Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cafe Latte and Wi-Fi While You Wait

I am one of those people who actually enjoy the waiting room.

It's not that I actually like going to see the dentist, the doctor, or having my car's brake pads replaced at the repair shop. It's just that I like to see what magazines they have while I'm sitting in the waiting room. One of the down sides of a bad economy is that more magazines are folding up shop and doctor's are subscribing to less reading material for their offices in an effort to cut expenses. Don't they realize I don't go for the check up but for the magazines? If they only offered Wi-Fi and Starbucks coffee.

There is something about weird articles in some obscure magazine that make sitting waiting for a root canal not such a bad experience. In fact, many times I have wished they would just hold off calling me into my appointment so I could finish what I planned on reading. Sometimes I'll grab a few magazines from the table, line up the articles, grab a coffee and get cozy on the couch. If they just supplied a bathrobe and some slippers, I'd be set. So, how disappointing when just as I settle down, they call me in. Damn, what happened to that 45 minute wait I was expecting? Aren't there any emergency swine flu cases you can take ahead of me?

Worse yet, is when after I'm deep into an article until I find the pages ripped out. Now, I know some people tear pages out of these magazines (very annoying to those of us looking for
Continued on Page 174 after 174 as already been ripped out because someone found a recipe they had to have) but really, must you? How many times I have been left to wonder...so how did it end? I feel I should have the right to say..."Can you tell the Doc to hold on ten minutes while I finish this up". Better yet, can I take this in with me while I sit in the exam room for another 20 minutes? Sometimes on my way out after my appointment, I wonder if they would think it odd if I just sat back down out there in the waiting room a bit longer to finish up that article? Maybe order lunch? Yes, probably.

Maybe it was from all the time spent reading the In-flight Connections magazine during long plane flights but I miss my "alone time" in the waiting room now that doctor offices have gotten so efficient. Ten minute doctor appointments and "volume service" of our patients have destroyed my personal time to catch up on my reading. You would think with all I spend on medical insurance premiums, I not only have less time with my doctor but also less time in the waiting room with their magazines. I am all for reforming health care, but can we at least include a "public reading option"? You know, where the government takes some of our premium money and supplements our doctors waiting room by supplying good reading material. That way we feel we at least got something more for our money and we promote literacy at the same time.

I'm just saying.

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