They have now migrated from reading magazines to constant conversation. Be it from failing eyesight or mayhap the psychological need to talk to someone other than their own television, they can, and will manage to strike up a conversation with anyone about anything! And they have all the information one doesn’t really wish to hear about Television shows. Some may have problems remembering what they ate for Breakfast, but not what they watched on TV last night! Not to mention the fact that they are fully up-to-date on the latest neighbourhood gossip or who just recently passed away. And their favorite unwilling conversational partners are the ones who unknowingly sit next to them with….., a Better Homes and Garden magazine!!! Another good combination is Category Two retired and Smart Phone patients. The poor person will get to hear about how they didn’t have the need for Cell Phones in “The good old days!” Or they are exactly the opposite, sounding like a small child with questions upon questions about how the cell phones work!
There is a small amount of the elderly patients that fall into a third category. These are the . They won’t for their life read a magazine, or anything else for that matter. Nor will they even attempt to strike up a conversation with any of the others. They will sit in their chair and constantly stare menacingly at all the others. It is as if all the others are to blame that they have to take a seat in the waiting room! And as they stare around, one can observe some the others becoming just a little jittery and restless, almost as if they are absorbing the guilt of having to make the Category Three wait. These types of people are aggressive because they have an appointment! And for them, it’s catastrophic if they are relegated to waiting! Danger arises when the Smart Phone type sits next to one of them, for then the aggressive elderly will then speak, but will most often make rude comments! And a veritable War Zone will occur when a Smart Phone Patient sits between category Two and category Three Elderly patients!
Thank you for reading my book. If you enjoyed it, won’t you please take a moment to leave me a review at your favorite retailer and/or Facebook and Co.
Thank you! David Jensen
Have you ever sat in the waiting room by the Doctor and simply observed all the others? This is a short insiders view of waiting rooms here in Germany.